Top 30 companies of the UK in the FTSE index 2021

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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.

London Stock Exchange logoIn the United Kingdom, companies become publicly listed companies – PLC – to get listed on the London Stock Exchange – LSE. Though they have to follow the rules of the British Financial Conduct Authority, companies that become publicly listed on the LSE 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 UK economy, the stocks of the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange are aggregated in the FTSE 100 index. Meaning “Financial Time Stock Exchange 100”, and often more simply referred to as FTSE, the FTSE 100 index is widely recognized as the benchmark index of the British stock market.

Calculated from the stocks of the 100 largest corporations by market capitalization listed on the LSE, the FTSE is a capitalization-weighted index where larger companies are weighted more heavily in the index. It represents around 70% of the total market capitalization of the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information on the largest British companies, download our FTSE 350 companies Excel file containing the complete list of the 350 largest publicly listed companies in the UK (FTSE 100 + FTSE 250), together with extensive business, market, financial, and digital information on each company. For even more data on the largest UK companies, download our Excel files on the FTSE All-Share companies (600 companies), FTSE AIM All-Share companies (700 companies), and combined FTSE All-Share companies + FTSE AIM All-Share companies (1300 companies).

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 listed in the United Kingdom by market capitalization

To help you learn more about British corporations, the 30 largest companies listed on 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 and industry, operations, a direct link to its website, market capitalization, logo, and stock symbol. The top 30 FTSE 100 companies are ranked by market capitalization in Pounds Sterling, as of effective close on Friday, February 26, 2021.

Remark that since it is not a company per se, but an investment trust, the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which is among the top 30 largest market capitalizations in the FTSE 100 has been left out of this ranking.

Shortcuts to each top British company

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. Be sure to also check the Top 10 UK companies’ summary after the list!

30. Tesco

Tesco logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Grocery Stores

Tesco PLC is a multinational grocery 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: tescoplc.com – Market Cap.: £17.4 Billion – Stock ticker: TSCO

29. Ashtead Group

Ashtead Group logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Rental & Leasing Services

Ashtead Group PLC is an international equipment rental company. Operating under the trading name Sunbelt Rentals through more than 840 stores across the United States, 70 in Canada, and 180 stores across the United Kingdom, it offers a wide range of construction and industrial equipment for rent.

Website: ashtead-group.com – Market Cap.: £17.4 Billion – Stock ticker: AHT

28. Antofagasta PLC

Antofagasta PLC logoSector: Basic Materials – Industry: Copper

Antofagasta PLC is a multinational copper mining company that is also involved in transport. Primarily operating four copper mines in Chile, Antofagasta is also operating railroad transportation from Antofagasta (Chile) to Bolivia, the Twin Metals copper and nickel mining company in the US State of Minnesota, and other exploration joint ventures around the world.

Website: antofagasta.co.uk – Market Cap.: £17.6 Billion – Stock ticker: ANTO

27. Associated British Foods

Associated British Foods logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Packaged Foods

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.: £18.7 Billion – Stock ticker: ABF

26. Ferguson

Ferguson logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Industrial Distribution

Ferguson PLC is a building materials company. Tracing its origin to 1887, Ferguson now distributes a range of plumbing and heating products, as well as ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, waterworks, and industrial products. It operates in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Caribbean through the Ferguson brand, and in Canada and Central Europe through the Wolseley brand.

Website: fergusonplc.com – Market Cap.: £19 Billion – Stock ticker: FERG

25. Experian

Experian logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Consulting 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: experianplc.com – Market Cap.: £20.9 Billion – Stock ticker: EXPN

24. NatWest Group

NatWest Group logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

NatWest Group, standing for National Westminster, previously known as The Royal Bank of Scotland and RBS, is a private, and partly publicly-owned, banking, and insurance holding company. Tracing its origins to 1707, NatWest Group operates in Europe, North America, and Asia through multiple brands providing personal and business banking, private banking, insurance, and corporate finance, notably NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank, and Coutts.

