Liontrust’s Victoria Stevens works within the firm’s UK small and micro cap teams
‘Mind Gym is a corporate training business which applies the principles of behavioural science to effect change within the corporate environment.
‘We believe it possesses strong proprietary intellectual property within a suite of bite-sized tutorials, or “workouts”, and enjoys significant distribution strength, having built up a network of hundreds of self-employed coaches across the globe.
‘The Covid-19 crisis caused momentum to stall from February 2020 as clients began to cancel planned face-to-face training. However, the company has a very strong balance sheet and used the disruption to accelerate investment in its virtual and digital training proposition.’
Clipper Logistics – Leigh Himsworth, Fidelity UK Opportunities fund
‘Clipper Logistics is involved mostly in distribution and logistics for retailers, in particular online retailers such as Asos.
‘Their strength lies in the flexibility of their model that allows movement of stock in either direction, so allowing them capable of coping rapidly with returns, which is vital for the success of the likes of Asos.
‘The recent pandemic has seen a jump in interest in their services from supermarkets and high street retailers, as they seek to improve the resilience of their supply chains and robustness of their systems.
‘Clipper could prove to be very much a multi-year success story.’
Bioventix – Ken Wotton, Baronsmead Venture Trust
‘Bioventix is a research company focused on producing antibodies for clinical diagnostics and pharmaceutical research.
‘Due to its highly cash generative business model, the company – which offers a dividend yield of two per cent – has a fantastic record of dividend growth over the past few years, with a compound annual growth rate of 30 per cent over five years.
‘This means if you bought shares on 1 July 2014, more than 80 per cent of your original cost would have been returned in dividends and your capital would have appreciated by 750 per cent.’
Michelmersh Brick – Andrew Vaughan, SDL Free Spirit Fund
‘This AIM-quoted business with a market cap of £100million produces high quality and locally distinctive premium-priced bricks, achieving average selling prices some 35 per cent above the wider industry norm.
‘Covid-19 measures halted UK production for much of April, but Michelmersh’s more fully automated Belgian operation was less impacted, and group operations returned swiftly to 75 per cent of the 2019 equivalent in May.
‘Financial performance has been on a strong upward trajectory for five years now and the business has some longer-term additional income potential from landfill and land development activities at its sites.’
Walker Greenbank – Jonathan Winton, Fidelity UK Smaller Companies fund
‘Walker Greenbank manufactures interior furnishings under the brands Sanderson, Morris & Co, Harlequin, Zoffany, Scion, Clarke & Clarke.
Lisa Montague joined Walker Greenbank as chief executive in March 2019
‘The share price is down 50 per cent since the start of the year and the business has been significantly impacted by lockdown and concerns about the housing market.
‘However, it has managed the crisis well, and has now reopened its factories. Whilst this year will be difficult, the business is well positioned once the economy emerges from recession, with a stable of attractive brands with UK and international potential.
‘The new chief executive, Lisa Montague, has a strategy to improve brand engagement and transform the business, which is sensitive to the economy, but has lots of self-help and recovery potential.’