The investment manager said half of the top ten performers in the FTSE All-World Developed Europe Index over the past five years were from the UK. Shire, Whitbread and ITV were among the biggest contributors to what has been 94.5% rise in total returns over the five years at an annual average of 18.9%.
“UK companies have played a prominent role in the European stock market recovery,” said David Moss, manager of F&C’s European Equity fund. “However, this is less a reflection of the improved macro-economic conditions in the UK, than the quality of specific companies and the actions they have taken to weather the recession and position themselves well for the recovery,” he added.
Moss says this is all testament to the importance of good individual stock picking when investing in European companies.
“We are firm believers in the benefits of taking a bottom-up approach to stock-picking and in times of market uncertainty, this is even more important,” he said. “These figures show that even during times of low economic growth there are companies that are able to defy these conditions and provide impressive returns,” he added.
Winning stocks are not restricted to the UK however with Moss highlighting Glanbia, Handelsbanken and Berendsen as examples of big risers from other parts of Europe.