These were the best performers on the ASX 200 in 2018

On Monday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) finished the year at 5,646.4 points. This meant the benchmark index fell a disappointing 6.9% in 2018.

This biggest drag on the index was the financial sector, closely followed by the telco and consumer discretionary sectors.

Not all shares sank lower last year, though. Here were the five best performers on the ASX 200 in 2018:

The Bravura Solutions Ltd (ASX: BVS) share price was the best performer on the index with a stunning 114% gain. In FY 2018 the provider of software products and services to clients operating in the wealth management and funds administration industries posted a 15% increase in revenue to $221.5 million and a 27% lift in underlying net profit after tax to $27 million. Pleasingly, management expects more of the same this year and has provided guidance for EPS growth in the mid-teens.

The Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price almost doubled in value in 2018 with a gain of 98%. The continued success of its Afterpay platform in Australia and an impressive start to life in the United States market has been largely behind the stellar share price rise. In addition to this, Afterpay Touch announced plans to launch in the UK.

The Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) share price rose 69% last year. This gold miner caught the eye last year with its impressive operational and financial performance. In FY 2018 the company’s gold production reached a record 316,453 ounces, leading to revenues jumping 21% to $511 million and net profit rocketing 175% higher to $78 million. Management expects its production to increase to between 325,000 and 345,000 ounces in FY 2019.

The Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) share price climbed a sizeable 65% in 2018. Investors fought to get hold of the design software provider’s sharers after it posted record revenue of US$140.2 million and a 34% increase in net profit after tax to US$37.5 million. Management remains confident that FY 2019 and FY 2020 are going to be equally successful. It stated its belief that the company is “firmly on track to achieve its 2020 revenue target of US$200 million with strong margin expansion.”

The IDP Education Ltd (ASX: IEL) share price jumped 59% higher last year. The provider of international student placement and English language testing services impressed in FY 2018 with another strong result. IDP Education posted a 24% increase in revenue to $487 million and a 30% lift in EBITDA to $89 million thanks to growth from all sides of its business. Management has yet to provide guidance for FY 2019, but investors appear to believe there will be similarly strong growth this year.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO, Altium, and Bravura Solutions Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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