Chris Evans

11th May 2022


The Value Winners and Losers in 2022

The industry you operate in appears to be the overriding factor in determining whether your valuation is likely to be increasing or declining in 2022. New research from Plimsoll confirms that market conditions continue to exert an outsized influence on business values.

The pressures on business valuations are wide and growing. The current inflationary spike is driving down profit margins for many as costs rise and consumers become harder to reach. Brexit is rendering many business models and practices unviable. War is adding to the cost of everything from fuel to food. The scarcity of staff continues to stalk British industries.

In all markets, there are pockets of performance that go against the prevailing trends. In some markets where values are under serious pressure, there are companies making great valuation strides. In other markets where values are booming, there are companies in decline.  

Having analysed more than 1700 different markets across the UK economy, Plimsoll has identified the industries with the highest and lowest valuation growth in the latest year:

The Winners:

Despite the chaos and disruption of the past couple of years, several industries have seen a significant jump in average company valuations:


Change in average company value:

Cycle Shops




Business Intelligence Consultants


Accredited Covid-19 Test Providers


Contact Centres


Medical Testing Laboratories


Corporate Finance Advisers




Energy Efficiency Consultants


Fibre-Optic Products



Clearly, some of the industries listed have enjoyed a huge boost in values linked to the pandemic and the ensuing changes to life in this country since March 2020. Cycle shops have continued to ride the boom in demand driven by restricted mixing of households and exercise being the only reason to leave the house in the first lockdown.

Two obvious industries, Accredited Covid-19 Test Providers and Testing Laboratories have seen brisk trade and a wall of money flow into their field due to the pandemic. More than £1m per day was flowing into the sector at the height of the testing regime. The big question now is whether companies specializing in Covid-19 can diversify quickly enough to ensure longevity and sustainable values?

Ambitious government Net Zero schemes and the rollout of the UK’s ultrafast broadband network have seen values peak in both the Energy Efficiency and Fibre-Optic markets. Both are multi-decade schemes likely to maintain demand and funding into the future. Could there be a wave of consolidation as both markets mature?

The remaining markets that are rewarding their participant companies with higher valuations contain a couple of surprises. Hospices, wary of the loss of fundraising during the pandemic, have managed to maintain values. How will they fare amid soaring energy costs and reduction of skilled labour in a post-Brexit world?

As always, there is a smattering of finance-based markets that still return good value. However, with rising risks of economic calamity and a growing mood for more equitable tax systems with less efficient loopholes, will they be able to maintain their place among the value winners into 2023?

The Losers:

There are perhaps fewer surprises among those industries that have seen the biggest decline in average values:


Change in average company value:

Travel Agents


Tour Operators


Language Schools


Oilfield Equipment


Motor Insurance




Laundry & Linen Hire


Recruitment Agencies


Conference & Event Organisers


Adventure Travel



The common theme within those markets with the biggest value declines is the physical nature of their business model. Almost all involve or rely on the free movement of people that was cut off abruptly due to lockdowns.

Three of the markets are from within the travel sector. Agents, operators and even those specializing in adventure excursions saw their values plummet at the start of the pandemic. With summer 2022 set to be one of huge demand as people head back to the beach in record numbers, values should rise dramatically in the coming years…as long as conflict doesn’t spread across Europe.

Elsewhere, the theme is much the same although slightly nuanced. Laundry providers lost their hospitality revenue streams while demand from healthcare remained. Event organisers evolved their offering into online, experiential activities rather than big gatherings in large venues. Restaurants became takeaways or DTC providers. These sectors will clearly be delighted the world has reopened but will also look to incorporate the new expertise they have gained recently to accelerate the recovery in their value.

Language schools and the recruitment market are those that are having to contend most with conditions beyond the pandemic. Having survived lockdown they are now both dealing with the impact of Brexit with fewer non-native employees in the UK economy, resulting in a dearth of staff and those needing English skills. Will political action address the issues affecting these markets or will they continue to struggle from macroeconomic decisions made years ago?

Whatever your industry, whatever the prevailing trading conditions within it, a company valuation is the ultimate measure of overall business performance. A valuation encapsulates sales, profits, productivity and all your other KPIs into one succinct measure.

Great companies maintain a close eye on their overall valuation year on year. They nurture it, search for ways to enhance it, assess the impact their strategy will have on it and build their business thinking around it.

At Plimsoll, we believe that the process of monitoring value and identifying useful, actionable benchmarks should involve no fuss or hassle and incur little cost. Featuring instant valuations, peer comparisons and key industry benchmarks, Plimsoll valuation studies are easy to digest but unrivalled in their depth of insight. We think you should spend more time increasing your business value and waste less time working out what it is.

Search for your industry today at to find out the latest value trends in your market or give us a call on 01642626470.