Scotland’s top companies see profits fall

SCOTLAND’S top companies have seen profits fall for the second year running, according to the latest analysis.

The latest Scottish Business Insider Top 500 rankings show that, excluding Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland, the Top 500 saw a 4.9 per cent rise in turnover to £154.8 billion but profits fell by 7.3 per cent to £10.1bn.

The fall was an improvement on the 13.1 per cent drop in the previous year.

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Including the banks, turnover grew from £176.5bn to £180.1bn but profits plunged from £10.2bn to £3.1bn.

Standard Life has retained the top spot in the league table with energy giant SSE moving up from fourth to second.

Weir Group climbed from seventh to third position after a strong performance in the year but Lloyds Banking Group subsidiary Scottish Widows slipped one place to fourth position in the listing after seeing its profits fall from £391 million to £205m.

Chevron North Sea stayed in fifth position despite a drop in profits from £1.1bn to £879m and John Wood Group rose from 15th to sixth place after a strong rise in profits.

The table ranks all Scottish registered companies with turnover of more than £20m based on sales and pre-tax profits.

Overall some 266 companies (53.2 per cent) showed profit growth compared to 308 last year. Scottish Business Insider editor Alasdair Northrop said that, although profits had fallen again, he was optimistic of improving fortunes in the next rankings.

“Figures are only available for the majority of companies many months after they have been compiled and judging by the very positive messages we have heard in recent times I expect to see an even better improvement in our survey next year.”