Covid-hit companies register big gains on FTSE after vaccine news

Hopes of a return to normal life have boosted some share prices this week

Rolls-Royce plant
Rolls-Royce is among the firms whose share price has risen. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Many companies that have suffered a sharp sell-off since the beginning of the pandemic registered big gains after the vaccine news boosted hopes that a return to normal pre-Covid life could be coming. At the same time, some of the shine came off firms that have profited from coronavirus thanks to a strong focus online.

International Consolidated Airlines Group

This week: +40%

Year to date: -65%

Share price Friday: 145p

Share price 1 Jan 2020: 414p

The owner of British Airways was one of the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 this week as investors bet that vaccine hopes could mean better times ahead for an industry hit hard by travel restrictions and plummeting passenger numbers.

Rolls-Royce

This week: +35%

Year to date: -60%

Share price Friday: 94.5p

Share price 1 Jan 2020: 234p

The sharp fall in air travel during the pandemic has had a serious impact on the order books of plane-makers and their suppliers. Jet engine-maker Rolls-Royce had a markedly better week after the vaccine news revived expectations of new orders.

Informa

This week: +23%

Year to date: -35%

Share price Friday: 561p

Share price 1 Jan 2020: 857p

When Covid-19 abruptly halted international travel and large gatherings, the world’s largest events company suffered. It benefited this week from hopes that 2021 could herald a return to some sort of pre-pandemic normal.

Cineworld

This week: +52%

Year to date: -80%

Share price Friday: 44p

Share price 1 Jan 2020: 219p

Cineworld temporarily closed all its cinemas in the UK and the US last month, as Covid restrictions and delayed Hollywood releases kept film fans away. A vaccine may bring back blockbuster movies and put bums on seats.

SSP

This week: +77%

Year to date: -49%

Share price Friday: 330p

Share price 1 Jan 2020: 650p

Travel bans, lockdowns and working from home have battered SSP’s airport and railway station chains, including Upper Crust and Ritazza. A revival in office working and travel would bring back SSP’s customers.

British Land

This week: +27%

Year to date: -26%

Share price Friday: 476p

Share price 1 Jan 2020: 639p

A return to city centre working and mall shopping would be a big plus for property company British Land, which has a portfolio of offices and shopping centres such as Meadowhall in Sheffield and Drake Circus in Plymouth.

Zoom Video Communications

This week: -18%

Year to date: +503%

Share price Friday: $408

Share price 1 Jan 2020: $68

Zoom was a market faller this week, as investors bet that a Covid vaccine would diminish the need for the video conferencing app that has become synonymous with the pandemic.

Ocado

This week: -11.5%

Year to date: +78%

Share price Friday: £22.83

Share price 1 Jan 2020: £12.79

Shares in Ocado have surged as shoppers rushed to buy groceries online. Shares fell this week, as a reopening of the economy could take away some of its competitive edge, but the fall was small compared with the sharp rise since the start of the year.