Independent comparisons of the relative performances of top UK companies with the rest of Europe show that they out-perform them. So why does our economy lag? Studies made in Germany by Professor Reinhard Schmidt of Keil University and by Dennis Henry of P-E International showed that about 25 of the top 50 companies in Europe were UK owned and only three or four were German. Productivity comparisons made by Henry, using the key ration of added value per pound or DM of pay as the measure, show the UK companies out-performing the German companies by a ratio of 1.60 to 1.35. The German data comes from the end of 1990; the British figures are more recent. But there are significant differences between the two which indicate differences in benefit to respective economies. Germany companies pay a greater percentage of profits in tax to their government (47.5% to 31.60%) to put back into the economy. A higher percentage of sales (20.5% to 16.6%) goes in German wages for the population to spend. Shareholders in Germany also leave more in their companies (75.6% to 48.75) on average for investment to fund further growth. So while we can take heart from our top firms' performance, does the German example offer broader economic lessons?
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