Wales, despite its small size, has always punched above its weight in economical terms. Despite a population of just over 3 million, the region of Wales has a larger economy than several European countries, including Slovakia, Croatia, Luxembourg, Iceland, Slovenia, and Estonia, with its GDP sitting at £73.1 billion last year.
While the economy of Wales is diverse and covers a broad range of sectors, there is no denying that a handful of large, high-performing companies are responsible for a significant share of economic output. In order to better understand the economy of Wales in 2020, read on to find out which companies based in Wales are the largest and best-performing.
The financial services giant Admiral is the largest company in Wales by a significant stretch. The Cardiff-based behemoth enjoyed revenues of £1.35 billion last year. It is also one of the only Welsh companies based in the FTSE 100 stock exchange, meaning that it meets minimum requirements with regard to float and stock liquidity and enabling anyone who trades FTSE futures live to speculate on Admiral’s stock. The company has managed to perform well throughout 2020, avoiding the crushing losses seen by the likes of Lloyds or RBS.
One of the biggest companies in Wales is Iceland TopCo, the entity that owns the supermarket chain Iceland and is based in Deeside. With more than 1000 locations, 23,000 employees and a net income of £157 million last year, Iceland’s role in the Welsh economy is massive. However, things are not all rosy for Iceland. Just as the COVID-19 crisis has had a severe impact on massive companies and economies around the world, Iceland has suffered too. Iceland’s losses for 2020 have so far hit £71 million, despite the grocery shopping boom in the UK.
GE Aircraft Engine Services
GE Aircraft Engine Services is a subdivision of General Electric, the US conglomerate that reportedly has assets worth more than £250 billion. This subdivision, based in Nantgarw, manufactures, maintains, and repairs jet engines for GE Aviation, which then go into Boeing jets and US military aircraft.
The Welsh site employs more than 1400 people and reported an annual turnover of almost £700 million in 2018. In addition, a recent £20 million investment from GE will help the site expand significantly over the next couple of years.
The housebuilding giant Redrow is responsible for some of the largest residential construction projects in the UK. The main headquarters of Redrow has been located in Flintshire since the company was first founded in 1974, although the company has since expanded to include offices in 15 regions across the UK.
Redrow generated £2.2 billion in revenues in 2019, helping to cement its longstanding position on the FTSE 250 Index. Much like many other construction companies in the UK, Redrow has been particularly hard hit by the ongoing recession, having been forced to suspend many of its largest projects throughout the year.
These are the largest companies in Wales that employ the most people and generated the highest revenues. While their economic clout seems undisputed at the moment, the ongoing coronavirus crisis could change this in the future.