Strong Q4 for region’s quoted companies

THE region’s listed companies enjoyed a strong end to 2014, adding almost £2bn to their collective market value, according to research.
Data from Deloitte’s North West Share Index report shows that public companies’ share prices grew at an average of 7.39%. As a result, their collective market cap swelled to £25bn – a high for the year.
The strongest performing company in the North West during the final quarter was Outsourcery, jointly led by Dragons’ Den star Piers Linney. Following a lucrative deal struck with tech giant Microsoft in November the business saw its market cap grow by 94.8% in Q4.
Similarly, online home appliances retailer AO World – one of the region’s biggest IPOs in 2014 – grew 49%, while primary care property business Assura, aided by a £180m share issue, showed strong quarter on quarter growth to increase its value by 92.46% in Q4.
The region’s largest listed companies, those on the FTSE350, mirrored the strong performance of the North West as a whole, with six of the nine experiencing market cap increases totalling £1.5bn. Of these, four saw a surge of more than 10 per cent, with chemicals producer Victrex increasing its market cap by 29.64 per cent, and FTSE 100 member United Utilities adding over £736m to its value.
Chris Robertson, partner in charge of PLC activity at Deloitte in the North West, said: “2014 was a landmark year for the North West, with a number of investment plans announced for the medium-to-long term. This had the impact of drawing some of the country’s largest financial institutions up North, with both Numis and Secure Trust Bank making the move to Manchester.
“It’s therefore going to be an exciting year for businesses based in the North. With this in mind, it is pleasing to see the North West’s listed businesses performing so well, underlining the enormous potential in the region.
“It is also encouraging to see some of the newer listed companies witnessing market cap growth, with the likes of 4D Pharma, and Premaitha Health all experiencing strong increases. This demonstrates that the public markets remain a viable option to businesses, and we expect a busy year in the capital markets ahead.”