In January, the HNW Australian Equity Portfolio had a pleasing month, gaining +2.91% and ahead of the ASX 200 TR +1.19%

Over the month, positions in Incitec Pivot (+10%), Medibank Private (+8%), JB Hi-Fi (+8% – though the position was trimmed mid-month at $2 higher than the close), QBE Insurance (+7%), CSL (+5%), Deterra (+5%), Lottery Corp (+5%) and Woodside (+4%) added value.

On the negative side of the ledger, Mineral Resources (-14%) and Atlas Arteria (-6%) hurt performance. Min Res was impacted by the general malaise in the Lithium sector that saw mines closed in January (Core Lithium), bank loans pulled (Liontown), and majority Chinese JV partners swindling ASX-listed minority shareholders (IGO). Conversely, MIN reported in January that operations are profitable, expansions on track and on budget, showed declining production costs and enjoyed a strong performance in mining services and iron ore, showing the benefit of diversification. We are similarly relaxed about Atlas Arteria, which revealed a 7% growth in revenue over 2023 and announced toll increases of 3% in February. The company should deliver a record result later on this month.

The HNW Equity Income Portfolio similarly had a solid month up +2.7% and ahead of the blended benchmark’s return of +0.89%. Positions in Incitec Pivot (+10%), JB Hi-Fi (+8%), QBE (+7%) and Westpac (+6%) helped performance with performance being hurt by Mineral Resources, Atlas Arteria and childcare and medical Center operator Arena REIT (-6%) which fell on no news.

The sole company to declare a “dividend” in the Portfolio was Incitec Pivot’s 26 cent capital return. This is causing some issues with performance measurement in January with Hub24 correctly accounting for the two components (cap return & unfranked dividend) correctly and Netwealth totally ignoring it.  May be something to look out for it should hit our investors accounts 8th February.  

Full Reports in to follow shortly.