Performance as at 31 December 2020
Performance is after the annual fund charge, and before tax and membership fees (if applicable). For more information, see legal information and disclaimers.
What happened this quarter (3 months to 31 December 2020)
- Australasian markets had a strong finish to 2020, with the NZX 50 and ASX 200 both posting double-digit gains for the final quarter. In New Zealand, the NZX 50 gained 11.4%, trading above 13,000 to make a new record high. And for 2020, the index returned 13.9%, with utilities and healthcare the best-performing sectors. In Australia, the ASX 200 rose more than 10% in the final quarter. However, the benchmark finished the year with a small loss.
- It was a good quarter for economic data with both countries recording strong growth figures, showing the economies had bounced out of their COVID-induced recessions. In New Zealand, the economy grew 14% in the third quarter, while in Australia, the economy grew by 3.3% over the same period. The New Zealand economy experienced a sharper downturn in the second quarter – hence the sharper rise in the third-quarter numbers.
- The fund saw strong gains in its overweight position to cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge. Shares in the company surged more than 50% in the final quarter of 2020, buoyed by the news that the company would replace Metlifecare in the NZX 50, prompting investors who track the local benchmark to add the company to their portfolios. In more good news, the company released strong first-half FY20 results, which included three consecutive record revenue months in its US markets. Furthermore, total revenue for the period increased by 50% to $4.1 million.
- The fund’s holding of Mainfreight was another strong contributor to performance over the quarter, with shares in the logistics company rising 52%. The strong performance came after the company reported (as at 30 September 2020) a 7.2% increase in first-half revenue to $1.6 billion and profit before tax of just over $100 million – an increase of more than 20%. Despite some weakness in its European and US business, the company continued to see strong gains in Asia and Australia.
- Also benefiting performance was the fund’s underweight position to Goodman Property Trust. The company reported a drop in first-half net profit after tax to $176.3 million from $224.3 million a year prior. Goodman Property Trust was one of just a few companies in the NZX 50 to end the quarter lower, comfortably underperforming the benchmark.
- Holding back gains was the fund’s position in Pushpay Holdings. Shares in Pushpay ended the quarter down nearly 20% as the prospect of a COVID-19 vaccine weighed on sentiment. The company had benefited earlier in the year during a socially distanced environment.
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