Top 10 biggest companies in Europe by revenue

Harry Menear
- Top 10 - Apr 13, 2018

Business Chief reveals the 10 European companies with the highest reported revenue at the end of 2017...

10. BNP Paribas - $109bn 
France’s largest banking house, BNP Paribas, generated $109bn in revenue in 2017. While this represents a 2.2% decrease in revenue when compared to 2016, BNP experienced a profit increase of 14.7%, according to Fortune. This is the third-largest profit increase in the top 10, and is predicted to increase further in the future, as BNP reveals plans to use Brexit as an opportunity to expand its share of the UK’s financial market. BNP is currently ranked 14th among investment banking houses in the UK, according to the Financial Times.

9. Allianz – $122.2bn
Allianz, the world’s largest property and casualty insurer, is based in Munich, Germany, and last year declared $122.2bn in revenue. While this represents a 0.6% revenue decrease in comparison to 2016, the company’s profits have grown by 3.7%. This makes 2017 a 10-year high point for company profits, according to Forbes. Allianz CEO Oliver Bate has recently warned that the improving health of the global economy may experience setbacks in 2018. As a result, Allianz is offering enhanced coverage for commercial property owners going forward by combining property and casualty covers. 

8. Total - $127.93bn 
Total, France’s largest oil and gas conglomerate, reported a total revenue of $127.93bn in 2017. At 10.8%, Total experienced the second-most severe revenue decrease in the top 10, in keeping with the industry as a whole, but experienced a profit growth of 21.8%. In January 2018, Total took ownership of the Lapa and Santos Basin oil fields from Petrobas, as part of a $1.95bn alliance deal. Expansion across multiple holdings is expected to add over 200,000 barrels of crude per day to the company’s production capacity. 

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7. AXA - $143.7bn 
With a reported revenue of $143.7bn, France’s largest insurance company AXA experienced revenue growth of 11.2%, the largest of any company on the list. Company profits have grown steadily at 3.5%, and a recent agreement between AXA and transportation giant Uber is expected to promote further growth. The new deal provides more comprehensive cover to Uber’s drivers for “medical expenses, disability indemnities, and survivor benefits in case of an accident”.

6. Exor Group - $154.9bn
Italian investment company Exor Group reported a yearly revenue of $154.9bn in 2017. While this figure represents a 1.5% increase over the previous year, Exor registered a profit-reduction of 21.1%, the worst of any company on the list. The Exor Group, through its subsidiaries, controls auto manufacturers (Fiat, Ferrari, Maserati), real estate service providers (C&W), and the Juventus FC football franchise. At over 300,000, Exor employs the largest workforce in the top 10. The company’s asset portfolio has shrunk dramatically in recent years: from $165.8bn in assets four years ago to $11.348bn this year, according to Forbes. 

5. Daimler - $169.5bn
German auto manufacturer Daimler reported a revenue of $169.5bn at the end of 2017, according to Fortune’s 500 list. The company has experienced stable growth in revenue (2.2%) and profit (0.9%), despite the decision to recall 3mn diesel vehicles in the summer of 2017 in response to the revelation that its products were performing far below carbon emission standards. The recall effort has been estimated to cost over $220mn by Fortune. The company has shown steady growth in profit since turning a loss of over $3.6bn in 2015. The scandal is being held responsible for Daimler’s descent down the Fortune Global 500 list this year, to a worldwide position of 17. 

4. Glencore Plc - $173.9bn 
Swiss commodities giant Glencore reported a net revenue of $173.9bn this year, the figure representing a 2.2% increase over 2016. Profits showed no change, according to Fortune’s Global 500 list. The company’s investment in mining and metals, agricultural equipment, and energy products has resulted in a slow return to profitability after massive losses in 2011. The steady sale of its assets has seen a reduction in company value of almost $100bn since 2012. Steadily declining commodities prices and rising costs have caused concern among investors over Glencore’s future, reports Fortune, and the company has been urged to reduce spending further in the coming year. Glencore has fallen two places on the Fortune Global 500 list this year, down to number 16 overall. 

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3. British Petroleum (BP) - $186.61bn
With a net revenue of $186.61bn, BP continues its descent through the Fortune Global 500 rankings, from its high point of second in 2005, dropping again to rank 12th in the world this year. The company experienced a 17.4% revenue decrease in comparison to the previous fiscal year, although profits remained the same. BP displayed promising signs of resurgence this year, resuming the practice of share buybacks in a move that shows Big Oil is learning to turn a profit in a post-oil-crash market, according to Fortune. 

2. Royal Dutch Shell - $240.03bn 
Royal Dutch Shell is incontestably this year’s European success story. While the company’s net revenue $240.03bn decreased by 11.8% from the last financial year, Shell experienced a profit increase of 135.9%, the highest by far of any company in the European top 10. Deep spending and job cuts have allowed Shell to adapt to the $50 per barrel oil market. Third-quarter profits were also boosted in Shell’s upstream sector by Hurricane Harvey, which temporarily reduced US oil production by over 25%. The company announced it remains confident going into 2018, provided world oil prices remain above $50 per barrel. 

1. Volkswagen - $240.4bn 
Boasting the highest revenue of any European company at $240.4bn, Volkswagen continues its steady ascent up the Fortune Global 500 list, with a revenue growth of 1.5%, reaching an all-time high of sixth in the global rankings. While profits remain unchanged from 2016, Volkswagen increased sales in 2017 by 4.3%, according to German news source De Local. In the face of financial setbacks, Volkswagen has turned to the emerging markets of electrical and self-driving cars, acquiring Aurora Innovation at the beginning of 2018, financially backing the startup’s aim to have self-driving cars on the streets in between two and five cities by 2021.

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