North West FTSE businesses give region £2bn boost

The third quarter of 2017 has seen the North West’s listed companies add almost £1.9bn to their total values, according to business advisory firm Deloitte.

The latest North West Share Index reveals that the value of the region’s listed businesses has risen by four per cent in the last three months, with total market capitalisations jumping from £43.7bn to £45.6bn.

This impressive result is largely attributable to the strong performance of the region’s largest listed businesses, those ranked on the FTSE 350 index. In total, six of the 18 [KD(-M1] companies achieved double-digit growth, with cyber security firm NCC Group seeing a 32 per cent increase in its market capitalisation, which now stands at £598m. The firm has enjoyed a period of consistent growth over the last six months, with its value jumping 63 per cent since March 31st.

Meanwhile, Pets at Home, the UK’s largest pet supplies retailer, saw its value jump 33 per cent to surpass the £1bn mark. This follows a buoyant summer period, which saw sales jump five per cent after the introduction of a new pricing strategy.

In contrast, the value of those listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) suffered a minor dip, falling by a total of £7m. Despite this, some of the North West’s smaller companies still achieved positive results. Revolution Bars, amidst strong rumours of a £100m takeover by pub group Stonegate, almost doubled its value from £53.5m to £106m.[KD(-M2]  However, the transaction’s collapse has seen the company’s share price fall 10 per cent in recent days.

The North West’s retail sector has performed exceptionally well in the last quarter, with the overall value of businesses in the sector jumping five per cent to almost £20bn. Although May 2017 saw sales figures hit the lowest growth since April 2013, sales values were up 5.6 per cent in August compared to the same period last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. This was followed by a strong month of trading in September, as reports indicated like-for-like store sales had grown by an annual 2.9 per cent.

Doug King, director at Deloitte [KD(-M3] in the North West, said: “The North West is represented by a number of outstanding global brands, many of which have performed well in the last quarter. With the likes of JD Sports and B&M headquartered in the region, the retail sector is an important part of the North West economy, as the values of these companies make up nearly half of the region’s funds on the public markets.

“As a result, it is unsurprising that the retail sector has performed so strongly in the third quarter of the year. Many retailers will have benefitted from the ‘back-to-school’ boost, and many consumers will have hit the high streets to make most of the summer sales.”

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