What are the top AIM stocks to watch?

AIM is the most successful growth market in the world and offers investors some unique opportunities and benefits. We have a look at the top 100 AIM stocks.

AIM was launched by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 1995, starting life with just 10 companies worth £82 million. Since then, over 3600 businesses have graced AIM and raised almost £113 billion from investors. The companies listed on AIM – from both the UK and abroad – make a significant impact on the UK economy, contributing over £15 billion in annual gross domestic product (GDP), more than some of the country’s biggest industries such as aerospace, automotive, defence or pharmaceuticals.

Why do companies list on AIM?

'AIM is the most successful growth market in the world' – LSE.

AIM is designed for small and medium sized businesses that wish to list their company on a stock exchange but are not yet ready for a full traditional listing. The main reason businesses choose to go public on AIM is because they need capital to grow, and sourcing other finance can be difficult.

Learn more about investing in the AIM market

The number of AIM initial public offerings (IPOs) has been in decline over the last two years. Still, seven companies have joined the market in the first nine months of 2019, raising over £371 million, while existing listings have raised a further £2.36 billion. In 2018, 52 new companies joined AIM and raised £1.6 billion, with existing companies raising a further £3.9 billion. The peak year for IPOs was in 2005 when nearly 400 new companies joined the market, but it has remained below 100 per year ever since the financial crisis.

The market has proven its ability to provide the vital funding needed to nurture small businesses. The majority of funds raised on AIM is by companies that have already listed, demonstrating that firms are able to tap into vital liquidity even after they have conducted their IPO. Almost 795,000 trades were made on AIM-listed companies in September alone, trading 43.8 billion shares with a value of over £4.3 billion.

It also brings companies under a recognised regulatory and compliance framework that sets the standards for listed companies, which gives them higher recognition among investors and important institutions like banks and foreign lenders. However, while the regulatory regime is strict, it is designed to make it easy for new businesses to float on AIM; it does not require a business to be of a particular size (as is the case elsewhere), but instead requires a company to have a three-year operating history and the ability to demonstrate its worth.

Today, there are over 880 stocks listed on AIM with a combined value of £94.7 billion. Most businesses that list on AIM end up leaving for one reason or the other - some grow and take a step up to a bigger listing (such as on the Main Market) while some fail and collapse. Others get bought out by peers or are taken back under private control.

Are AIM stocks a good investment?

In a nutshell, AIM stocks offer both higher risk and higher reward for investors. Share prices can move by double digit percentages in a single day and it is not uncommon for a stock to pop higher or lower on a one announcement.

The attractiveness of the AIM market is the ability to invest in companies early on to help build the value of both the company and your investment over the longer term. Many highly successful companies and widely recognised names began their lives as public companies by listing on AIM before moving on to a traditional listing: Domino's Pizza Group, insurance provider Hiscox, self-storage firm Big Yellow Group and bookmaker GVC Holdings, to name a few. For example, investors could pick up GVC shares for less than 90p each back in 2007, when it was just launching its first sportsbook, but that had soared to £5 days after it joined the Main Market in early 2016. Today, GVC – the owner of Ladbrokes Coral - is a member of the FTSE 250 generating almost £3 billion in annual revenue.

It is important to stress that not all companies are successful and that many fail – often in spectacular fashion. Plus, volatility is much higher than larger stocks because AIM companies can be very sensitive to the slightest development. Winning or losing one contract can make or break many firms, and it is common to see companies completely revamp their strategies. Langbar International, a cash shell that joined AIM in 2003, saw shares jump from 10p to £10 just on the announcement of a new chief executive officer (CEO) being appointed but, just two years later, that same CEO was jailed for losing £370 million that had been stashed somewhere in Brazil. Investors that had backed Nigerian oil producer Afren are still fighting claims in court today after the firm collapsed under questionable circumstances back in 2015.

The accessibility and success of AIM means investors have an eclectic choice of stocks and sectors to pick from. There are stocks for investors looking to gain exposure in more traditional sectors such as banking, retail, construction and pharmaceuticals – areas often dominated by big and expensive stocks – as well as those seeking something with an edge, with companies working in diverse fields like public polling, video games and automation.

How to invest in AIM

You can choose to either invest or trade AIM stocks. When you invest, you buy the shares outright and are entitled to any dividends that are paid by the business.

To trade shares, whereby you can speculate on whether a stock’s share price will go higher or lower, you can use IG’s or CFD service. Traders don’t own the shares outright or benefit from any dividends, but they can utilise leverage.

