Top 30 companies of the UK in the FTSE index 2019

View of London

The largest companies of the United Kingdom greatly impact the British and world economy. The UK’s top 30 publicly traded companies, major components of the FTSE index, are presented here together with their activities, logos, sectors and useful links.

In the United Kingdom, companies become publicly listed companies – PLC – to get listed on the London Stock Exchange. Though they have to follow the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority, companies that become publicly listed can then gain access to capital from investors who acquire their stocks.

The FTSE 100 Index

To ease the understanding of the evolution of the British stock market and the broader economy, the stocks of the 100 largest companies by market capitalization are aggregated in the Financial Time Stock Exchange 100 Index, or FTSE 100, which is widely recognized as the benchmark index of the UK. It represents around 70% of the total market capitalization on the London Stock Exchange.

Evolution of the FTSE 100 over 5 years
Evolution of the FTSE 100 over 5 years (Image: Google Finance)

The real-time quotation of the FTSE 100 index can be followed with convenient graphical tools from a number of sources, including the London Stock Exchange, Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, etc.

Note that this post is part of a series:

List of the 30 largest companies of the London Stock Exchange by market capitalization

To help you learn more about British corporations, the 30 largest companies in the London Stock Exchange, which are also the largest components of the FTSE 100 index, are listed hereafter. Each company is presented with details on its sector, operations, direct link to its website, market capitalization, logo and stock symbol.

Companies are ranked by market capitalization in Pounds Sterling, as of effective close on Friday, August 16, 2019.

Quick links to the 30 largest publicly listed companies in the London Stock Exchange

To facilitate your browsing in this long list, here are quick links to go directly to the details of any of the top 30 FTSE 100 companies.

30. Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew logoSector: Medical equipment

Smith & Nephew PLC is a company specialized in the manufacturing of medical equipment. Founded in 1856, Smith & Nephew produces and sells products for advanced wound management, arthroscopy, trauma and clinical therapy, and orthopedic reconstruction.

Website: smith-nephew.com – Market cap.: £ 16.6 Billion – Stock symbol: SN.

29. BAE Systems

BAE Systems logoSector: Defense

BAE Systems PLC is a multinational defense, security, and aerospace company. Tracing its origins to 1897, BAE Systems is involved in the production of aircraft, armored vehicle, armaments and defense electronics, and shipbuilding. Its main markets are Australia, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the US.

Website: baesystems.com – Market cap.: £ 17.6 Billion – Stock symbol: BA.

28. Associated British Foods

Associated British Foods logoSector: Food

Associated British Foods PLC is a multinational food processing and retailing company. Founded in 1935, the company has evolved to become a leader in the production of ingredients, such as sugar and baker’s yeast, grocery products with brands including Mazola, Ovaltine, Ryvita, Jordans and Twinings and retail, with spaces across Europe and the United States.

Website: abf.co.uk – Market cap.: £ 18.2 Billion – Stock symbol: ABF

27. Imperial Brands

Imperial Brands logoSector: Tobacco

Imperial Brands PLC, formerly Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, is a multinational tobacco company. A large producer of cigarettes, Imperial Brands is the world’s largest producer of cigars, fine-cut tobacco, and tobacco papers, with famous brands including Davidoff, West, Gauloises Blondes, Montecristo, Golden Virginia, Drum, and Rizla.

Website: imperialbrandsPLC.com – Market cap.: £ 20 Billion – Stock symbol: IMB

26. Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered logoSector: Financials

Standard Chartered PLC is a multinational banking and financial services company. Tracing its origins to the 19th century, Standard Chartered operates in consumer, corporate and institutional banking and treasury services in more than 70 countries.

Website: sc.com – Market cap.: £ 20 Billion – Stock symbol: STAN

25. Tesco

Tesco logoSector: Retail

Tesco PLC is a multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer. Founded in 1919, Tesco has grown to become the world’s third-largest retailer, operating hypermarkets and convenience stores selling groceries, books, clothing, electronics, furniture, toys, petrol, software, financial services, telecoms, and internet services in seven countries.

Website: tesco.com – Market cap.: £ 21.2 Billion – Stock symbol: TSCO

24. CRH

CRH logoSector: Materials

CRH PLC is an international group of diversified building materials. It produces and supplies a wide range of products for the construction industry, including heavy side materials, such as aggregates, cement, asphalt, concrete, and light side products, such as glass and glazing products, shutters and accessories. It is also involved in the distribution of these products.

