Manufacturing and engineering companies were some of the main drivers of growth in the London Stock Exchange’s indices in 2010.
The FTSE-100 and FTSE-250, which together comprise the UK’s largest 350 listed companies across all sectors, were up 12% and 24% respectively over the course of last year.
Of Britain’s best known engineering companies, GKN – which was promoted to the first tier from the second after a six year absence – was up 82.3%, the share price of Weir Group, which makes punmps for power generation applications, rose 148% and IMI was up 82.3%.
Chemical companies also fared well, with Elementis and Yule Catto up 169.8% and 105.4% respectively, as did mining companies, the leading lights among which were Antofagasta which was up 62.5% and Fresnillo which increased by 110.6%.
Computer chip maker ARM Holdings enjoyed a 138.5% increase while drinks can manufacturer Rexam was up 22%.
However, in the wake of defence budget cuts both at home and in the US, British aerospace and defence companies did all not enjoy similar successes. Cobham, QinetiQ and BAE Systems were down by 19.1%, 19.9% and 8.2% respectively.
Britain’s largest food manufacturer by volume, Premier Foods, also took a hit – seeing its shares tumble 46%.