  1. Decide whether you want to invest in stocks or trade them
  2. Research the stocks you are interested in
  3. Open an account with IG to gain access to over 12,000 international stocks, or try out a demo account to try out your strategy risk-free.
  4. Make your first investment or place your first trade

Top AIM stocks to watch

5 largest AIM stocks

Boohoo

Boohoo was established in 1996 and has grown into one of the leading players in the online fashion industry. In addition to its core boohoo lines for both men and women, the company also owns a slew of other labels including PrettyLittleThing Nasty Gal, MissPap, Karen Millen and Coast. It distributes many of its products from two UK warehouses, with a particularly strong presence in the US, Europe and Australia.

Sales have leapt from less than £140 million four years ago to £857 million in the financial year to the end of February 2019. Annual sales growth in the last financial year was 48%. Continued strong growth has pushed Boohoo into the top spot on AIM in recent months, with shares up almost 20% over the last 12 months.

Fevertree Drinks

Fevertree Drinks, which produces premium mixers for alcoholic beverages, has been a soaring success since listing in 2014, having more than trebled in value since the middle of 2016. The company has triumphed off the back of the booming market for premium spirits, starting with gin and gradually moving to dark rum and others.

Fevertree is the most popular mixer brand in the UK’s off-trade market (supermarkets and stores) and it is still growing its position in on-trade (pubs and restaurants). The primary reason that Fevertree has been able to grow so quickly is because it largely outsources key operations like manufacturing, which means it does rely on partners and is more exposed to third-party risk.

Abcam

Abcam produces and sells protein research tools that are used by life scientists. These include antibodies, proteins and peptides, and research kits, which are utilised in a number of industries, including drug discovery, diagnostics and for basic research. The company is headquartered in Cambridge but has a presence in both the US and Asia. It claims there are around 750,000 life scientists in the world and that two-thirds of them use its products.

Abcam reported 11% annual growth in revenue in the year to the end of June 2019 to £260 million – double the amount it was making five years ago. It is aiming to grow revenue to £450 million to £500 million by the 2024 financial year.

ASOS

ASOS has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the transition to online shopping that has left bricks-and-mortar retailers struggling. As it caters for 'fashion-loving 20-somethings’, it is in direct competition with Boohoo. The online fashion retailer has continued to deliver growth in its core UK market as well as expansionary geographies in the US and Europe.

However, sales growth is slowing across the board, its margins have also been under pressure, and pre-tax profit plunged 87% in the first half of 2019. ASOS remains one of the largest stocks on AIM even though shares have fallen by more than half over the past 12 months.

Hutchinson China MediTech

Hutchison China MediTech is a biopharmaceutical company pursuing treatments for oncology and immunological diseases. It currently generates revenue by manufacturing and distributing prescription drugs and other health products to consumers in China. It is majority-owned by CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, a conglomerate with annual sales of over $500 billion.

Last year was mixed for China MediTech. Revenue declined for the first time in years to $214.1 million from $241.2 million in 2017, with its pre-tax loss ballooning to $86.7 million from $53.5 million. Although it is hoping to secure regulatory approval for three of its new drugs over the next three years, research and development (R&D) is burning through cash at the moment.

Top 100 largest AIM stocks

Below is a list of the 100 largest stocks listed on AIM as of 3 October 2019. The table outlines the share price movement for each stock over the last 12 months, as well as the 12-month high and low to help demonstrate the volatility of each stock.

