Since France is world’s sixth and Europe’s third largest economy, we have decided to bring you 11 biggest French companies. This way you will be able to see the greatest contributors to France’s economy.
France is by all means a wealthy country. In 2010, Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report ranked France “the wealthiest European country with 2.6 million dollar-millionaires, and the world’s 4th wealthiest nation in aggregate household wealth”. The key contributing factor to country’s economic growth is considered to be the chemical industry. For example, French company Sanofi is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines. This industry contributes to other manufacturing activities as well.
Besides chemical industry, there are few more industries where French companies rank among the largest like insurance and transportation. The fact that there are 3 French companies among 30 biggest European companies by market value proves that.
To determine 11 biggest French companies, we used an annual list made by Forbes. The list Global 2000 of world’s biggest public companies is based on four criteria: sales, profits, assets and market value. We looked at rankings for the year 2015, and took the 11 highest ranked companies from France, thus compiling our list.
11. Christian Dior SE
Global 2000 Rank: #180
Christian Dior, or simply Dior, is a luxury goods company based in Paris. Company’s main fields are fashion accessories and beauty products. This company holds 42.36% shares of and 59.01% voting rights within LVMH, world’s largest luxury group. In 2015 Christian Dior SE had a market value of $35.1 billion.
10. L’Oréal Group
Global 2000 Rank: #178
The world’s largest cosmetic company is based in Clichy, with a registered office in Paris. The company is mainly focused on hair color, skin care, sun protection, makeup, and perfumes. As of 2015, the market value of the company is $106.6 billion.
Global 2000 Rank: #165
VINCI is a French concessions and construction company based in Rueil-Malmaison. This is one of the largest company in the world based on revenue with sales being around $51.8 billion in 2015. The market value of the company is $35.5 billion.
8. Airbus Group NV (EADS)
Global 2000 Rank: #120
Although this company’s headquarters are based in Belgium, the company is considered French, where it has a main office in the city of Toulouse. Company deals in “manufacturing and selling commercial and military aircraft, civil and military helicopters, commercial space launch vehicles, missiles, satellites, and defense systems and electronics”. The market value of the company is $52.5 billion with sales being $80.53 billion in 2015.
7. Credit Agricole
Global 2000 Rank: #111
Credit Agricole’s main fields of activity are financial services and banking. The company is located in Montrouge and currently has 39 Crédit Agricole Regional Banks. Company’s market value is $40 billion with sales of $48.5 billion.
6. Société Générale
Global 2000 Rank: #101
One more financial services and banking company among 11 biggest French companies. Société Générale is based in Paris and is one of the oldest banks in France. The company was the one of the eleven banks who were fined for “colluding to charge unjustified fees on check processing”.
5. Engie (GDF SUEZ)
Global 2000 Rank: #98
Engie is based in Courbevoie and primarily deals in electricity generation and distribution, natural gas and renewable energy. The company previously existed as two separate French multinational corporations – Suez S.A. and Gaz de France before merging into one company called GDF SUEZ in 2006. The joint company changed its name to Engie in April of 2016. Company’s sales for 2015 were close to $99.1 billion.
Global 2000 Rank: #89
We already said in the intro that Sanofi is world’s largest vaccines producer. The company has headquarters in Gentilly and deals in all kinds of pharmaceutical products. The marketing value of the company is $136 billion with sales of $44.8 billion.
Global 2000 Rank: #68
Based in Paris, EDF is electric utility company owned majorly by the French government. The company was world’s largest producer of electricity in 2009 and produces electricity primarily from nuclear power. EDF had $96.66 billion in sales for the year 2015.
Global 2000 Rank: #35
Total is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world with sales of $211.35 billion in the last year and a member of six “Supermajor” oil companies in the world. Total is based in Courbevoie and besides oil, it is also a large chemical manufacturer.
1. AXA Group
Global 2000 Rank: #29
Based in Paris, AXA Group primary fields of activity are global insurance and investment management. With assets valued at $1,016.6 billion and $153.8 billion in sales, AXA deservedly holds the top position among 11 biggest French companies. The company is present all over the world but mainly focuses on Western Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific region.