New report highlights reduction of listed companies but economic contribution still vital
The Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA) and Hardman & Co. have released a new report: “Punching above their weight?” which highlights the contribution of small and mid-sized quoted companies to markets, employment and tax revenues.
On the last trading day in May 2022, there were 1,957 companies listed on Main and AIM. After filtering out investment companies and international companies whose London quote is a secondary one, the report focuses on 1,180 companies; 476 of which are on the Main Market and 704 on AIM.
- Of all companies within these markets, 91% are small and mid-caps
- The largest 100 companies account for 85% of market capitalisation
- The other 1,080 small and mid-caps account for 15% of market capitalisation
- Small and mid-caps collectively have a market capitalisation of £376 bn by value
Employment data was collected for financial years ending during calendar 2021. Research showed that qualifying companies employed 5,930,008 employees.
- Of this total, small and mid-caps employ 2,177,048 individuals.
- They account for more than 75% of the workforce of all quoted companies in several regions of the UK.
- Small and mid-caps contributed at least £25.1bn in taxes in 2020/21.
- Their contribution amounts to approximately 5% of the total tax take for Corporation Tax, Income Tax, National Insurance (NI) and VAT
In comparison with a similar study that was completed in May 2019, there has been a reduction in the number of companies. Research at that time showed that there were approximately 1,249 small and mid-sized quoted companies, employing over 3 million people and contributing approximately £26 bn in tax revenue.
The reason for this decline is ultimately due to the net reduction in quoted company numbers which is partly attributed to the economic turbulence of recent years as well as unfavourable and overburdensome regulation for listed companies.
This decline is important to address, as there are many benefits of being a listed company – both for employees and wider society. This includes the impact of increased transparency required of public companies which fosters more trust with both external and internal stakeholders; the participation of employees in shares schemes, allowing them to share in the success of the business; the overall benefit of increased wealth distribution through the public markets and the enablement of increased competition and innovation which is ultimately propelled through public companies.
For more information, please read the full report here.
Tim Ward, chief executive, the Quoted Companies Alliance said: “Small and mid-sized quoted companies continue to be a driving force in the UK’s economy. They have been long-term over performers in terms of productivity, employment, growth and tax contributions. These strengths, however, should not be taken for granted. The public markets have seen a trend of decline for nearly two decades. We cannot expect the economic contribution of these companies to continue in an environment that does not make their existence attractive. For that reason we are continuing to campaign for fit-for-purpose capital markets and proportionate regulation to make the UK the most attractive place to list and invest.“