Exclusive new data from Stockopedia.com reveals public companies registered in the North East of England are experiencing the slowest recovery of all the regions when it comes to the value of their share price.

Stock market valuations have fluctuated throughout 2020 as economies and investors worldwide react to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some companies have experienced an uplift in financial performance during COVID-19, many more have struggled to stay afloat.

But where has seen the most dramatic declines in collective share price value of some of the UK’s largest businesses?

To answer this important question, Stockopedia.com – the UK’s leading stock market research service – has analysed its exclusive market data to compare the average share price performance of publicly listed companies in the English regions and the biggest UK cities over the course of 2020.

The analysis reveals an enduring North-South divide in pandemic financial performance, with listed companies in the North of England showing signs of a longer and slower recovery than those registered in the South.

The worst hit region is the North East, with the collective share price value of its listed companies down -23.72 percent in Q4 compared to January 2020. This figure has improved slightly from Q3 (-25.98 percent), but it remains significantly lower than other regions, even in the North of England.

Of the 23 listed companies in the North East of England, six are in the financial sector (especially lending and real estate) which has seen a turbulent 2020 thanks to uncertainties over COVID-19, Brexit and the U.S elections. Consumer cyclical companies based in the region – such as SCS Group, Vertu Motorsand Greggs – have also been hit hard by a drop in spending confidence and disposable income.

By comparison, public companies in the East of England have seen the best stock market performance compared to pre-pandemic levels (+1.46 percent). Surprisingly, the East of England is the only English region to see an increase in the      average share price of its registered companies over the course of 2020 and show positive signs of a recovery in Q4 – albeit minimal.

Companies in the East of England also saw the least dramatic (but still a considerable) fall in average share price value at the end of March (down -24.09 percent). The South West and West Midlands saw the largest declines, down by –38.73 percent and –39.55 percent respectively.

Notably, the East of England is home to both Tesco and Ocado Group which have benefited significantly from increased spending on groceries and the boom in online shopping during the pandemic. The East of England also has several listed healthcare and technology companies registered in the region, helping to offset declines in other sectors’ share prices, such as EasyJet in Luton and JD Wetherspoon in Watford.

The East Midlands is ranked second place, with the share prices of listed companies in the region performing on average -9.91 percent lower than on 1stJanuary 2020.

London and the South West closely follow in third and fourth place, with performance down by -10.32 percent and -10.94 percent respectively. London, by far, has the most publicly listed companies on the London Stock Exchange (565) across a diverse set of industries.

You can explore the findings in more detail here.

Edward Croft, CEO of Stockopedia.com commented on the findings:

“Covid-19 brought the most volatile stock market environment we’ve seen in years, and with it some clear sector winners and losers.  But the virus has also been hitting some regions harder and longer than others. This study shows the impact this has had on the typical company’s share price across regions, and the regional disparity is clear to see.”