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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2021-12-24

Royal Mail (RMG) and Ashtead (AHT) among best FTSE 100 performers in 2021

Royal Mail (RMG), Ashtead Group (AHT) and Ocado (OCDO) feature in Hargreave Lansdown’s annual list of best and worst performers on the FTSE 100.

Royal Mail (RMG) and Ashtead Group (AHT) are among the year’s best performers on the FTSE 100 according to a new list of stocks branded either “crackers” or “turkeys” from leading financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown.

With the London Stock Exchange set to close at 12.30pm on Christmas Eve and only reopen for three days next week, analysts are taking a look back at the biggest winners and losers of 2021.

After 12 months of busy trading, Hargreaves Lansdown’s senior investment and markets analyst, Susanah Streeter says many companies have “shared on the spoils” following the reopening of stores post-lockdown.

Strong demand for commodities and industrial components during the year has also boosted stocks in certain industries with Ashtead and Glencore (GLEN) among those making notable gains.

Ashtead is near the top of the FTSE100 list for 2021 after soaring 72%, a rise that came just at the right time after a lacklustre 2020 beset by problems linked to the pandemic.

Royal Mail (+55%) is another strong performer with Streeter admiring the national postal service’s recent digital transformation and pivot to parcel deliveries.

However, while some companies have thrived, others have struggled to cope with the challenges of a post-Brexit and post-lockdown landscape.

“But investors would have found the performance of some of the pandemic winners hard to swallow this year as some have turned into turkeys in 2021,” Streeter noted.

Online grocer Ocado (OCDO) is one of those after its shares sank 26% during the year as more shoppers returned to in-store supermarkets for goods.

Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) also dipped 27%, while International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) fell 18% due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the travel industry.

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