UK firms 'top Europe wealth list'
Large UK-owned companies are outstripping their European rivals when it comes to creating wealth, a study has concluded. // BBC
Banks and oil firms topped the 2007 Value Added Scoreboard research by the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).
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.
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.