Europe’s countries with the most successful companies

Whitehall, London, the area at the heart of the UK public sector. — Image by © Tim Sandle.

Where, within wider Europe, are the most successful companies located. In the post-Brexit world it is perhaps surprising that the U.K. has the highest number of companies that rank in Europe’s top 100 for-profit per employee.

Two European Union nations – France and Germany – rank joint second with 21 companies each in the top 100. The Netherlands is the third most successful country.

The new survey reveals the European countries that are home to companies that make the most profit per employee. The study has been undertaken by the global fintech group Plus500. To derive at the outcome, the firm analysed the largest companies in Europe (by market cap) and compared their total profit in 2022 with their number of employees to discover each business’s profit per employee (this approach is a fairly common, if simplified, measure of corporate success and profitability).

Following this, the firm then calculated which countries had the highest number of companies with the largest profit per employee in the list, to find the most business centric countries in Europe.

The headline findings are:

  United Kingdom – 22 of the top 100 companies

The U.K. is home to many large companies, some of which are not only the largest in Europe but across the globe. These are companies like energy giants BP, which makes £366,635 profit for every employee, and Shell which is the third most successful company in Europe, making £326,501 per employee.

Global pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca also feature in the top 100 largest companies, as well as banking companies HSBC and Lloyds. The U.K. has a vast array of businesses reaching across many industries.

View of the London financial district across the Thames. Image by Tim Sandle.

France – 21 of the top 100

France ranks joint second in this list with 21 companies in the top 100 companies by profit per employee. These companies include Luxury retailers, Hermes, Dior and LVMH, who have all set the benchmark for high-end fashion worldwide. France is also home to food production company Danone and Liqueur retailer Pernod Ricard both of which rank in the top 25 most in Europe based on profit per employee. France has a multitude of successful businesses that are known globally.

Germany – 21 of the top 100

Germany is home to many successful companies, including Hapag-Lloyd being which topped Plus500’s ranking as the company with the most profit per employee, at £1,058,898 per employee. As well as shipping and transport Germany also has some of the world’s largest retailers with Adidas and car manufacturers Porsche and Mercedes.

Netherlands – 10 of the top 100

The Netherlands is third on this list with 10 of the companies that make the most profit per employee, including the automotive manufacturing corporation Stellantis. The Netherlands is also known around the world for being home to one of the most famous beers Heineken, as well as the renowned multinational music corporation Universal Music Group, which operates in over 60 countries.

Republic of Ireland – 8 of the top 100

The Republic of Ireland has the fourth most companies in Europe. Ireland has eight of Europe’s most successful companies in Europe originating there, with information technology and consulting giants Accenture, a Fortune 500 company, as well as global leader in medical technology Medtronic.

Italy – 5 of the top 100

Italy has five of Europe’s most successful companies by profit per employee, these range from energy giant ENI (fourth most profit per employee in Europe, £325,927), to luxury car manufacturer Ferrari.

Bubbling under are Denmark, with 4 of the top 100 (such as the successful logistics companies DSV and Maersk, and the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk); Sweden (3 of the top 100) and Belgium with one of the top 100 (Anheuser-Busch InBev).

Europe’s countries with the most successful companies
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