My 21 (+6) Investments for 2021
Following an annual tradition once a year I’ll try to review my current portfolio by writing short summaries/update for each individual position. This year, only 11 of the 20 companies from last year are still in the portfolio and I have 16 new positions which is a (Covid-19 driven) record in turnover. 6 of the 27 shares are part of a “basket trade” on a recovery in tourism.
The summaries of the previous years can be found here:
My 20 investments for 2020
My 22(+1) Investments for 2019
My 21 investments for 2018
My 27 investments for 2017
My 27 investments for 2016
My 28 investments for 2015
My 24 investments for 2014
My 22 investments for 2013
1. TFF Group (7,2%)
The “Last stock standing” of the initial investments from 10 years ago. Family owned oak barrel manufacturer. Has grown well over the past 10 years due to Asian demand for oak aged French wines and opportunistic acquisitions. Whisky barrels have added to growth. It needs to be seen how Brexit and Covid fall out will impact the underlying trade. Currently numbers are bumpy because they have been organically building US operations from scratch wich required significant capital outlay and no sales. When (and if) sales are coming thorough, sales growth and margins might increase significantly over the next years. I have added a little to the position in 2020.
2. Installux (2,2%)
Small French company specialized in aluminium appliances. surprisingly resilient. Still run by the founder and majority shareholder, still one of the cheaper “quality” stocks in Europe. Downside protected via large net cash position. The company clearly suffered from Covid-19 in the first 6M 2020 bur was still profitable. The company has been buying back shares for a while now. Not as cheap as 8,5 years ago but still “good value”. They have surprisingly sold their problematic Roche Habitat subsidiary in October which should result in better margins going forward.
3. G. Perrier (4,7%)
French small cap, specialist for electric installations with a strong position in Nuclear maintenance. Good growth despite economic headwinds. Has recovered well from the Covid-19 shock with a share price close to ATH. Top line in the first 9M declined by (only) -10% with a decent recovery already in Q3. Back in 2013 I bought it as a cheap stock, it turned out to be a well run, decently growing company. “Long term Hold”.
4. Thermador (4,0%)
Thermador is a French based construction supply distribution company. Distinct “outsider style” corporate culture. After strong growth in 2019, they could keep the momentum with single digit top line growth (even without M&A) in 9M 2020. A very resilient business and a very resilient company which is reflected in a share price close to ATHs. “Long term hold”.
5. Admiral (7,7%)
“Outsider style” direct internet insurance company. UK based, large cost advantages, management/founders own significant share positions. Several growth projects on the way. Especially the European subsidiaries seem to make good progress with a long growth runway in front of them. 2020 showed the strength and resilience of the business model. When UK stocks go crazy due to Brexit, I would add as I did during the Covid-19 crash. “Long term hold”.
6. Bouvet (5,1%)
IT consulting company from Norway. When I bought the stock 6 years ago, the stock price previously had been hit hard by oil decline, Statoil was the largest client. The business and the stock showed a strong recovery since 2016. I was unsure about the stock in some years but the company kept growing. In early 2020, I sold half of the position (much too early of course). 2020 Q3 numbers show the growth is still intact. “Hold”.
7. Partners Fund (5,3%)
An investment into a fund run by a close friend. Mathias is a “Munger style” investor with a relative concentrated portfolio of “moat” companies, many of them from the US. I think it is a good complimentary exposure for my investment style. At the time of writing, 2020 looks like another very good year with ~+20% YTD, And I am sure he will do fine over the next 10-20 years…..
8. Naked Wines (8,6%)
UK-based online wine retailing company. This
is used to be a “bet” on the CEO which came on board when Majestic acquired online wine company Naked Wine. The company transformed in 2019 by selling all the traditional retail business which was a bold but turned out to be a blessing with regard to Covid-19 . However, also the CEO decided to retire early which was not so good. I had it on my “watch list” last year. Nevertheless they really executed well in 2020 and seem to do really well in the US market and I added to the position on the way up. “Hold”.