Sector Market cap 12 month share price movement 12 month high 12 month low Share price as of open on 7 October 2019
Boohoo.com Online clothing retailer £3.09 billion 20% 288.6p 146.4p 269.8p
Fevertree Maker of mixers for alcoholic drinks £2.81 billion -22% £34.14 £19.83 £22.34
Abcam Life sciences and ecommerce £2.36 billion -15% £11.28 £15.23 £10.06
ASOS Online clothing retailer £2.08 billion -55% £61.53 £20.03 £24.08
Hutchison China MediTech Biopharmaceuticals £1.90 billion -34% £5.66 260.5p 308p
Burford Capital Funding provider and litigation £1.8 billion -52% £20.45 380.2p £7.92
RWS Holdings Language support services £1.60 billion 35% £6.59 397p £6.17
Secure Income REIT Real estate investment £1.46 billion 19% 456p 369p 456p
Dart Group Airline operator (Jet2.com) £1.36 billion 3.60% £9.85 £6.75 £9.40
Clinigen Pharmaceuticals and clinical trials £1.14 billion -0.90% £10.69 £7.16 £8.45
Breedon Aggregates Construction materials £1.09 billion -6.70% 76.32p 55.2p 64p
James Halstead International manufacturer £1.05 billion 17% £5.32 365p £5.09
GB Group Identity software and data services £1.05 billion 1.30% £6.38 407.5p £5.21
Gamma Communications Business communications provider £1.04 billion 41% £12.50 £6.38 £11.30
Globaldata Industry data £980.4 million 36% £8.80 £5.45 £8.37
Hurricane Energy UK offshore oil producer £847.8 million -27% 64.7p 38p 40.9p
Highland Gold Russian gold producer £783.8 million 48% 257.2p 135.1p 217.4p
Blue Prism Automation software £766.1 million -50% £21.90 £8.45 £8.70
Learning Technologies Group Workplace training and HR software £753.7 million -18% 143p 58.8p 112p
Keywords Studios Service provider for video games £746.9 million -31% £19.42 £8.85 £11.63
Diversified Gas & Oil US oil and gas producer £725.8 million -7.40% 135p 94.32p 105.5p
CVS Group Veterinary services £720.7 million 28% 1062p 362.3p £10.17
Young & Co Brewery and alcoholic drinks seller £701.8 million -13% £18.90 £12.92 £15.78
Craneware Healthcare support services £676.8 million -33% £35.00 £17.00 £21.40
Johnson Service Group Textile rental £643.4 million 33% 189.9p 112p 172.6p
EMIS Healthcare software £643.2 million 3.40% £12.62 £8.53 £10.70
Victoria Flooring manufacturer £613.2 million -34% £7.48 315p 472p
First Derivatives IT services provider and consultant £596.5 million -22% £36.35 £20.10 £22.75
Applegreen Irish fuel court operator £591 million -13% £5.82 419p £5.07
Watkin Jones UK construction £575.4 million 8.30% 238.5p 188.4p 230p
iEnergizer Business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions £570.4 million 241% 330p 81p 280.1p
Nichols Drinks maker (including Vimto) £566.4 million 4.50% £18.80 £12.26 £15.31
YouGov Pollster and data company £562.5 million 10% £6.17 375p £5.21
Advanced Medical Solutions Group Wound care dressing manufacturer £529.4 million -27% 357.2p 214.8p 237p
Polar Capital Holdings Global investment manager £524.8 million -7.30% £6.28 447p £5.44
Restore Document management services £507.3 million -18% £5.07 250.1p 409p
Draper Esprit European tech venture capital £498.8 million -21% £6.25 405p 450p
IQE Semiconductors £496.3 million -24% 99.8p 42.3p 59.75p
AB Dynamics Testing systems for motor industry £493.2 million 53% £28.50 £10.92 £21.84
Indus Gas Oil and has eploration in India £492.2 million -3.30% 298p 214p 284p
IG Design Group Gift packaging and greeting cards £482.2 million 4.50% £6.29 475.8p £6.10
Total Produce Fresh food produce £466.2 million -39% 118.5p 110p 117.65p
Smart Metering Systems Utility connections and smart meters £453 million -34% £6.76 308p 408.7p
Team17 Group Video game publisher £430 million 9.20% 338p 175p 315p
Next Fifteen Communications Group Public relations £426.7 million -7.50% £6.68 433p £5.02
Hotel Chocolat Group Chocolate retailer £426.5 million 24% 383p 250p 372.5p
Midwich Group Audio Visual (AV) supplier £413.5 million -22% £6.95 470p £5.12
Phoenix Global Resources Oil and gas company in Argentina £408.7 million -30% 27p 9p 14.95p
Frontier Developments Video game developer £396.1 million

