Three of the biggest FTSE firms see shares soar following recent updates showing that UK plc is thriving during the Covid recovery

Three of Britain’s biggest companies saw their shares soar after a flurry of updates showed UK plc is thriving in the wake of the pandemic.

Almost £3billion was added to the combined value of drinks giant Diageo, shopping centre and office owner Land Securities and telecoms group Vodafone after they each said business was booming.

Johnnie Walker was a big hit, as was Guinness-maker Diageo. They have an ambitious plan to grab more market share over the next few years.

Guinness-maker Diageo turned heads with an ambitious strategy to capture more of the global drinks market in the coming years

Guinness maker Diageo has made waves with an ambitious strategy that aims to grab more market share in the future.

Vodafone claimed that lucrative roaming fees are back on track, and customers started to buy new phones again. Meanwhile, cautious investors took a deep breath of relief when Land Securities returned to profit.

Each company saw their shares pop – with Diageo reaching all-time highs –despite the wider FTSE 100 lagging and finishing in the red. 

Susannah Streeter, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘The FTSE 100 may have slipped into negative territory [yesterday]But it hides a series of outstanding performances. 

The underlying trend is one of gathering momentum, as the recovery accelerates the demand for drinks, phones and office space and consumers show signs of being desperate to return to pre-pandemic ways of living, working and travelling.’

After Diageo said that it expected to exceed profit projections for the current fiscal year, and had predicted that sales would increase by 16%, shares of Diageo shot up. The shares rose by 1.2 percent or 45.5p to 3862.5p but only briefly touched 3948.5p.

It has set a goal to be 6% of the worldwide market for alcoholic beverages by 2030. About 4 percent.  


Between 2023 and 2025, it has pegged growth to be between 5 per cent to 7 per cent a year.

While the closure of restaurants, bars and pubs throughout the country has been a major problem for the company over the last 18-months as the governments imposed lockdowns and strict restrictions on it, the firm is currently enjoying the benefits of reopenings around the world. 

Land Securities climbed by 3.7 per cent, or 26.2p, to 736.4p as boss Mark Allan said a ‘recovery’ in the central London office market helped it return to profit. 

It made £275million in the first half – compared with a loss of £835million last year.

British Land’s share rose by 3.1 percent (16p) to 533.4p due to its performance.

Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, owned by property giant Piccadilly Lights Circus and Piccadilly Lights, is where the company said that businesses are keen to locate new space, even though most people work from home.

Vodafone rose 4.8 percent, or 5.4p to 117.92p as customers felt more confident about their finances and were able to buy handsets again. The phone market declined last year.

Total sales rose 5 per cent to £19billion, as the return of overseas travel meant revenue from roaming also climbed.