Keep in mind that our commentary on the fund, as well as its past performance, is not a guarantee of what will happen in the future. It is also not financial advice, so you should consider advice if you’re not sure.
Like all investments, your money is at risk – investments can go down as well as up, currency fluctuations can affect the value of your investment and you may not get back what you put in.
How the fund has performed
Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund achieved a return of 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2023, outperforming its benchmark (the MSCI World Small & Mid Cap Index).
The fund benefitted from strong performances in many of the investments we have chosen within the industrials sector, such as Advanced Drainage Systems, Allegion and TPI Composites. For example, the TPI Composites share price almost doubled over the period. The fund’s investments within the Information Technology sector also contributed as Wolfspeed and SolarEdge did well.
As of 31/12/2023
Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund KR-cap
Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund KR-dis
Calendar year return
Triodos Global Equities Fund KR-cap
Triodos Global Equities Fund KR-dis
You can find more performance figures, including a cumulative performance chart, on the Pioneer Impact Fund webpage.
Please remember that past performance isn't a guide to future returns.
Equity market update
In the fourth quarter of the year, many companies across the global equity markets saw their share prices increase as investors became increasingly convinced that inflation was under control and that central banks would start cutting interest rates soon. In December the Federal Reserve Board (the central bank of the United States) indicated that it expected rate cuts of 75 basis points (the metric used to gauge the change in interest rates) over 2024. Sizeable base effects also helped drive headline inflation down in October and November. This in turn calmed investors' nerves about the persistence of high interest rates.
Meanwhile, economic data shows a gradual slowdown of economic activity, but resilience in labour markets with employment levels remaining high. The global corporate earnings report for the third quarter was higher than expected, which also boosted investor confidence.
Stocks in focus
Here we’ve picked out some of the key investments that have made either a positive or negative contribution to the performance of the fund. We’ve also explained some of the ways these organisations are making a positive contribution to a more sustainable and inclusive future.
For a full list of investments and to learn more about each one, visit the What does the Pioneer Impact Fund invest in? webpage.
Investments that contributed to performance
BE Semiconductor (Besi) manufactures machines for the assembly and packaging of chips that in turn enable electronic devices to become more energy efficient. The company’s outlook was reassuring as they reported a strong number of orders for their products. The company also continues to benefit from its very successful new hybrid bonding technology.
Added to the fund last year, Planet Fitness' mission is to provide a welcoming, non-intimidating environment where anyone can pursue a healthy lifestyle regardless of their fitness level. The company upgraded its full-year guidance and the shares rebounded strongly after some weaker months earlier in the year.
GN Store Nord
GN Store Nord develops and manufactures audio solutions, including medical devices and hearing instruments for people with hearing loss. The company reported results which were in-line with expectations, with strong momentum in its hearing aid business and stabilisation in its audio business.
Investments that detracted from performance
SolarEdge is a company that produces inverters and power optimisers for solar panels (which in turn increase their energy yield). Renewable stocks continued to face negative investor sentiment, putting companies like SolarEdge under pressure.
The company gave a disappointing outlook for the next quarter which had an impact on its share price. We acknowledge that this investments performance has been disappointing, however we believe that the long-term prospects have not changed and that investments in solar and inverters will continue to grow over the years.
SolarEdge's edge lies in the power optimiser, which the company invented. With its power optimisers each panel produces energy independently. The company is the clear leader in inverters combiner with power integrators and has net cash on the balance sheet. We met with the Chief Financial Officer in December and that confirmed our long-term positive view on the company.
Gentex focuses on auto-dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based, driver-assist systems for cars that aim to make them safer and more economical. While the company reported strong results, the market had expected an increase of the full-year guidance while the company only maintained expectations. This negatively impacted share price, but we remain positive on the long-term prospects for the business.
Yamaha mainly develops and manufactures musical instruments, which we support for their creative, social and health benefits. The company lowered its full-year guidance partly due to a slow recovery in the Chinese market. Whilst we remain convinced of the positive impact of this investment, it will not be long-term core holding of the fund and is already a small position.
Investments added to the portfolio
KPN is the incumbent telecom operator in the Netherlands, providing mobile, data, internet and ITV services. It has over 40% market share in both the Dutch mobile and broadband market. This is a more established company which we’re investing in to help balance the risk profile of the fund and generate cash flow. Telecommunications technology enables people to connect with each other which is key for inclusion and empowerment in this increasingly digital society.
Investments removed from the portfolio
Freyr is a Norwegian developer of clean, next-generation battery cells. We’ve removed this company from the fund as we no longer have conviction in it as a long-term investment. We believe that there is a chance that the company will not survive as its milestones have been delayed on several occasions.
Chr. Hansen Holding A/S is a specialty chemicals company from Denmark. The company leverages the natural properties of probiotics, which can help limit food waste, antibiotic overuse, reduce the need for pesticides in farming, and increase yield. The company is being acquired by Novozymes. During the first quarter of 2024 we will receive Novozymes shares, and we have sold our small remaining position.