Website: crh.com – Market cap.: £ 21.2 Billion – Stock symbol: CRH

23. Royal Bank of Scotland Group

RBS logoSector: Financials

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, also known as RBS, is a private, and partly publicly-owned, banking and insurance holding company. Evolved since its origin in 1707, RBS operates in Europe, North America, and Asia through multiple brands providing personal and business banking, private banking, insurance, and corporate finance, notably The Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Ulster Bank, and Coutts.

Website: rbs.com – Market cap.: £ 22 Billion – Stock symbol: RBS

22. Experian

Experian logoSector: Support Services

Experian PLC is a consumer credit reporting agency. Based in Ireland, it operates in 37 countries, where it gathers credit information on millions of consumers. Experian also sells decision analytics and marketing assistance to businesses.

Website: experian.com – Market cap.: £ 22.9 Billion – Stock symbol: EXPN

21. Anglo American

Anglo American logoSector: Mining

Anglo American PLC is a mining company based in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Founded in 1917, Anglo American is the world’s largest producer of platinum, and a major producer of diamonds, copper, nickel, iron ore, and metallurgical and thermal coal.

Website: angloamerican.com – Market cap.: £ 23.9 Billion – Stock symbol: AAL

20. The London Stock Exchange Group

The London Stock Exchange Group logoSector: Financial services

The London Stock Exchange Group is a stock exchange and financial information company. Founded in 1801, it operates the main stock exchange of the United Kingdom, and the Italian stock exchange, Borsa Italiana. It is also involved information technology through its Sri Lankan subsidiary MillenniumIT, and operates the stock indexes Russell Indexes and FTSE International, and has majority stakes in the clearing house LCH and electronic fixed income trading market MTS.

Website: lseg.com – Market cap.: £ 24 Billion – Stock symbol: LSE

19. Barclays

Barclays logoSector: Financials

Barclays PLC is a British investment bank and financial services company. Tracing its origin to 1690, Barclays is primarily involved in investment banking with additional services in personal banking, corporate banking, wealth management, and investment management.

Website: barclays.co.uk – Market cap.: £ 24.1 Billion – Stock symbol: BARC

18. National Grid

National Grid logoSector: Utilities

National Grid PLC is a multinational electricity and gas utility company. It primarily operates in electricity transmission and gas distribution in the United Kingdom and the United States, managing operations directly or through subsidiary companies.

Website: nationalgrid.com – Market cap.: £ 29.3 Billion – Stock symbol: NG.

17. Glencore

Glencore logoSector: Mining

Glencore PLC is an Anglo-Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company. Glencore is operating mining and metallurgical sites, oil production assets, agricultural facilities, and it is engaged in the sourcing and distribution of its commodities throughout the world.

Website: glencore.com – Market cap.: £ 30.7 Billion – Stock symbol: GLEN

16. Compass Group

Compass Group logoSector: Support Services

Compass Group PLC is a multinational contract foodservice company. The largest contract foodservice company in the world, providing food and support services in more than 50 countries across five market sectors: business and industry, healthcare and seniors, education, sports and leisure, defense, offshore and remote.

Website: compass-group.com – Market cap.: £ 32.3 Billion – Stock symbol: CPG

15. Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group logoSector: Financials

Lloyds Bank PLC is a retail and commercial bank. Evolved from the Bank of Scotland founded in 1695, Lloyds Banking Group has developed its activities in retail banking, commercial banking, life, pensions and insurance, wealth management and international operations in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Website: lloydsbankinggroup.com – Market cap.: £ 35.1 Billion – Stock symbol: LLOY

14. Prudential

Prudential logoSector: Insurance

Prudential PLC is a multinational life insurance and financial services company. Founded in 1848, it has grown become a leading insurance and asset management provider in Asia with Prudential Corporation Asia, one of the largest life insurance providers in the United States with Jackson National Life Insurance Company, and a leading savings and investments business in the UK and Europe with M&G Prudential.

