Most pub companies are failing to grow their sales, according to a new report. The study by Plimsoll Publishing reveals that the UK's largest 100 pub, bar and inn companies now own 97% of the market – an increase of 4% in just two years. The report reveals that 40% of firms have lost value recently. And the report has discovered that 37 of those same companies are showing no sales increases at all. It has also found that 27 are selling less than they were two years ago, 74 of them have failed to increase sales at the same rate as their investment and even more disturbing – 51 increased their debts to simply hold their place in the market. "The recent slowdown in the UK economy will only accelerate a long standing problems in the market," said David Pattison, senior analyst with Plimsoll. "Following the last few years which have been largely profitable, business leaders have been keen to invest heavily, and in turn have borrowed heavily. "Yet due to the turbulent economic climate of 2008 they are seeing very little by way of return. "This ambitious investment strategy has left some companies in severe financial danger, and as a result 71 companies have been awarded a danger rating in this study as a result of their failing business strategy." As well as revealing the precarious state of the top 100 pub companies the Plimsoll report also reveals which firms are ripe for acquisition. Pattison added: "The consequences are serious; these companies need to have a serious rethink when it comes to their business models. "It is likely that jobs will be lost and key projects could be cancelled in an attempt to control the spending – but for some companies it could well be a case of too little, too late,"