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BL European Smaller Companies

Equity funds

Data as of 28/05/2020

Risk level

Low High
Recommended investment horizon : > 10 years

Performance

Average annual performance since launch 7,50 %

Performance as at 28/05/2020

FUNDS
2017 15,02 %
2018 -11,75 %
2019 28,27 %
Since 01/01/2020 -6,51 %
Over the last 12 months 4,62 %
Over 3 years 5,58 %
Since launch 71,61 %
Breakdown by currency
EUR 59,89 %
GBP 11,47 %
SEK 11,22 %
CHF 11,21 %
NOK 3,08 %
Others 3,13 %

Strategy

Investment objective and policy

BL-European Smaller Companies invests up to 80% of its net assets in shares of small and mid-cap European companies. The companies selected have high profitability due to exploiting their competitive advantage and offer favorable development prospects. In addition, they have a sound financial position and feature low levels of capital intensity. Management decisions will be based on strict valuation and quality criteria.

Management report - 1st Quarter 2020

The first quarter of 2020 was a tale of two halves. The first six weeks of the year produced nothing spectacular and the market was stable. But in mid-February, the spread of COVID-19 gathered pace in Europe and the United States, and equity markets responded with a dramatic slide. Governments embarked on severe measures to combat the health crisis and their lockdowns have stifled the economy. As most businesses and manufacturing sites are at a standstill, the economy is not functioning as it did before and there is no end in sight to the situation. The various economic institutions are therefore predicting a fairly severe global recession. Governments and central banks are responding with fiscal and monetary stimulus measures to reduce the negative impact of the crisis. The benchmark index (MSCI Europe Small Cap Net Return EUR) fell 28.86% over the quarter. BL European Smaller Companies (retail accumulation share net of fees) was down 21.43%. The main contributors were Drägerwerk (Germany, healthcare), Viscofan (Spain, sausage casings), Stratec (Germany, healthcare), Emmi (Switzerland, dairy products) and Logitech (Switzerland, technology). The main reason behind the outperformance of Logitech, Drägerwerk and Stratec was the direct effect COVID-19 had on them. Drägerwerk and Stratec produce machines (ventilators and blood analysers) that are in strong demand at present. Logitech produces mice, keyboards etc. and is benefiting from the number of employees now working from home. The other two companies were boosted by their fairly defensive profile. At the other end of the spectrum were Loomis (Sweden, cash transport), Amplifon (Italy, hearing aid retailer), Rotork (UK, valves), Carl Zeiss Meditec (Germany, healthcare) and Norma (Germany, supplier to automotive industry). Loomis and Amplifon were principally affected by the closure of shops since a large proportion of their business could no longer be performed. Industrial stocks suffered from the fall in the oil price (Rotork has considerable exposure to the energy sector) and the collapse in demand for new cars (Norma). For its part, Carl Zeiss Meditec has been hit by the 'shutdown' of ophthalmology practices in the fight against COVID-19. The investments in Victrex, Bertrand and Essentra were sold. The proceeds of these sales were invested in five new stocks. The Swiss company Logitech produces computer peripherals and is exposed to the eGaming industry. Ebro Foods (Spain, rice and pasta producer) was bought due to its attractive valuation and defensive profile. Brunello Cucinelli (Italy, luxury goods), one of the only luxury players in the European small caps universe, offered an interesting entry point after the slump in share prices. Two German companies were also purchased. Rational, the world leader in steam ovens for commercial kitchens has seen its share price excessively penalised by the market following the closure of the majority of restaurants in Europe. Nemetschek was another new entrant. Operating in a market dominated by two players (Nemetschek and Adobe), it develops planning software for the construction sector. The company has good visibility as about 50% of its revenues are recurrent.

General information

Net Asset Value 
Calculated Every business day
NAV class B capitalisation shares (28/05/2020) 171,27 EUR
NAV class A capitalisation shares (28/05/2020) 165,51 EUR
Latest dividend 0,04 EUR
Date of last dividend payment  07/02/2020
CODES Internal capitalisation code : 13890962
Internal distribution code : 13890913
ISIN capitalisation code : LU0832875438
ISIN distribution code : LU0832875354
WKN capitalisation code : A1J4V0
WKN distribution code : A1J4VZ
Net assets (million) 197,79 EUR
Launch date 20/11/2012