Top 100 AIM shares

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.

Stocks Source: Bloomberg

AIM was launched by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 1995, starting life with just 10 companies worth £82 million. Since then, over 3,600 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.

  1. What you need to know about AIM shares
  2. Top 100 AIM shares
  3. Top 5 AIM stocks to watch

Why do companies join 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, but four companies have joined the market since the start of 2019 with over £1 billion raised in total. In 2018, 52 new companies joined AIM and raised £1.6 billion, with another 13 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.

What are the top upcoming IPOs in 2019?

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. In the first three months of 2019, the value of monthly trades on AIM averaged around £5 billion, coming in at around 40,000 trades worth a combined £230 million per day.

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 worthiness.

Today, there are close to 900 stocks listed on AIM worth almost £100 billion. The vast majority of 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.

How many companies are listed on AIM and where do they come from?

Region Number of Companies Total Month End Market Cap £ billion
Africa 51 2.26
Asia 57 6.83
Europe 675 81.52
Latin America 17 1.04
Middle East 14 0.676
North America 64 4.09
Pacific 22 1.12
Unclassifieds 4 0.051
Totals 904 97.60

Source: London Stock Exchange, as of end of March 2019

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 being appointed but, just two years later, that same chief executive officer (CEO) was jailed for losing £370 million that had been stashed somewhere in Brazil. Investors that had backed what was the initial success story of 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 investors looking for something with an edge, with companies working in diverse fields like public polling, video games and automation.

What are the tax benefits available through AIM investments?

There are a wide range of tax benefits on offer to AIM investors. You can read more about these benefits and how to avoid the bear traps when trading AIM stocks here.

Read more about AIMing for quality as tax benefits help drive a boom in AIM stocks

Top 100 largest AIM stocks

Below is a list of the 100 largest stocks listed on AIM as of 4 April 2019. It has been based on the constituents of the FTSE AIM 100 Index, which includes the 100 largest companies by market cap.

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.

