The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - INVESTING -

This is one of my big­ger hold­ings and I’ve been in­vested for more than a decade. The busi­ness, based in York­shire, makes oil-based chem­i­cals used in a huge va­ri­ety of prod­ucts from cos­met­ics and makeup to sham­poos and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.

These are nat­u­ral oils, not petro­chem­i­cals: the sort of thing that’s cre­ated from shear­ing sheep wool. The com­pa­nies that use them can say on their pack­ag­ing “made with nat­u­ral ingredients”.

The end prod­ucts rely on these chem­i­cals, but in small amounts, so the com­pany is sell­ing high-value chem­i­cals in test tubes rather than great big bar­rels.

Its sci­en­tists work closely with cus­tomers to de­velop prod­ucts, which keeps it in­no­va­tive.

The com­pany has also coped well with the rise of in­ter­net and so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers. In cos­met­ics, some of the big multi­na­tion­als have found that new brands can now come from nowhere and es­tab­lish them­selves very quickly.

If you are one of those new brands you need a re­ally good un­der­stand­ing of how these prod­ucts work and Croda has been very close to these emerg­ing com­peti­tors. in­ter­na­tion­ally lead­ing busi­ness. Ex­pe­rian spent quite a few years in­vest­ing in soft­ware and has cre­ated tools for con­sumers and busi­nesses.

We have be­gun to see a pickup of growth off the back of that in­vest­ment, and it is be­gin­ning to pro­duce good re­turns and also op­por­tu­ni­ties to rein­vest in growth. The man­age­ment is re­ally sen­si­ble in run­ning the busi­ness for the long term.

And one that dis­ap­pointed?

G4S, the se­cu­rity firm. I still own it but it has been pun­ished by the stock mar­ket. It had a va­ri­ety of dis­ap­point­ments here and there. I think it’s hard to ra­tio­nalise why the share price has been hit so hard, beyond that the UK stock mar­ket seems to be less at­trac­tive to in­ter­na­tional buy­ers.

I’m stick­ing with it be­cause it’s a global leader in se­cu­rity and elec­tronic se­cu­rity sys­tems.

Do you have your own money in the fund?

I do. I in­vest in all my funds.

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