The first half of this year saw a total of 357 companies raise new capital through follow-on issues, raising £12bn in capital, according to investment bank Goodbody, which analysed stock exchange data.

The figure is down from £17.3bn raised in H2 2020 and £17bn raised in H1 2020, but remains well above pre-pandemic levels, averaging £9bn each half year over the last decade.

"In the face of unprecedented disruption, UK capital markets have proven to be an invaluable source of support for listed businesses," head of Goodbody's London office Piers Coombs said.

"Through the backing of investors, management teams have been able to plot a course through the pandemic and protect jobs. Now, investors are backing UK businesses to build back better as they capitalise on new opportunities for growth."

Excluding listed closed-ended and open-ended investment vehicles that invest across a range of sectors, businesses in the consumer discretionary industry raised the most capital, raising more than £2.9bn. This includes sectors such as automotive and household goods, as well as the travel and leisure sector, which were all hit hard by the pandemic. 

The healthcare industry followed, which raised around £1bn, and consumer staples with £902.9m secured across sectors including food and beverage producers and retailers.

A total of 13 companies in the travel and leisure sector raised capital in the first half of 2021, raising £2.2bn, including TUI, which raised £597m and Jet2, which raised £422m. Meanwhile, several restaurants and bar operators were also forced to turn to investors to ensure their survival including SSP, raising £475m, and Mitchells & Butlers, which raised £351m.

The report also showed ESG is becoming an increasingly important element of the capital raising landscape. AIB issued a €750m Green Bond, its second in less than a year, where the proceeds will contribute to the financing of projects with clear environmental and climate change benefits.

Meanwhile, Severn Trent raised £250m to help fund six projects for the government's Green Recovery programme.