The performance of the Top 250 reflects the impact of the global economic downturn with many companies posting lower revenue and earnings then the previous year. More than a third (88 of the 250) experienced declining sales. A much larger number of these companies were unprofitable compared with 2008. Of the 222 companies that disclosed their profit/loss figures, 48 operated at a loss.
The economic concentration of the Top 10 fell to 26.3%. To some extent this can be attributed to the makeup of the leader board. Six of these companies are manufacturers of electronic products which still continue to suffer from falling prices and weak demand.
Although the ten largest companies’ combined sales grew more slowly compared with the Top 250, they were in fact more profitable. Composite net profit margin was 6.0% versus 4.8% for the entire group.
European consumer products manufacturers are the largest companies, with average 2008 sales of more than $13.5 billion. Amongst these companies, UK companies led the way with 9.6% sales growth, up from 7.9% the previous year.
The US continued to dominate the Top 250 with 92 companies, or 34.8% of the total, accounting for 35.9% of total sales.
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