-14%

£12.70 730p £10.36
Caretech Holdings Residential care homes £394.8 million -3% 410p 309p 358.8p
iomart Group Cloud computing £390.9 million -14% 426p 302.85p 360p
Alliance Pharma Pharmaceuticals £374 million 8.80% 82.4p 59.15p 74.2p
Central Asia Metals Copper, lead and zinc miner £366.1 million -12% 274p 176p 196.4p
Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Insurance £364.4 million 9% 215.7p 145p 212p
Serica Energy UK offshore oil producer £361.2 million 74% 146.5p 76p 135p
Redde Claims management and legal services £351.5 million -45% 189.9p 82.3p 100p
MP Evans Group Indonesian palm oil producer £350.8 million -10% £7.48 £6.00 £6.50
Purplebricks Group Online estate agent £346.7 million -48% 243.6p 88.5p 107.2p
Scapa Group Bonding and adhesive manufacturer £333.8 million -53% 462.6p 145p 196.4p
FW Thorpe Lighting manufacturer £331.1 million -5.10% 345p 210p 272p
Focusrite Audio equipment £325.4 million 40% £5.79 345p £5.50
Ceres Power Holdings Fuel cells £325.4 million 11% 221p 123.26p 221p
Strix Group Hot water safety equipment £323 million 7.70% 182p 127.12p 172p
Ideagen Software management £322.4 million 2.40% 167p 118p 146.44p
Impax Asset Management Group Asset management £311.7 million -7.50% 295p 175.66p 236.48p
Codemasters Group Holdings Video game publisher (racing) £309.4 million 22% 269p 130p 215p
Gooch & Housego Photonics, optics and coatings £296.4 million -32% £19.00 £8.98 £11.95
Renew Holdings Infrastructure engineering services £290 million -4.90% 439p 330p 395.5p
Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) Mortgage advisor £285.9 million 8.40% £62.7 450p £56.9
Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Oil and gas exploration £282.9 million 218% 210p 37.1p 151.2p
Alpha FX Group Foreign exchange consultancy £273.4 million 7.90% £8.50 £5.50 £7.69
Brooks Macdonald Group Investment manager £278 million -0.40% £20.46 £13.50 £20.00
Atalaya Mining Copper and silver miner £271.9 million -22% 263.45p 185p 191p
Dotdigital Group Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) £270.6 million -5.30% 114p 70.1p 89.1p
Eddie Stobart Logistics end-to-end logistics £269.3 million -51% 246p 98.1p 123p
Abbey Housebuilder £267.9 million -5.20% £13.82 £11.30 £12.39
Benchmark Holdings Biotechnology £265.2 million -16% 64p 35.55p 46p
Camellia Agriculture, food and engineering £263.1 million 1.10% £120.00 £90.98 £96.50
London Security Fire safety £261.2 million 1.90% £25.00 £18.40 £22.00
Pan African Resources African gold producer £252.1 million 42% 14.7p 7.53p 11.34p
Warehouse Reit Real estate investment £249.9 million 8.30% 106.5p 91.36p 104.99p
Boku Payment solutions provider £249.4 million -37% 180p 63p 98.7p
Jadestone Energy Upstream oil and gas firm offshore Australia £249 million 16% 60.4p 33.8p 51p
Knights Group Holdings Security organisation £247.8 million 71% 350p 175p 328p
Judges Scientific Scientific instruments £274.6 million 53% £43.00 £20.80 £41.50
Joules Group Clothing and homeware £246.5 million -7% 317p 200p 261p
IMImobile Cloud software, application and messaging services £244.9 million -8.80% 357.89p 201p 320p
Sumo Group Video game developer £242.4 million -2.50% 179.5p 103.61p 158.5p
Numis Corp Stockbroker and corporate advisor £239.4 million -32% 329.5p 210.5p 210.5p
Accesso Technology Group Virtual queuing and ticketing software £239.1 million -66% £28.20 £6.35 £8.10
Eco Animal Health Group Animal pharmaceuticals £238.3 million -25% £5.00 340p 350p
Bushveld Minerals Vanadium miner £237.8 million -25% 50.19p 19.5p 20.9p
Andrews Sykes Group Hire company for boiler, pumps etc £235.1 million -7.10% £7.70 475p £5.57
Horizon Discovery Group Life sciences £235 million -29% 219p 135p 154p
Cohort Defence and security technology £218.3 million 20% £5.46 354p 497p
Telit Communications Internet-of-Things £217.9 million 1.70% 192.6p 112p 158.2p
Celtic Football club £217.4 million -1.80% 170p 158p 163.9p
Shield Therapeutics Pharmaceuticals £214.9 million 476% 202p 28p 184.9p
Manolete Partners Insolvency and litigation financing £211.3 million 142% £6.20 190p 479p
Alpha Financial Markets Consulting Asset and wealth management consultancy £210.1 million -15% 259.5p 188p 204p

(Source: London Stock Exchange. Excludes six stocks that are traded in euros: Globalworth Real Estate Investments, Origin Enterprises, Greencoat Renewables, Summit Properties, Uniphar, and Eland Oil & Gas).


This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.

Seize a share opportunity today

Go long or short on thousands of international stocks.

  • Increase your market exposure with leverage
  • Get spreads from just 0.1% on major global shares
  • Trade CFDs straight into order books with direct market access

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.