Triodos Sustainable Equity Fund

Supported by growing interest in a healthy lifestyle, healthcare and food stocks, particularly those focusing on organic products, made the biggest positive contribution to the return achieved by Triodos Sustainable Equity Fund. Stocks in the medical equipment and services segments were particularly strong performers. Edwards Lifesciences (heart valves) was an especially bright star, as the company benefited from strong results and a significant expansion of its end market.

Breakdown by sector
per December 31, 2014*

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Sector

% of net assets

 

 

*

Source: RBC Investor Services Bank

Consumer Discretionary

27.6

Healthcare

18.7

Information Technology

14.9

Industrials

11.2

Financials

9.9

Consumer Staples

6.4

Telecommunication Services

4.7

Materials

3.1

Utilities

1.4

Liquidities

2.1

 

 

Breakdown by country
per December 31, 2014*

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Country

% of net assets

 

 

*

Source: RBC Investor Services Bank

United States

47.2

Great Britain

14.3

Germany

5.6

Switzerland

4.7

Netherlands

3.4

Denmark

2.7

Ireland

2.5

Japan

2.5

Jersey

2.5

Others

12.4

 

 

In the food sector, organic food manufacturer Hain Celestial Group outperformed. Whole Foods Market had a mediocre year and the fund reduced its holding. The proceeds were used to establish a position in WhiteWave Foods (Alpro). The weight of this sector in the portfolio was reduced by selling Carrefour and Ahold.

In the luxury consumer goods sector US companies in particular performed well. VF Corporation, Starbucks and Nike, for instance, registered considerable share price gains. Adidas and Inditex (owner of fashion chain Zara) clearly lagged behind. Media companies also saw attractive share price rises. In the automobile sector the focus was more on manufacturers of electric cars and automotive suppliers (energy efficiency, environment and safety). The weight of the consumer discretionary sector was raised by buying shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill and Whitbread. The holding in Adidas was sold.

Due to the sharp fall of the oil price, energy was the weakest performing sector. As the portfolio does not include traditional (fossil) energy companies, the fund was not affected by the share price falls suffered by these stocks. However, the lower oil price also led to lower share prices for sustainable energy companies. As a result, the net positive impact for the fund was limited. Chinese solar cell manufacturers disappointed. This was largely due to import controls by the United States and Europe.

Top 10 holdings per December 31, 2014*

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Name

Country

Sector

% of net assets

 

 

 

 

*

Source: RBC Investor Services Bank

Roche Holding

Switzerland

Healthcare

2.4

Comcast Corporation

United States

Consumer Discretionary

2.0

Walt Disney

United States

Consumer Discretionary

2.0

Priceline.com

United States

Consumer Discretionary

2.0

Hain Celestial Group

United States

Consumer Staples

1.9

Novo Nordisk

Denmark

Healthcare

1.8

VF Corporation

United States

Consumer Discretionary

1.8

Taiwan Semiconductor

Taiwan

Information Technology

1.7

Vodafone Group

Great Britain

Telecommunication Services

1.7

Express Scripts Holding

United States

Healthcare

1.7

 

 

 

 

In the technology sector companies such as Red Hat, Adobe Systems and Intuit enjoyed considerable share price gains. The position in Google was sold because the company no longer meets the fund’s sustainability criteria. The proceeds were reinvested in companies such as Telecity Group (data centres) and Seagate Technology (datastorage). The fund’s considerable position in the telecom sector was reduced somewhat by selling shares in Verizon and Telefonica.

In the industrials sector new positions were established in wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems and solar installer Solarcity. In addition, the fund established positions in Chinese water companies. These companies offer solutions for issues in areas such as water quality and the environment. The position in US water infrastructure company Aegion was sold.

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