Website: natwestgroup.com – Market Cap.: £22.3 Billion – Stock ticker: NWG

23. Flutter Entertainment

Flutter Entertainment logoSector: Consumer Cyclical – Industry: Gambling

Flutter Entertainment PLC is a bookmaking holding company. Operating across four key divisions, online, retail, Australia and the United States, Flutter Entertainment operates betting shops, online sports betting, gambling and casinos websites, through a number of brands including Paddy Power, Betfair, Adjarabet, BetEasy, FanDuel, Fox Bet, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Sky Bet, Sportsbet.com.au, Timeform and TVG Network.

Website: flutter.com – Market Cap.: £24.1 Billion – Stock ticker: FLTR

22. CRH

CRH logoSector: Basic Materials – Industry: Building 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.: £24.3 Billion – Stock ticker: CRH

21. Compass Group

Compass Group logoSector: Consumer Cyclical – Industry: Restaurants

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.: £26 Billion – Stock ticker: CPG

20. Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group logoSector: Financials – Industry: Regional Banks

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 primarily in England and Wales 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.: £27.6 Billion – Stock ticker: LLOY

19. Barclays

Barclays logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

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: home.barclays – Market Cap.: £27.7 Billion – Stock ticker: BARC

18. National Grid

Sector: Utilities – Industry: Diversified Utilities

National Grid logoNational 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: nationalgridet.com – Market Cap.: £28.6 Billion – Stock ticker: NG.

17. RELX Group

RELX Group logoSector: Communication Services – Industry: Publishing

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.: £32.7 Billion – Stock ticker: REL

16. Vodafone

Vodafone logoSector: Communication Services – Industry: Telecom Services

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.: £32.7 Billion – Stock ticker: VOD

15. Prudential

Prudential logoSector: Financials – Industry: Life 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: prudentialplc.com – Market Cap.: £36.8 Billion – Stock ticker: PRU

14. Anglo American

Anglo American logoSector: Basic Materials – Industry: Industrial Metals & 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.: £37.8 Billion – Stock ticker: AAL

13. Glencore

Glencore logoSector: Basic Materials – Industry: Industrial Metals & 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.: £38.7 Billion – Stock ticker: GLEN

12. Reckitt Benckiser

Reckitt Benckiser logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Household & Personal 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.: £42.8 Billion – Stock ticker: RB.

11. London Stock Exchange Group

London Stock Exchange Group logoSector: Financials – Industry: Financial Data & Stock Exchanges

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 in information technology through LSEG Technology, financial market data, and infrastructure through Refinitiv, owns the FTSE Russell market indices company, and has majority stakes in the clearinghouse LCH and Tradeweb financial services.

Website: lseg.com – Market Cap.: £44.6 Billion – Stock ticker: LSEG

10. British American Tobacco

British American Tobacco logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: 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.: £57 Billion – Stock ticker: BATS

9. BP

BP logoSector: Energy – Industry: Oil & Gas Integrated

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.: £59.4 Billion – Stock ticker: BP.

8. GlaxoSmithKline

GSK logoSector: Healthcare – Industry: 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.: £59.9 Billion – Stock ticker: GSK

7. Diageo

Diageo logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Wineries & Distilleries

Diageo PLC is a multinational alcoholic beverages company. Notably the world’s largest producer of whiskey, 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.: £65.8 Billion – Stock ticker: DGE

6. HSBC

HSBC logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

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.: £86.8 Billion – Stock ticker: HSBA

5. AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca logoSector: Healthcare – Industry: Pharmaceuticals

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

Website: astrazeneca.com – Market Cap.: £91.2 Billion – Stock ticker: AZN

4. Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto logoSector: Basic Materials – Industry: Industrial Metals & 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.: £100.1 Billion – Stock ticker: RIO

3. Royal Dutch Shell

Shell logoSector: Energy – Industry: Oil & Gas Integrated

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.: £111 Billion – Stock ticker: RDSA / RDSB

2. BHP

BHP Group logoSector: Basic Materials – Industry: Industrial Metals & 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.: £114.8 Billion – Stock ticker: BHP

1. Unilever

Unilever logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Household & Personal 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.: £152.4 Billion – Stock ticker: ULVR

Summary: Top 10 companies in the FTSE 2021

To give you a quick review of the largest companies in the FTSE 100 index in 2021, here are the top 10 FTSE 100 companies by market capitalization as of February 26, 2021.