Website: prudential.co.uk – Market cap.: £ 36.8 Billion – Stock symbol: PRU

13. BHP Group

BHP Group logoSector: Mining

BHP Group PLC is the British arm of the Anglo-Australian multinational mining, metals and petroleum corporation that is also listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and a top constituent of the ASX index. BHP is involved in the exploration, production, and processing of minerals, especially coal, iron ore, copper and manganese ore, and the exploration, production, and refining of hydrocarbons.

Website: bhp.com – Market cap.: £ 37.1 Billion – Stock symbol: BHP

12. RELX Group

RELX Group logoSector: Media

RELX PLC, also known as RELX Group, is a multinational information and analytics company. RELX Group is engaged in four business segments: scientific, technical and medical, under the Elsevier brand, risk and business analytics, under the LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Reed Business Information brands, legal, under the LexisNexis brand, and exhibitions, under the Reed Exhibitions brand.

Website: relx.com – Market cap.: £ 37.5 Billion – Stock symbol: REL

11. Vodafone Group

Vodafone logoSector: Telecommunications

Vodafone Group PLC is a multinational telecommunications conglomerate. Engaged predominantly in mobile connectivity services, Vodafone owns and operates networks in 25 countries, and has partner networks in 47 further countries. Its enterprise services division provides telecommunications and IT services to corporate clients in 150 countries.

Website: vodafone.com – Market cap.: £ 40.3 Billion – Stock symbol: VOD

10. Reckitt Benckiser Group

Reckitt Benckiser logoSector: Household Products

Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, also known as RB, is a multinational consumer goods company, producing health, hygiene and home products. Tracing its origins back to the 19th century, RB has grown to a global company with famous brand names including Dettol, Strepsils, Veet, Airborne, Gaviscon, Mead Johnson, Air Wick, Calgon, Clearasil, Cillit Bang, Durex, Lysol, Mycil and Vanish.

Website: rb.com – Market cap.: £ 43.7 Billion – Stock symbol: RB.

9. Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto logoSector: Mining

Rio Tinto PLC is the British part of the Anglo-Australian multinational metals and mining corporation that is also listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and a top constituent of the ASX index. Founded in 1873, Rio Tinto has evolved to become a leader in the extraction of minerals, especially aluminum, iron ore, copper, uranium and diamonds, and developed operations in refining, particularly for bauxite and iron ore. With a global presence, Rio Tinto is primarily operating in Australia and Canada.

Website: riotinto.com – Market cap.: £ 50.9 Billion – Stock symbol: RIO

8. Unilever

Unilever logoSector: Household Products

Unilever is a British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company dual-listed in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Formed from companies founded in the 1870s, Unilever now regroups more than 400 brands, including Axe/Lynx, Dove, Omo, Heartbrand ice creams, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona/Degree, Sunsilk, and Surf.

Website: unilever.com – Market cap.: £ 58.5 Billion – Stock symbol: ULVR

7. British American Tobacco

British American Tobacco logoSector: Tobacco

British American Tobacco PLC, also known as BAT, is a multinational cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company. Formed in 1902, BAT is now the world’s second-largest tobacco producer with multiple international brands such as Lucky Strike, Dunhill, Pall Mall, Rothmans International, Winfield and a large array of local brands.

Website: bat.com – Market cap.: £ 69.5 Billion – Stock symbol: BATS

6. Diageo

Diageo logoSector: Beverages

Diageo PLC is a multinational alcoholic beverages company. Notably the world’s largest producer of whisky, Diageo is involved in the production and distribution of multiple spirits and beers, with some of the world’s most famous brands including Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Gordon’s.

Website: diageo.com  – Market cap.: £ 81.9 Billion – Stock symbol: DGE

5. GlaxoSmithKline

GSK logoSector: Pharmaceuticals

GlaxoSmithKline PLC, better known as GSK, is a pharmaceutical company. GSK manufactures products for major disease areas such as asthma, cancer, infections, diabetes and mental health, and it also has a portfolio of vaccines. Operating in more than 115 countries, GSK is also engaged in the consumer healthcare business in oral health, pain relief, respiratory, nutrition/gastro-intestinal and skin health categories.

Website: gsk.com – Market cap.: £ 82.7 Billion – Stock symbol: GSK

4. AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca logoSector: Pharmaceuticals

AstraZeneca PLC is an Anglo–Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company. AstraZeneca develops, manufactures and sells pharmaceutical and biotechnology products to treat major disease areas including cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation.

