Defence, pubs and a pawnbroker: the UK’s 2022 winners and losers | Daily News Byte


(Bloomberg) — UK stockpickers had a year to remember.

Recession, inflation, the resignation of two prime ministers and a wave of strikes have fueled the sell-off in domestic stocks. The cost of living crisis is a nightmare for pawnbrokers, but a disaster for pubs and some retailers. Meanwhile, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has boosted energy prices but also created greater demand for defense spending. The FTSE 250 midcap index is down 20% year-to-date, the most since 2008.

Below is a look at some of the best and worst performing stocks over the past twelve months:


The cost-of-living crisis is weighing on online retailers, with website traffic for companies such as Asos Plc falling significantly this year, according to analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. It is also looking to hire a restructuring specialist, Bloomberg reported. Asos is the worst performing stock on the FTSE 350 retail index this year. Its woes are in stark contrast to Frasers Group Plc, which has significantly underperformed the index.

  • Aston Martin Lagonda (-69%) – Auto

It has been a bumpy ride for Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc since its high-profile 2018 public offering. Orders have been strong but delays and high costs in sourcing parts for the car have hit production. Once considered a peer of Ferrari NV, Aston Martin’s finances were strained by the company’s high-interest debt burden.

  • 888 Holdings (-72%) – Gambling

Shares of 888 Holdings Plc have been hit by investor concerns over financing for William Hill Ltd’s acquisition of international assets. In December, 888 and its creditors were still seeking to discharge the debt.

  • Moonpig (-71%) – Retail/Tech

Unfortunately for Moonpig Group Plc, birthday cards are not recession-proof. A tough economic outlook combined with the UK postal strike has hit the firm, raising prices and cutting marketing spend. Rising interest rates have weighed on Internet-based stocks due to lower spending power of consumers.

  • Wetherspoon (-54%) – Restaurants

There is no end to JD Wetherspoon plc’s Covid hangover. After the pandemic, older customers in particular failed to return to British pub chains in previous numbers, and now rising energy prices, cost-conscious consumers, train strikes and rising interest rates are taking their toll.

  • Synairgen (-93%) – Healthcare

Synairgen Plc is a pharmaceutical firm that soared more than 2,500% in 2020 on hopes that its inhaler-based experimental drug could help treat Covid-19. The AIM-listed stock tumbled after the treatment failed to meet key milestones in the trial.


Rising inflation and energy prices have more people looking for ways to access cash, and British pawnbroker H&T Group Plc is one of the best-performing stocks on the AIM junior market.

  • BAE Systems (+56%)/QinetiQ (+37%) – Defence

Shares of British defense company BAE Systems Plc rose in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, after the war forced governments to increase their defense spending. Peer QinetiQ Group Plc also grew strongly.

  • Pearson (+53%) – Publishing

Pearson PLC’s major push towards digital learning is paying off at a time when weak book sales in its higher education segment are under pressure. A cost-savings program unveiled in August gave investors another reason to cheer. The company rejected two takeover offers from private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc.

  • Balfour BT (+30%) – Engineering and construction

Balfour BT plc’s performance was largely attributed to a series of major projects such as the Hong Kong International Airport contract and the High Speed ​​to Rail program in the UK. The British construction group has enjoyed strong margins, generated higher revenues and improved profitability, which is set to continue through 2023.

  • ME Group International (+76%) – Photo Services

Demand for passport pictures has surged amid the relaunch of travel lifted self-service photo booth operator ME Group International Plc, formerly known as Photo Me. The company said last month that business in Asia was slowing due to some pandemic measures pending.

–With assistance from Henry Wren.

©2022 Bloomberg LP


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