IN FOCUS: CRODA ‘ THIS COMPANY HAS HARNESSED THE INSTAGRAM INFLUENCERS’
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.