Page last updated at 00:31 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 01:31 UK

UK firms 'top Europe wealth list'

A Vodafone sponsored F1 car
Vodafone was among the firms driving its wealth creation forward in 2007.

Large UK-owned companies are outstripping their European rivals when it comes to creating wealth, a study has concluded.

Banks and oil firms topped the 2007 Value Added Scoreboard research by the Department for Innovation, University and Skills (DIUS).

It measures wealth by valuing a firm's sales, minus the cost of its bought-in goods and services.

About 23% of "added value" by Europe's top 750 firms came from the UK.

Germany was the next most productive country, making up 19.7% of the total, with France (18.5%) in third place.

'Well-placed'

HOW FIRMS CAN 'ADD VALUE'
Introduce new innovative products
Sell more existing products and services e.g. better marketing, new markets
Reduce costs of bought-in items
Improve productivity by reducing costs of bought-in items needed
Source: DIUS

The study allowed firms to be compared on their "wealth creation efficiency", said the government's science and innovation minister, Ian Pearson.

Value added by the top 800 UK-based companies grew 9.6% over the previous year to 636.3bn, the report said.

Royal Dutch Shell, BP, HSBC, Vodafone and the Royal Bank of Scotland were the UK's top five wealth generators.

The leading non-UK firms were DaimlerChrysler (ranked 2nd), French oil firm Total (3rd) and Russian energy giant Gazprom (5th).

Of the top 50 companies, 42 were based in the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland.

UK financial markets were "well placed to handle the current global uncertainty", Mr Pearson added.




SEE ALSO
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21 Apr 08 |  Business
Wealth rise boosts unequal Britain
18 Jan 08 |  Business

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