Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

All change for the top 500 firms

 woman walking past the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland in the City of London
RBS plunged from number one to 261st position in the top 500 companies.

Profits at Scotland's main companies plummeted last year by 182%, according to a new analysis.

However, the number of the country's top 500 corporates that increased their profits was nearly as high as the number who saw them fall.

The steepness of the fall was due to the crises at the Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland.

The top earners were the Perth-based Scottish and Southern Energy and Edinburgh's Standard Life.

Some 232 companies saw profits decline while 223 enjoyed an increase.

Banking impact

RBS registered a record pre-tax loss of £24.1bn in its last set of accounts, while HBOS's corporate division alone lost more than £7bn before it was taken over by Lloyds TSB.

The two banks stayed in Scotland's Top 500 because the ranking, carried out for Scottish Business Insider magazine, includes turnover as well as profit.

Without the huge impact on the figures from the banks, the analysis found profits fell 22%.

Scottish and Southern Energy recorded profits up 2% to £1.25bn, and revenue soaring from £15.3bn to £25.4bn.

Some 44 companies went from profit into loss, while 23 companies moved into profit after making a loss the previous year.

Twenty-one companies stayed in loss for two years running.

While unemployment grew, the number of people employed by Scotland's top companies increased, due to the acquisition of a large bus company in the US by FirstGroup.

A new entrant, at number 21 in the annual ranking, was Tesco Bank, which is headquartered in Edinburgh.



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