The UK Businesses To Focus On Post-Brexit

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Margaret Lawson of SVM Asset Management

Margaret Lawson of SVM Asset Management

Whatever the change in relationship with the EU, it will certainly challenge our exporters. Tariffs, quotas and skilled labour shortages could all become issues. 

But the businesses that handle this best are likely to be those already winning against tough global competition. 

A number of mid-cap companies stand out, with high value-added in supplying major global customers.

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Key suppliers may be better placed to overcome additional trade friction. Though less well known, many of these companies already have premium ratings.

However, international concern over Britain's future has opened up more attractive share prices, as international investors stand on the sidelines.  

AB Dynamics designs and supplies advanced testing products for the automotive industry, with a number of major manufacturers as clients.

The industry has moved on from the era of simple crash test dummies; it now plays a critical role in simulating complex urban environments to test autonomous driving and active safety features.

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AB Dynamics' close relationships with auto groups poses an entry barrier.  

Croda International is a FTSE 100 speciality chemicals group with products that are key to a range of consumer and industrial markets, from nutrition to engineering.

Like AB Dynamics, its emphasis is on supplying other businesses (B2B) rather than consumers directly.

Over almost a century, it has shown resilience in recessions and is firmly focused on higher margin products.

AVEVA Group develops engineering software for oil & gas and marine industries. Although a mid-cap business, it is a global leader in industrial software.

Its core skills are in applications to help customers model their facilities and data. These help improve reliability, safety and efficiency of industrial plant, helping customers to control costs and stay competitive.

The UK has many listed businesses with global strengths in industrial technologies. Those focusing on B2B strategies and high value-added services may be less exposed to trade friction than direct to consumer businesses. 

In the short term, uncertainty over Brexit is a negative, as is the US-China trade war. Against this challenging economic background, it may be best to focus on businesses with specialist technology.

Margaret Lawson is manager of the SVM UK Growth Fund

Bull Points

• UK has some strong industrial growth businesses

• B2B services may have less trade risk than consumer products

Bear Points

• Brexit and trade frictions could cause disruption

• Ratings of quality businesses are high

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