Bath/Head Office & Unquoted Equity Team:
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Edinburgh Office & European Quoted Equity Team:

Investor Information

monthly manager commentary

August 2021

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.


July 2021

European markets posted modest gains during July. Focus was generally on the interim reporting season, which was broadly supportive for European markets. Stylistically, growth outperformed value over the month and the former has now also outperformed the latter year to date. The fund had a positive month performance wise. The biggest contributor […]

June 2021

European markets were broadly positive in June. At the macro level, inflation concerns were still apparent, though markets generally appeared to conclude that significant inflation risk in the medium term was relatively low, hence the positive move. From a stylistic perspective, June saw a significant resurgence of growth over value, as a result of[…]

May 2021

European markets posted small gains over May. Volatility was a feature with concerns over inflation resurfacing over the month. The fund also showed modest positive performance.  The largest positive contribution came from Recticel, a Belgian insulation and speciality foams business. Recticel received a potential bid approach from a former partne[…]

April 2021

European markets posted positive gains during April. Focus over the month was firmly upon the first quarter results season, which has generally been taken positively by markets. Stylistically, growth outperformed value over the month, reversing some of the strong gains by value seen year to date. The fund enjoyed a solid month in terms of performa[…]

March 2021

European markets rose during March. Results season continued to be broadly supportive for company valuations. Stylistically, value had another good month, outperforming growth. However, the shape of the outperformance was more apparent in areas like Industrials, with Financials and Energy giving up a little of their recent outperformance. The fund[…]

February 2021

In January, we wrote that the market was concerned about further lockdowns causing a delay to economic recovery. In February the reverse was true. Market concerns switched 180 degrees to the worry that inflation could return. Bond prices were sent lower and benchmark 10-year yields climbed strongly. This had the effect of driving a marked underperf[…]

January 2021

European equity markets began the new year making positive ground, but ended the month lower, as investors became concerned that lockdowns and restrictions would delay economic reflation. There was no discernible style bias over the month between growth and value. The market appears to be marking time ahead of the upcoming company results season. […]

December 2020

European equity markets continued to rise in December. Positive news regarding further vaccines against covid was, to a degree offset by the emergence of a new variant of the virus, and stricter lockdown measures being implemented across the region. The value rally, a strong feature of last month's market performance reversed to some extent, with g[…]

November 2020

European equity markets performed very strongly in November. Markets generally were buoyed by positive news regarding several Covid vaccine trial results. With a number of vaccines likely to be available within weeks, markets became more optimistic about economic recovery from here. Stylistically, value also significantly outperformed growth, for w[…]