9. Groupe SFPI SA (2,5%)
Groupe SFPI is the result of its merger with DOM Security which was my original investment in 2016. Despite DOM Security, SFPI is active in the industrial and construction services, specializing in niche businesses. Around 60% of the business is done in France, the rest is international. Dom Security is around 1/3 of the sales. The company is founder owned/run. Contrary to my expectations it turned out that the other 2/3 of the business seems to have some issues. SFPI was on my “watch” list for a potential exit in 2020, but then it became so cheap that it didn’t make sense to sell. Still, a “Watch candidate” for 2021.
10. VEF (formerly Vostok Emerging Finance (2,6%)
This is the sister company of Vostok New Ventures (that I sold in 2020), but specializing on Emerging Markets Fintech. The fund has a large weighting in Brazil which I find very interesting. The management runs the portfolio extremely patient and only invests when they see a real opportunity. The share price has recovered nicely from the Covid-19 shock and is now at ATH, however I missed to add as I had originally intended. Long term hold, I still might add a little.
11. Zur Rose AG (4.3%)
Swiss Company Zur Rose AG is one of two consolidators in Europe’s online pharmacy market. They have been growing fast through acquisitions but now need to prove that they can make money. Structurally there is a lot of future potential especially with regard to tele-medicine and online prescriptions, The Covid-19 crisis has destroyed a lot of the “red tape” especially in the German Health sector and made Zur Rose one of the winners in the “covid-19 stock lottery”. I reduced the position significantly as it is clearly a more risky stock, but still with a lot of future growth potential. Especially as they won recently the contract (together with IBM) to actually build the online prescription platform in Germany.
12. Netfonds AG (2.2%)
Netfonds AG is maybe the most important result of my “All German Shares” series. It is a little, under the radar German financial services company that is active in several business lines, among others, fund administration and services for financial advisors. The company is growing consistently and has a very “entrepreneurial” approach, a little bit similar to Mutui Online from Italy. The P&L currently doesn’t look “nice” as they invest a lot into growth but this is a stock I hope to own for a long time.
13. Sixt AG Preference shares (4.3%)
Sixt is a company I have been admiring for a long time but never managed to “pull the trigger” to buy. Finally, during the dark days of Covid-19, I managed to build up a position in the cheaper pref shares. Clearly, the Sixt business, which relies to a large extent on airports, has been hit hard. However I think they are one of the players who will come out stronger than the competition. They already secured some interesting US locations during teh crisis and luckily sold their stake in Sixt Leasing at a good price before the crisis. On top, they are very active with regard to new forms of shared mobility and car ownership. The biggest risk is that legendary founder and majority owner Erich Sixt needs to pass on management to the second generation. “Long term hold” or even “add” if the sons turn out to be alright. What I find hard to understand is the srpead between pref shares and common shares.
14. Group Financier Richemont (2,9%)
Richemont, the Swiss Luxury Group is most famous for its “Super Brand” Cartier. This was another Covid-19 “bargain”. I had looked at the company before, but Covid-19 provided an interesting entry point also based on their “fortress” balance sheet. Richemont has some exposure to fine watches which could be in some kind of secular stagnation/decline, however just recently they made an interesting move in China with Alibaba. As with Sixt, legendary Chairman Johan Rupert is already in his 70ies and succession might be an issue. Nevertheless a solid “Hold”.
15. Washtec AG (2.0%)
Another Covid-19 “bargain” which didn’t recover as much as I hoped. The company is one of the market leaders for building car washes. This is in principle a decent business with a nice “aftermarket sales” portion. The company was already in some kind of reorganization before Covid-19 hit. In my opinion, despite a decrease in top line, the numbers were pretty good, but just recently they got kicked out of the SDAX. Nevertheless I like both, the business and the company and might increase this to a “half position” at some point in time.
