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The Performance of European Business in the Twentieth Century$
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Youssef Cassis, Andrea Colli, and Harm Schröter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749776.001.0001

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The Performance of European Transport and Utilities in the Twentieth Century

The Performance of European Transport and Utilities in the Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.226) 13 The Performance of European Transport and Utilities in the Twentieth Century
Source:
The Performance of European Business in the Twentieth Century
Author(s):

Anna M. Aubanell-Joubany

Terry Gourvish

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749776.003.0013

The transport and utilities sector experienced substantial changes during the twentieth century, which were particular to each country owing to regulation, nationalization, and privatization processes. The performance of the transport and utilities sector was disappointing throughout the century in comparison with the profitability of European big business. Before the Second World War, the return on equity was around 7.5%, after which it fell to 3.5%, where it stayed until the end of the century, when it reached 11%. The railways subsector was the worst performer, while utilities were the best within the transport and utilities sector. The more profitable countries, with a higher proportion of firms among the most profitable of the transport and utilities sector, were Spain, Belgium, and Finland. The worst-performing countries were France, the UK, and Italy. Germany did better than the other big countries, but still substantially worse than Spain.

Keywords:   transport, utilities, return on equity, performance, regulation, Europe, big business

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