Stock Business Market Cap (£ million) 12 month share price % 12 month high 12 month low April 4 close
Burford Capital Funding provider and litigation finance 3,699.60 20% 2,040p 1,298p 1,709p
Fevertree Maker of mixers for alcoholic drinks 3,501.90 12% 3,956p 2,131p 3,010p
Hutchison China MediTech Biopharmaceuticals 3,152.90 13% 5,600p 3,305p 4,750p
ASOS Online clothing retailer 2,774.50 -53% 7,030p 2,128p 3,134p
Abcam Life sciences and ecommerce 2,353.90 -0.9% 1,536p 1,017p 1,157p
Boohoo.com Online clothing retailer 2,224.5 32% 244.4p 145.5p 194.4p
RWS Holdings Language support services 1,395.10 18% 513p 343.5p 513p
Secure Income REIT Real estate investment 1,330.10 12% 410p 370p 410p
Blue Prism Automation software 1,238.20 18% 2,575p 1,040p 1,555p
Clinigen Pharmaceuticals and clinical trials 1,231.60 3.3% 1,043p 721p 944.7p
Dart Group Airline operator (Jet2.com) 1,163.30 -12% 1,017p 743.5p 809p
Breedon Aggregates Construction materials 1,135.40 -13% 85.5p 55.6p 68.1p
GB Group Identity software and data services 975.80 28% 626p 400p 518p
Gamma Communications Business communications provider 954.10 48% 1,025p 688p 1,030p
James Halstead International manufacturer 928.20 8.8% 480p 367p 440p
Hurricane Energy UK offshore oil producer 897.90 34% 60.05p 34.2p 44.42p
Keywords Studios Service provider for video games 833.80 -18% 2,065p 900p 1,267p
First Derivatives IT services provider and consultant 767.40 -16% 4,660p 2,050p 2,950p
EMIS Healthcare software 705.30 37% 1,114p 798p 1,114p
Globaldata Industry data 702.8 -2.5% 650p 560p 581.5p
Advanced Medical Solutions Group Wound care dressing manufacturer 693.8 3.2% 370p 260p 323p
Craneware Healthcare support services 687.50 48% 3,585p 1,800p 2,730p
Diversified Gas & Oil US oil and gas producer 686.50 50% 130p 81.2p 126.5p
Highland Gold Russian gold producer 676.80 21% 187.1p 128p 186.4p
Smart Metering Systems Utility connections and smart meters 641.50 -21% 831p 497p 563p
Nichols Drinks maker (including Vimto) 595.00 7.9% 1,712.5p 1,240p 1,600p
Draper Esprit European tech venture capital 594.30 11% 645p 437p 493p
IQE Semiconductors 588.00 -34% 128.9p 56.3p 74.6p
Applegreen Irish fuel court operator 574.10 -9% 577p 460p 460p
Watkin Jones UK construction 566.70 18% 232.5p 187.4p 221.5p
Victoria Flooring manufacturer 554.90 -42% 882p 320p 438p
Johnston Service Group Textile rental 509.10 1.2% 145.2p 113.6p 136p
Polaris Capital Holdings Global investment manager 488.20 2% 729p 452p 516p
Learning Technologies Group Workplace training and HR software 484.80 -14% 166.5p 62.2p 71p
YouGov Pollster and data company 471.90 5.8% 500p 382.5p 435p
Scapa Group Bonding and adhesive manufacturer 462.40 -40% 509p 275.8p 308.5p
Midwich Group Audio Visual (AV) supplier 460.80 10% 685p 491.5p 566p
Young & Co Brewery and alcoholic drinks seller 456.00 -1% 1,830p 1,322p 1,590p
SafeCharge International Payment solutions provider 453.00 2.4% 355p 225p 299p
Next Fifteen Communications Group Public Relations (PR) firm 451.60 18% 599p 446.5p 532p
Central Asia Metals Copper, lead and zinc miner 449.70 -19.5% 328p 203p 257.5p
IG Design Gift packaging and greeting cards 416.40 41% 607p 371.5p 532p
Purplebricks Online estate agent 418.10 -56% 410p 124p 138p
Frontier Developments Video game developer 414.50 -19% 1,825p 740p 1,084p
CVS Group Veterinary services 414.40 -40% 1,160p 401p 582p
Oakley Capital Investments Private equity funds 405.70 17% 201p 165p 196.1p
Hotel Chocolat Chocolate retailer 386.50 -2.1% 400p 253p 347.5p
Eddie Stobart End-to-end logistics 379.40 -20% 145.5p 85.5p 98.8p
Restore Document management services 379.30 -45% 576p 265p 310p
Bushveld Vanadium miner 372.10 138% 14.38p 48.50p 35p
Alliance Pharma Pharmaceuticals 367.9 -1.7% 102p 60p 72.6p
Redde Claims management and legal services 366.80 -30% 195.8p 90p 122p
Caretech Holdings Residential care homes 362.60 -13.5% 418p 325p 330p
iomart Cloud computing 359.20 -7.7% 475p 308p 330p
MP Evans Indonesian palm oil producer 357.90 -12% 800p 637p 660p
Thorpe (FW) Lighting manufacturer 353.00 4.3% 340p 248p 307.3p
Team17 Group Video game publisher 349.20 21% 292.5p 181p 280p
Codemasters Group Video game publisher (racing) 340.20 -10% 275p 133.5p 235p
M&C Saatchi Advertising agency 333.40 -1.8% 410p 270p 378p
Ideagen Software management 322.00 34% 172.5p 109p 148.5p
AB Dynamics Testing systems for motor industry 321.8 86% 1,880p 860p 1,717p
Gooch & Housego Photonics, optics and coatings 320.10 -2.8% 1,880p 1,130p 1,200p
Atalaya Mining Copper and silver miner 312.50 8.6% 260p 188p 234p
Renew Holdings Infrastructure engineering services 310.30 3.8% 440p 333p 397p
Strix Group Hot water safety equipment 304.00 24% 174.6p 130p 160p
Eco Animal Health Group Animal pharmaceuticals 299.80 -20% 581p 367p 436p
Serica Energy UK offshore oil producer 293.40 69% 142p 57.4p 112.4p
Camellia Agriculture, food and engineering 290.00 -10% 12,900p 9,100p 10,300p
Impax Asset Management Asset management 289.50 50% 278p 153.5p 230p
Mortgage Advice Bureau Mortgage advisor 278.00 -13% 720p 490p 584p
WANdisco Data management and services 277.90 -26% 1,250p 340p 601.4p
Dotdigital Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) 276.60 10% 100.5p 70.4p 93p
Boku Payment solutions provider 271.50 32% 184p 68.5p 108p
Alpha FX Group Foreign exchange consultancy 270.30 48% 730p 488p 730p
Focusrite Audio equipment 262.70 -6.1% 524p 364p 470p
Numis Stockbroker and corporate adviser 259.80 -35% 440p 221.5p 249p
Benchmark Holdings Biotechnology 259.5 -15% 65p 45.2p 45.2p
Accesso Technology Virtual queuing and ticketing software 254.10 -58% 2,975p 720p 980p
Alpha Financial Markets Financial consultancy 253.80 58% 272p 160.5p 252.5p
Horizon Discovery Genomics and drug discovery 246.70 23% 242.5p 133p 164p
Andrews Sykes Hire company for boilers, pumps etc… 246.70 8.1% 647.5p 475p 585p
CREO Medical Surgical equipment 243.10 59% 243p 114.5p 196p
Staffline Recruitment company 241.70 -10% 1,324p 670p 887p
Earthport Cross-border payments and FX 237.60 238% 5.61p 48p 36.4p
Brooks Macdonald Investment manager 236.80 -7.2% 2,195p 1,367.5p 1,720p
Joules Group Clothing and homeware 235.30 -9% 387p 207p 284p
Impellam Recruitment company 231.10 -15% 650p 440p 460.4p
Premier Asset Management Asset manager 225.40 -4.9% 310p 165p 213p
Savannah Petroleum Nigerian oil producer 215.50 -9.8% 34.5p 24.1p 24.3p
Telford Homes Housebuilder 215.20 -30% 471.5p 270p 282p
Somero Enterprise Concrete placing tools 202.80 -2.7% 425p 278p 356.5p
Sumo Group Turnkey video game development 202.60 36% 185p 96p 135.1p
Arbuthnot Banking Banking 200.30 -5.6% 1,650p 1,060p 1,315.5p
Crystal Amber Fund UK Small/Mid-cap equity investor 199.80 2% 236p 192p 202p
Quixant Gaming machine manufacturer 195.80 -28% 488p 277.5p 294.5p
Loopup Group Business communications services 172.30 -27% 498p 277.5p 308p
Majestic Wine Wine retailer 159.80 -42% 485p 219.5p 221p