16. Mediqon AG (0,3%)
Mediqon is one of the remainders of my “German Basket” attempt. The tiny company that troes something like a “Constellation Group” roll up of small software providers in Germany after selling its core business. A company to watch and maybe add if they can execute.
17. AOC Fund (5,1%)
My second fund investment. This time into an “activist fund”, most famous because of its successful campaign on Stada. They take a pretty concentrated long term approach and actively work with/in company boards. Despite the fantastic historic performance I am also trying to learn from them.
18. FBD Holdings Plc (3,8%)
Another “Covid-19 bargain” purchase which so far has not rebounded that much. I had looked at FBD before, but only after Covdi-19 the stock looked so cheap that I couldn’t resist. It is the leading domestic P&C insurer in ireland with generally a good profitability. Based on their “normal” profitability the stock is dirt cheap, although the business model is clearly not as good as the one from Admiral. Unfortunately, the CEO who turned the company around left and they are still fighting on Covid-19 payouts with Pub owners. This is clearly a more opportunistic “deep value” play which I would prepared to sell if the stock price recovers, however this might take 2-3 years.
19. Agfa Gevaert (4,1%)
Another more opportunistic investment into the Belgian conglomerate. AOC (see above) has Agfa as its main activist target and tries to form a “health tech” player out of the conglomerate. Covid-19 clearly didn’t help but I do think that there is still plenty of upside if they manage to pull it off. they already sold one business before the pandemic hit, but I guess it will need 2-3 years to fully play out.
20. Play Magnus (2.2%)
A more opportunistic investment into a recently IPOed Norwegian online chess company with World Champion Magnus Carlsen as main shareholder and “official face”. The company has an interesting strategy by making chess both more accessible and promoting a faster style of chess. They want to monetize it via paid content and subscription courses. With Covid-19, interest in online chess increased a lot, helped by the surprising success of Netflix’s “The Queens Gambit” series about a female chess “Wunderkind”. Also the new faster formats make chess more accessible via platforms like Twitch. The company also launched a million dollar tournament series with the next one starting on December 26th. Clearly a more risky stock but with a decent potential upside if they can execute on the current boom.
21. Siemens Energy AG (3,4%)
Again, an opportunistic “Spin-off” investment. Siemens Energy was spun off from Siemens recently and includes the valuable Siemens-Gamesa participation. In my opinion, the remaining business (Gas trubines, grid technology etc.) is priced much too cheap and teh portfolio of the company prevents many ESG funds to invest despite the interesting underlying technology (Hydrogen, grid, offshore wind mills). I was luck with the timing but I still think the stock has a decent upside.
The remaining 6 stocks are a “basket trade” on a recovery of the tourist travel sector that I build up after it was clear that a vaccine will come soon. Therefore I will only describe then in a relatively short form:
22. Hostelworld Plc (1.3%)
Hostelworld is basically the “booking.com” for Hostels and Backpackers. My assumption is that young people will restart travelling first and in droves.
23. Dufry (1.0%)
Market leader in running Duty Free shops at Airports. Duty free shops are mostly frequented by toursist, not business travellers. Better leverage with Airports after the crisis.
24. ENAV (0,9%)
Privatized Italian flight control agency/monopoly. Earns fees on every plane rolling or flying over Italian soil no matter how full.
25. Anheuser Bush (1,9%)
Biggest brewery globally. High EM exposure. Battered by bar and restaurant closure and has significant debt. Investment case is that after COvdi-19, people still want to go out and drink beer. Maybe more than before for some time. A weaker dollar also helps.
26. Southwest Airlines (0,9%)
The “original” low cost US carrier. Has already made some aggressive moves during the pandemic. Littel exposure to business/overseas flights. Should profit most from a tourism recovery.
27. JD Wetherspoon (0,9%)
Biggest UK pub Group. Hammered hard by the pandemic but well run in my opinion might gain from the troubles of smaller players.