Performance of large companies

Quarterly Bulletin 1987 Q4
Published on 01 December 1987

This article updates and revises estimates of company performance drawn from the published accounts of a sample of the largest UK companies, and is intended to complement and supplement estimates based on national accounts data.

The article concludes that, measured on the conventional historical cost basis, the performance of large non-oil companies continued to improve in 1986. The oil and gas sector, however, showed a significant decline and this has led to a downturn in the performance of the sample overall. The improving trend, particularly in some service sectors, may have been enhanced by the increased incidence of goodwill which is discounted in the definitions of profitability used in this article. It remains impossible to produce meaningful analyses of performance on a current cost basis as so few companies now trouble to report on that basis.

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