Royal Bank tops lists of Canada's top companies

Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:38pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Launt

TORONTO (Reuters) - In a year of surging energy prices, the Canadian company that turned the most profit was a bank.

Royal Bank of Canada, the country's largest, bumped the country's biggest energy producer from the top spot in an annual ranking of the top 1,000 Canadian companies by profit.

Royal Bank, with C$5.5 billion in profit, moved up from the No. 2 position it held on last year's list, to be published on Friday in the Globe and Mail's Report on Business magazine. But Royal Bank was the sector's sole entry in the top five, compared with three last year.

EnCana Corp, which held the top spot for the previous four years, dropped to the fourth position. Still, the booming energy sector accounted for 25 percent of the overall profit earned by companies on the list.

Manulife Financial, Canada's largest life insurer, moved up from fourth spot to take the second position in this year's ranking.

Thomson Reuters, formed earlier this year when Thomson Corp acquired its fellow information-services provider Reuters Group Plc, came in third. Thomson Corp was No. 26 on last year's list.

BCE Inc, the parent of Bell Canada, the country's largest telecom, rounded out the top five, moving up from No. 18. A deal that would make the company the world's biggest leveraged buyout cleared a big legal hurdle last week.

Nova Chemicals Corp, the county's top raw-plastics maker, was the biggest mover on this year's list, climbing to 65 from 1,000 last year.   Continued...