FTSE 100 companies now make more money in the US than the UK
Britain’s biggest listed companies now make more money in America than at home, according to a review of market data.
Sales by FTSE 100 companies in the US have overtaken those in the UK, analysis by the Telegraph shows.
A quarter of revenues made by firms on London’s blue-chip index during 2022 – totalling an estimated £450bn – came from the US, compared with just 22pc of revenues made in the UK.
The analysis is likely to fuel fears about a crisis for the London Stock Exchange, following a recent exodus of some of Britain’s biggest names to America.
Cambridge-based chipmaking pioneer Arm selected New York for its $40bn float earlier this month in a body-blow to Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt.
Days later, CRH, the £30bn buildings materials company, announced that it would switch to the US.
Flutter Entertainment, the world’s biggest listed betting company, is planning a secondary listing in New York and has refused to rule out moving its primary listing across the pond in years to come.
The British biotech champion Oxford Nanopore became the latest company to warn that it could list its shares abroad on Tuesday, less than two years after its £3.4bn London flotation.
Gordon Sanghera, the company’s chief executive, said it could add a US listing if executives believed it would help the company grow.
Crucially, however, he added that the most likely action would be adding a secondary listing in the US, rather than abandoning London.
Oxford Nanopore had opted for a London listing in 2021 after a “full and comprehensive analysis” of the best location, Mr Sanghera said.
Shares have fallen by two thirds since then amid a wider decline in tech shares, but rose 13pc on news that the company is considering a listing in the US.
British businesses are increasingly being drawn to the US by better valuations, access to a greater number of investors, and lucrative executive pay packets on offer.
Being close to the market where companies make their money is also a strong draw.
Andreas Bernstorff, head of equity capital markets at BNP Paribas, said: “In our experience, current valuation is only one of many factors that boards ask for advice on when discussing a very long term commitment such as listing location.
“Other factors such as proximity to key markets, governance rules and value of stock as acquisition currency are equally if not more important.
“This is particularly true of the world’s largest companies where they may be producing the bulk of their revenues from outside of their home market,”
British American Tobacco, London’s eighth largest company, is the latest name to be linked to a move to the US after last week coming under pressure from an institutional investor to make the jump.
BAT refused to rule out the move, saying only that it “does not comment on its engagement with shareholders”.
Plumbing and heating giant Wolseley shifted its primary listing from London to New York last year after changing its name to Ferguson.