Website: astrazeneca.com – Market cap.: £ 95.2 Billion – Stock symbol: AZN

3. BP

BP logoSector: Oil & Gas

BP PLC, formerly The British Petroleum Company and BP Amoco, is a multinational oil and gas company. Founded in 1909, BP operates in oil and gas through exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading, and also has interests in renewable energy with biofuels and wind power.

Website: bp.com – Market cap.: £ 99.7 Billion – Stock symbol: BP.

2. HSBC Holdings

HSBC logoSector: Financials

HSBC Holdings PLC is a multinational banking and financial services company, dual-listed both in London and Hong Kong. Founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865, HSBC has grown to operate in more than 60 countries, with operations in commercial banking, investment banking, retail banking and wealth management, and global private banking.

Website: hsbc.com – Market cap.: £ 120.9 Billion – Stock symbol: HSBA

1. Royal Dutch Shell

Shell logoSector: Oil & Gas

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, simply known as Shell, is a British-Dutch oil and gas company. Founded in 1907, headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the UK, Shell is now present in more than 70 countries. It operates in oil and gas in exploration and production, refining, transport, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading, and is also engaged in renewable energies with biofuels, wind and hydrogen.

Website: shell.com – Market cap.: £ 189.3 Billion – Stock symbol: RDSA+RDSB

Here are the 30 largest public companies in the London Stock Exchange. Do you think they are worth their market capitalization? Are their stocks a good investment right now? Do they have too much economic power… and maybe political power too?

Leave your comments below!

One Reply to “Top 30 companies of the UK in the FTSE index 2019”

  1. The list certainly goes a long way to explaining Brexit. Many of the companies are in the business of exploitation of others’ resources while the rest are mostly consumer oriented. Only one, (Rolls Royce) is a manufacturer. Almost all have a worldwide reach so they are unlikely to be disadvantaged by a hard Brexit.

    Over the last several years manufacturing in the UK by indigenous companies has been gutted. Steel is the last bastion and it’s going under as there are no few, if any, local customers. High paying manufacturing jobs have been replaced by service ones. These are disdained by all except even worse off immigrants from the poorer parts of Europe.

    Most companies that now make things in the UK are foreign owned, attracted there because of the economics. They seem to be able to run their factories far better than UK managers ever did (remember British Leyland?). When Brexit happens this will change. All will eventually leave throwing even more workers on the dole. European service workers will also depart and their payments into the welfare system disappear. With less income, Government will reduce welfare payments even further.

    The few that will not suffer are the rich landowners (the aristocracy owns 30% of UK land and over 50% is owned by 3,600 individuals, 0.6% of the population).

    It is not unremarkable that many Tory MPs are spearheading Brexit. After all, they are the traditional party of the landowners (remember corn laws?) and many of them are independently wealthy (champagne reception anybody?).

    It is interesting to note that Germany, France and Italy have all rid themselves of a rich landowner class and consequently have more equal societies. All have strong manufacturing bases. An excellent way of giving constituents purpose and benefits. For example in the auto industry, Germany has 3 champions, France 2 and Italy 1. The UK has none, despite of the fact that they excel at design. Most Formula 1 development is done there. Jet engines, radar, DNA are other examples of lost opportunity. It is also depressing that ARM, one of the most innovative computer chip designers saw fit to sell designs rather than manufacture them. They are now owned by the Japanese and their technology is going into Japan’s next supercomputer.

    Meanwhile back in the UK the unemployed in many parts of the country are without hope. They and pensioners are now clinging to the illusion of past glories (we won the war, didn’t we?) and have been bamboozled into thinking that Brexit is the cure for all their ills. Presumably they are comforted by the spectacle of an aristocratic tribe turning up for royal christenings, marriages and funerals dressed in 300 year old fashions draped with long dead animal fur. I wonder how long a deprived populace without much hope will be diverted by images of those ceremonies and a charming old lady being paraded through London streets in a 200 year old gilded horse drawn cart.

    Educated youth, most of whom are against Brexit will do as I did 50 years ago, simply leave. The rest of the world is crying out for skilled personnel they’ll have no trouble finding jobs elsewhere.

    PS I’m not suggesting the guillotine. UK society must become somehow more equal. I was born there but left after a small taste of working in British industry. I found the US and Europe working conditions far more welcoming and equitable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *