Pharma-giant GlaxoSmithKline, a constant presence in the portfolio for the last 15 years, was the main victim of the recent shift with Woodford selling out his position completely and labelling the investment a “frustrating experience”.
The profits taken from Glaxo, as well as a slight reduction in his British American Tobacco holding, funded new positions for the Equity Income Fund in Lloyds Banking Group, housebuilders Barrett Developments and Taylor Wimpey, and brick manufacturer Forterra.
It signalled Woodford’s first foray into UK banks since 2003 and reflected his increasingly bullish approach to UK markets where he believes the overly cautious consensus has offered up “really interesting opportunities”.
Explaining the new position, Woodford said: “It is the first time in a long time that you’ve seen a move of this type in the portfolio. But I have in the past been very exposed to domestic cyclicals.
“I have in the past had very big weightings in banks. Not for a very long time but I’ve had those sorts of exposures before.
“In many ways this is a repeat of what the portfolio looked like in periods gone by.
“It is a reflection of my desire to capture more of the opportunity set that I see in the stock market today, here and now, not just for this year but going forward.”