Hipgnosis reports 9.2% NAV drop as it narrowly beats results deadline

Driven by a reduction in the fair value of the portfolio

Headphones on a mixing desk


Hipgnosis Songs Fund has reported its net asset value per share decreased 9.2% to $1.7392 in the six months to 30 September.

The trust said the fall was primarily driven by a reduction in the fair value of the portfolio.

In publishing the statement before the year end, the music royalties trust has narrowly avoided its shares being suspended.

At 30 September operative NAV per share was 142.49p, while at 19 December it had fallen to 136.53p. Gross revenue from operations for the period fell to $63.2m from $86.4m.

See more: Hipgnosis delays interim results over valuation concerns

Shares in Hipgnosis are trading at 69.8p on Thursday 21 December, a discount to NAV of over 50%.

The trust confirmed a strategic review is continuing, and that Robert Naylor has been appointed non-executive director and chair of board.

He said: “I am delighted to be appointed to the board, with strong backing from shareholders. The board are clear we are acting in their best interests.

“I am pleased with the progress made on the ongoing strategic review. The board, through its advisers, has begun due diligence on the company’s assets with Shot Tower LLC, a specialist music rights practice, acting as lead adviser. This process will help the new board bring forward proposals for delivering value to shareholders.

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“Notwithstanding this progress, since I joined the board there has been a regular occurrence of issues raised as a result of ongoing failures in the financial reporting and control process.

“Whilst we consider substantial progress has been made in identifying and rectifying these issues, we have had to suspend the dividend for at least the remainder of the year in order to ensure compliance with our banking covenants.”

The update appears to have done little to convince investors the troubled trust is heading for a turnaround in fortunes.

Analysts at Jefferies wrote in a note to clients: “The delayed results fail to contain what the market will see as a realistic NAV, hindering the board’s efforts in restoring confidence in the fund.

“To this end, there is further evidence of conflict between the board and manager, while liquidity levels will also be closely watched.”