Alliance Trust described its first half as an "encouraging start" to the year on Thursday, with its share price rising to 700p from 638p over the six months to 30 June, and its net asset value per share improving to 742.2p from 667.5p.
The FTSE 250 firm's total dividend for the period was confirmed as 6.58p, up from 5.65p in the first half of 2016.
"This has been a transformational period for the trust," said chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin.
"We are pleased that the equity portfolio outperformed its benchmark against an uncertain market backdrop, all while transitioning to our new alliance of best ideas investment approach."
Total shareholder return was 10.8%, the board said, and net asset value total return was 12.4%, compared with MSCI ACWI growth of 6.4%.
The company's equity portfolio outperformed the MSCI ACWI benchmark by 4.2%, and the board claimed its transition to a new portfolio was completed at a "much lower cost" than originally anticipated.
Costs remained competitive, and the ongoing charges ratio was targeted to be below 65 basis points.
The board said ATS incurred additional costs in the second quarter, contributing to a loss for the first half of £1.5m.
Its first and second interim dividends were up 3% on 2016 dividends, continuing the firm's 50 year track record of dividend growth.
Alliance Trust's discount to net asset value averaged 5.1% over the period, compared to 10.3% in the same period last year, which the board said partly reflected its ongoing share buyback programme.
"The geographic and sector weights of the trust's portfolio closely mirror those of the benchmark," Lord Smith said.
"This means that the relative performance is driven by the active stock selection of the underlying managers chosen by WTW.
"Looking forward, WTW expects higher levels of volatility to characterise investment markets, resulting in an excellent environment for active stock picking and thus for Alliance Trust."
The board was reportedly "confident" that the trust would deliver attractive returns for shareholders over the long term under its new approach, with Lord Smith saying it was "grateful" to shareholders for their support.
"Although it is still early days, the trust is demonstrating that it can deliver outperformance at competitive cost. We believe we have a compelling offering and look forward to investing for generations."