monthly manager commentary
European markets were stronger over the month of August. The second quarter/interim results season continued to provide supportive newsflow for companies generally. Of particular note, the IT sector enjoyed continued strong performance over the month.
The fund had a positive month in performance terms.
Positive contributions to performance came from a range of companies and sectors. Huddly (meeting room cameras) had positive results, as did Digital Value (value added IT reseller). Also of note were strong share price performances from Arcadis (environmental consultancy), Ahold (grocery retail), Recticel (speciality foams and insulation) and Novo Nordisk (pharma).
Notable poor performances came from three holdings. Bpost (Belgian Postal service) beat expectations but, following conservative guidance, sold off. Siili Solutions (IT services) announced results in line with expectations though also announced the departure of the CEO. Cliq Digital (content streaming provider) announced strong results, but the market was unimpressed by growth in the European market – despite it remaining at double digit. We took advantage of weakness in the share price of Bpost to top up our position. We are awaiting clarity of the succession plan at Siili, but remain comfortable that it represents good value at current levels. We also retain a modest position in Cliq Digital, commensurate with the risk-reward of the investment.
Activity over the month included the purchase of a German motor home manufacturer, a Belgian listed cinema operator and a Norwegian IT service business.
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