Friday 17 January 2020 12:45 am

Revealed: This was the best performing UK stock of the last decade

Ashtead Group, an industrial equipment rental firm, was the best performing UK stock on the UK’s FTSE 350 over the last decade, data firm Refinitiv said today, with a compound annual growth rate of over 40 per cent.

A £1,000 investment 10 years ago in Ashtead, which was founded in Surrey and is now City-based, would have been worth more than £35,000 at the end of 2019, Refinitiv said.

In second and third place respectively were buyout specialist Melrose Industries and property firm Rightmove. Melrose had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.3 per cent, while Rightmove’s was 30.5 per cent.

In the decade following the financial crisis, US markets were the best performers, with the S&P 500 index achieving a 13.6 per cent annualised return.

In comparison, the UK’s FTSE 100 managed a 7.4 per cent annualised return. Britain’s blue-chip index was outperformed by its smaller sibling, the FTSE 250, which achieved a 12 per cent annualised return.

“The financials sector, and UK banks in particular, had a subdued decade given low interest rates, a decline in GDP growth, and Brexit uncertainty,” said Tajinder Dhillon, senior research analyst for Refinitiv Starmine.

At the bottom of the FTSE 350 performers list was flooring retailer Carpetright, with a CAGR of minus 39.9 per cent.

Gold miner Petropavlovsk was second-worst, with a CAGR of minus 27.7, while baby-product store Mothercare was third from bottom, with a CAGR of minus 27.23.

Dhillon said: “Weak commodity prices over the last decade, specifically copper, aluminium, nickel, platinum, and iron ore, stifled growth for companies focussed on basic materials.

The technology sector outperformed all sectors over the last ten years with a CAGR of 18.2 per cent in a decade when smartphones took off and the internet was revolutionised. In second place was industrials on 12 per cent.

Basic materials, oil & gas, telecommunications and financials were among the worst performers with annualized growth rates of 3.1 per cent, 4.5 per cent, 5.5 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively.

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