      1. Unilever – £152.4 Billion
      2. BHP – £114.8 Billion
      3. Royal Dutch Shell – £111 Billion
      4. Rio Tinto – £100.1 Billion
      5. AstraZeneca – £91.2 Billion
      6. HSBC – £86.8 Billion
      7. Diageo – £65.8 Billion
      8. GlaxoSmithKline – £59.9 Billion
      9. BP – £59.4 Billion
      10. British American Tobacco – £57 Billion

You will also find the top 10 in this synthesizing image that also regroups the information of each FTSE 100 company with its industry. Remark that you can use this image to embed it on your website and other digital properties using the embed code below.

Top 10 companies in the FTSE 2021

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Note that if you are searching for information on these companies to invest in their stocks, make sure you know what you are doing as your investment will be subject to significant risks with the evolution of stock prices. To learn more about investing in the stock market and managing your portfolio, check our post on the best online courses on stock investing and trading.

Here are the top 30 FTSE 100 companies. 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!

5 Replies to “Top 30 companies of the UK in the FTSE index 2021”

  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.

    1. Thank god you left Philip, the last thing the U.K. needs are ignorant negative people such as yourself. I unfortunately read what you wrote and all I could think of was, this guy just lives in a world full of assumptions.

  2. What an interesting article. Found you by accident whilst checking FTSE.

    For someone like myself it has to be interesting to receive a response at this early hour. That sums up the Brits down to a Tee (never had to type down to a T before) of which I am one. It is as if we are constantly hypnotised. I always vote Tory because the others would take all I have got, which though more than well off that does not count as rich. Never think about the Royals very often since giving up newspapers but live near Blenheim and often think of the unfairness of one person fighting a battle gets all that when others can’t get a postage stamps worth. As with all wars many fought in the same battle. People pay them to get in and I have worn fur coats and been to Champagne receptions so am not thinking of myself. We don’t as you say manufacture anything we are really floating in a bubble.

    The Royals are very clever at contriving to be caring people. The aristocracy is technically broke but being kept by idiots who pay to see their houses and walk round their parks. Often wonder how we could have a fairer society is to be truly Christian read Chesterton. He calls it Distributism which is not socialism, founded on good intentions but is now politics of envy. Nor is it capitalism as we know it. It is founded on a strong family with enough resources to own some property and small business with a very limited role from the interfering state.

    The $64,000 question is how to achieve this without a violent revolution. I had a fairly privileged life and never had to work (but I am a woman) men should have the best jobs and mum look after the family. Can just remember when we had the butcher the baker the candlestick maker etc. My husband a doctor is a slave of the state and the non-professionals are wage slaves of big business. So strong families with proper values and government more localised and big business small and many again.

    However I fear we have all been sedated by something. The English are the sweetest but most stupid because they do not use their brains. Everyone knows something is wrong but they can’t see what it is. If you are a very wealthy man you won’t like what I’ve said but this would not be a rob everyone just a plan which Chesterton saw a hundred years ago. He prophesied all that has come to pass. I always said Germany won the Peace the war itself is irrelevant now and in a hidden way we in the west is practicing a type of eugenics. Women have been conned into thinking they can do everything when Like the Aristocracy only a few have really succeeded big time. Well you’ve woken me up. Thank you

  3. Phillip Hughes, spot on. 12 years ago I advised my daughter to leave this country as I considered it was doomed by Class, Conservatism and Apathy. She took my advice and has been living and working in New Zealand for 11 years. She has a better lifestyle and better pay now. The doom I foresaw for this country is accelerating: the rich are richer, the poor poorer. Apathy has lead to Brexit which will finish off this country completely.

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