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The FTSE 100 has managed to provide a return of 10.91% for investors in the first six months of 2019 against the backdrop of an improved global economic climate. Here’s a list of the 10 best performing FTSE 100 shares in the first half of this year and our thoughts on them. 

Best performing FTSE 100 shares of 2019

PositionCompany6m (%)1y (%)
#1JD Sports Fashion plc57.4933.17
#2AVEVA Group plc48.7254.65
#3Halma plc43.1948.46
#4Ocado Group plc39.2410.15
#53i Group Plc37.1223.04
#6Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc35.1034.48
#7London Stock Exchange Group plc32.7425.96
#8Sage Group plc30.7629.75
#9Informa plc30.67-0.19
#10Evraz plc27.5918.50

Data supplied by Hargreaves Lansdown on 11/07/19

The second half of 2018 was a difficult one for global equities with markets unilaterally falling amidst slowing economic growth, the US China trade hostilities and the prospect of raised US interest rates. That’s reflected in the table above which shows that, with the exception of AVEVA Group and Halma, performance in the 6 month period has been better than the 1 year period.

However, with a much improved outlook in the first six months of 2019, the top 10 FTSE 100 performers have each grown by more than 25% since the start of the year, a very healthy return for shareholders.

The best performers

Top of our 2019 performance table is Mike Ashley’s JD Sports Fashion. Now Mike Ashley seems to polarise opinion but there’s no denying that his acquisition strategy, with an investor return of 57.49% over the period, is yielding results. And all of this against a backdrop of uncertainty within the retail sector. What’s even more impressive is the sustained level of growth. The JD Sports Fashion share price is up 702.37% over the last 5 years.

AVEVA Group has had an equally impressive sustained level of growth as one of only two businesses on our list to show growth in both 6 month and 1 year periods. The Cambridge based information technology company posted a healthy set of full year results in May and brokers are recommending the stock as a BUY.

Life protection technology Group, Halma, has enjoyed 5 years of sustained growth, up 252.66% over the period. The last six months have seen a continuation of this trend with performance in 2019 up 43.19% so far. The broker consensus for the Group is NEUTRAL suggesting analysts feel that current performance could be set to slow.

As the FTSE 350 top performer in 2018, Ocado Group shares have continued their impressive run in the first half of 2019 as investors continue to back the move to partner with Marks and Spencer later this year.  The share price has seen a rise 39.24% over the last six months while the consensus broker recommendation is BUY.

Venture Capital company 3i Group, engineering group Spirax-Sarco, software company Sage, events provider Informa and the London Stock Exchange all recorded 30%+ returns for investors over the period.

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Michael Morton

Michael has worked within the Financial Industry for more than 20 years. Starting out as a financial analyst, he has extensive experience working with fund management groups and brokerages.

With an interest in Stocks and Shares, Funds, ETFs and Commodities, his investment focus is medium to long term gains, with the objective of financial security on retirement, and building wealth for his young children for their adult life. His broker of choice is Hargreaves Lansdown.

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