Source: London Stock Exchange FTSE AIM 100 Index constituents as of April 4 2019. Excludes three stocks which trade in euros: Eland Oil & Gas, Greencoat Renewables, and Summit Therapeutics

Burford Capital: world's largest provider of arbitration and litigation finance

Burford Capital was founded in 2009 when its chief executive Christopher Bogart wielded funds raised from working as general counsel to Time Warner on its merger with AOL. The company was a pioneer in providing institutional-quality commercial litigation finance and aims to 'address the impact of unequal financial resources on litigation outcomes'.

The company’s income is derived from providing litigation finance as well as risk management and asset recovery services to its clients and law firms around the world. Burford’s most recent results showed it delivered its ninth consecutive year of profitable growth, with income rising 23% year-on-year (YoY) to $420.4 million to push pretax profit 19% higher to $315.5 million. That allowed the firm to up its dividend for the year by 14% to 12.5 cents per share.

Burford is bullish on its future. The company had a particularly strong year in 2017 when demand for its capital was three times higher than the year before but warned it could have been a ‘one-off anomaly’. However, it has said the 'consistently high demand' for capital, with new investments broadly level year-on-year at $1.3 billion in 2018, means this was not the case. 'Burford has committed $2.6 billion to new investments in just the last two years, more than twice its lifetime cumulative commitment level prior to that time. That is extraordinary and suggests a sea change has occurred in the legal finance marketplace,' said Bogart following the 2018 preliminary results.

Fevertree Drinks: the upmarket mixer maker

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 off-trade (supermarkets and stores) and it is still growing its position in on-trade (pubs and restaurants). It is also expanding in both the US and Europe. Revenue in 2018 rose nearly 40% in 2018 to £237.4 million to push pretax profit 34% higher to £75.6 million. As a result, it raised its dividend by a similar rate to 14.5p from 10.65p.

The primary reason that Fevertree has been able to grow significantly over the years is because it largely outsources key operations like manufacturing, which means it does rely on partners to make it more exposed to third-party risk.

Hutchinson China MediTech: the biopharma and pharma stock

Hutchinson 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 pretax 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 & development (R&D) is burning through cash at the moment.

ASOS: fast fashion for millennials

ASOS has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the transition to online shopping that has left bricks-and-mortar retailers struggling. The online fashion retailer has continued to deliver growth in its core UK market as well as expansionary geographies in the US and Europe, but it has seen a slowdown. Total retail sales grew 26% in the 12 months to the end of August 2018 but that has slowed to 13% in the subsequent six-month period.

The company is having to raise investment in areas like marketing and pricing. As a result, It has said sales in the current financial year to the end of August 2019 are still expected to grow by 15% but says its retail gross margin will tighten while its wafer-thin earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margin will remain unchanged at 2%.

Abcam: a profitable biopharma business

Abcam produces antibodies mostly used for research purposes and protein-analysis tools. Abcam’s interim results for the six months to the end of 2018 showed an acceleration in revenue growth of 11% to £124.7 million but a slowdown in pre-tax profit growth of only 2.7% to £33.7 million. The interim dividend was raised 3.55p from 3.42p the year before.

Abcam has said it aims to keep on its ‘low double-digit growth trajectory with attractive margins’ and said its annual adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin will be around 35% in 2019 compared to 35.6% in the first half, down from 38.0% the year before.


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