Just one UK company ranked among the world's top 50 innovative firms in BCG report

Oliver Smith
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Unilever-owned brands, such as Marmite, get the thumbs-up from BCG (Source: Unilever)

Britain's biggest firms are lagging behind US and Asian firms in terms of innovation, according to a new report that lists just one UK firm among the world’s 50 most innovative companies.

The single British firm was multinational Unilever, which owns brands such as Lynx, Ben and Jerry’s and Dove. The firm finished in 49th place in the list compiled by Boston Consulting Group. 2013 saw three UK firms in the top 50.

“The UK is home to many innovative companies but in a competitive global economy, we need to continue to raise our game to embed a recovery driven by investment and exports,” said Matthew Fell, director for competitive markets at the Confederation of British Industry.

“While we have a world class research base in the UK we need to do better at turning these ideas into products and services we can sell globally.”

Tech and telecommunications companies lead the pack, holding down all of the top five spots, seven out of the top 10, and 21 of the top 50. Apple retained the number one spot which it has held since 2005. Google overtook Samsung to steal second place while Microsoft and IBM took fourth and fifth respectively.

No UK tech companies made the list, despite London progressing as global tech hub. The biggest change was a fall in the number of car companies, from 14 in 2013 to nine in 2014.

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