Cayzer-backed Caledonia ups dividend despite asset falls

CALEDONIA Investments, the fund backed by the millionaire Cayzer family, has boosted its annual dividend despite reporting a fall in the value of its assets by almost a third.<br /><br />Group chairman James Loudon said a 27.7 per cent decrease in diluted net asset value per share over the full year to the end of March represented outperformance of the FTSE All Share index of 4.5 per cent.<br /><br />Net asset value fell from &pound;21.55 per share in 2008 to &pound;15.59 at the end of March, while the portfolio fell in value to &pound;906m from &pound;1.25bn over the year. <br /><br />Loudon said the group is focusing on supporting and sometimes building on its existing investments although it wrote off investments in Incisive Media, with a writedown of &pound;14.8m, and retailer Retif, costing &pound;14.4m, during the year.<br /><br />The dividend was hiked by 4 per cent to 33.8p for last year, as the group said it has delivered a total of 39 per cent shareholder return over the last five years despite the recent market falls.<br /><br />The group added it will start investing its &pound;56m cash reserves where solid opportunities present themselves.