Top five most profitable multinational companies in the UK

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Here at Politics Bulletin we have compiled a top five list of the most profitable companies in the UK as of 2015.

5. British American Tobacco Profits:  £5.1 Billion

Lucky Strike one of BACs most popular products

Lucky Strike one of BACs most popular products. Image courtesy of Benmooe.

As the name suggests, British American Tobacco (BAT) is a British multinational tobacco company. BAT was founded in 1902 and has been swamped by numerous controversies. In 2001 BAT invested $7.1 billion in a North Korean state-owned enterprise called the Korea Sogyong Trading Corporation which employs over 200 people to produce up to two billion cigarettes per year. BAT claims these cigarettes are produced only for consumption in North Korea but there are claims that the cigarettes are smuggled for sale overseas. Also both Canada and Nigeria have filed law suits against BAT, the countries governments want to recover health costs spent by smoking.

 

4. Reckitt Benckiser Group Profits:  £5.3 Billion

Cililt Bang is a product of Reckitt Benckiser Group

Cililt Bang is a product of Reckitt Benckiser Group

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) Group is a multinational consumer goods company. It is a producer of health, hygiene and home products. Famous brand products owned by RB include Calgon, Cillit Bang, Durex, Nurofen, Lemsip and Scholl. Like most billion dollar multinational companies RB has had its fair share of controversy. RB has been accused of Anti-competitive behaviour. IN 2008 an RB whistle-blower told BBCs Panorama that RB had cheated the NHS out of millions of pounds. The office of fair trading fined RB £10.2 million for anti-competitive behaviour, a drop in the ocean for a company such as RB who rake in billions per year.

3. Rio Tinto Group Profits: £6.5 Billion

 

Rio Tinto is a British-Australian multinationa

Rio Tinto is a metals and mining corporation

Rio Tinto is a metals and mining corporation

l metals and mining corporation and is amongst the world leaders in the production of many commodities such as aluminium, iron, ore, copper, uranium and diamonds. Rio Tinto has been accused of serious human rights allegations in a number of countries, the company has also been widely criticised by environmental groups for its mining activities which led to Norway banning any investment in Rio Tinto shares. In 2009 Norweigan Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen stated: “Exclusion of a company from the Fund reflects our unwillingness to run an unacceptable risk of contributing to grossly unethical conduct. The Council on Ethics has concluded that Rio Tinto is directly involved, through its participation in the Grasberg mine in Indonesia, in the severe environmental damage caused by that mining operation.”

HSBC Bank, picture courtesy of Creative Commons.

HSBC Bank, picture courtesy of Creative Commons.

2. HSBC Holdings Profits: £13.5 Billion

HSBC Holdings is a multinational banking and financial services company. By total assets it is the fourth largest bank in the world. The bank has been littered with controversy in recent times, it is said to have taken an active part in a number of crimes such as money laundering, it has helped clients dodge billions of pounds in taxes and has supported criminals including Mexican drug cartels.

  1. Vodafone Profits: £77.4 Billion
A map showing countries where Vodafone and operations (Coloured in red)

A map showing countries where Vodafone and operations (Coloured in red)

Vodafone is a multinational telecommunications company. Vodafone is the worlds second largest telecommunications company (behind China mobile) and as of March 2014 had 434 million subscribers. Unfortunately for Vodafone the company has been riddled with issues of tax avoidance. In 2010 an investigation by Private Eye revealed certain details of Vodafone’s tax avoidance activities. It was found that Vodafone placed its profits from the acquisition of ‘Mannesmann’ a German corporation, in Luxembourg. Following a long struggle with HMRC it was agreed that Vodafone would pay £1.25 billion in tax for the acquisition. However, based on Vodafone’s accounts, experts have estimated that the estimated tax bill written off as a result of the negotiations was a total of over £6 billion.

What do you think of these multi national companies? Is there any other top five lists that you want us to research and create? Please leave your comments below!

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