A survey of 1000 of the best financially performing firms shows that 393 firms have seen their profits fall over the last 12 months, with one in five currently losing money.
But Plimsoll says 606 firms have increased profitability, some reporting margins of over 10 per cent.
The analysts say 363 firms have seen their sales decline by as much as 19 per cent and 440 firms have seen sales rise, some by up to 15 per cent.
Plimsoll says the market is showing no overall growth, compared to growth of almost 3 per cent this time last year.
Plimsoll senior analyst David Pattison says: “The recession has been a good thing for a number of companies, it has sharpened their management and improved the accountability of the directors, so much so that these reorganisations are already leading to an increase in profitability.
“However for those that have yet to come to terms with this changing market, times are tough and they risk falling further behind the successful competition unless they respond to this changing market.”