France is one of the world’s economic leaders, being on the 6th place in the world by nominal figures and the 3rd in the EU after Germany and the UK. Due to its diversified economy, especially the chemical and tourism industries development, France is quite successful in the global market, and local manufacturers’ products are highly demanded all over the world. Though not that stable, like Germany’s, the French economy successfully survived the recession of the late 2000s and the recent yellow-vests protests, achieving the highest consumer confidence level in last 7 months in March 2019.
Of course, it’s too soon to say France overcame all the blows that the economy has been exposed to over the past ten years. High unemployment (especially among young people), low competitiveness level, public finance issues and foreign investors sceptical point of view on the local labour market - these are just some of the problems, currently faced by the governance, that take quite much time to be solved.
However, the French economy is growing, albeit slowly but steadily. This fact and the country’s leading position in the global political and economic life make it attractive for all sorts of investors. We at Global Database decided to facilitate the task of finding future partners and businesses to invest in. The TOP French companies by revenue was created to help you get acquainted with the local market, its main players and the possibilities they can offer you and your company.
This rating is based on the carefully verified, timely refreshed company data on French companies, gathered on our business intelligence platform, so that you can be sure the information you get is always relevant.
*All figures are in USD. M: Millions of USD, B: Billions of USD
*EUR was converted to USD using an average currency rate of 0.89 EUR to 1 USD
1. AXA ($149.5B)
AXA Group (later AXA) is the oldest and the largest French insurance, financial services and investment management company with a perfect reputation, well-known for its philanthropic activity, and the 2nd biggest insurer in Europe after the Allianz Group. The conglomerate employs 95,728 professionals across 5 continents and regions, including Africa. Together they generated net assets of $1.04B and annual revenue of $149.5B in 2018, which made AXA the largest French company to enter the Global Fortune 500 list and become the first one in our rating.
2. Total ($149.1B)
Total S.A. (later Total) is an oil and gas giant headquartered in France and activating all over the world through its over 900 subsidiaries with 98,277 employees’ help. Total wears the title of one of the world’s “Supermajor” oil companies and the 2nd biggest liquefied natural gas company. It has ended the fiscal year of 2018 with impressive indicators: yearly income - $149.1B, total assets - $242.6B and profits - $8.6B.
3. BNP Paribas ($117.4B)
BNP Paribas S.A. (later BNP) is an international banking organisation present in 77 countries and headquartered in Paris. The group is a member of the TOP-10 world’s largest banks with huge assets of $2,353B as of 2018. The majority of its 189,509 employees are serving over 30M customers in France, Italy and Belgium, only as well as numerous customers in Africa and the Americas, not mentioning the whole of Europe. BNP registered a positive 2.7% profit change and $117.4B annual revenue in 2018, so the past financial year can be called successful.
4. Carrefour ($91.3B)
Carrefour S.A. (later Carrefour) is the leading retailer in France, operating a chain of over 12,300 self-service shops with 328,973 employees in 33 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, Northern and Southern America - a truly international retail chain. The average annual revenue of Carrefour has grown with 4.8% compared to the previous financial year and currently is $91.3B (as of 2018). Carrefour invests a lot in food waste limitation initiatives and technologies, and organic products production - $2.27B in 2018.
5. Crédit Agricole ($84.2B)
Crédit Agricole Group (later Crédit Agricole) is the most prominent cooperative financial institution in the world, which is firmly connected to farming and headquartered in France. 73,707 professionals working for the holding serve multiple local (28%) and international customers in 10,000+ branches, including 2,509 local banks, and generated $84.2B revenue in 2018. Crédit Agricole is also a well-known sports sponsor: the sponsorship includes Tour de France cycling team from the home country, France national football team and Italian national rugby team.
6. Électricité de France ($78.5B)
Électricité de France S.A. (later EDF) is a state-owned electric utility organisation, operating power plants across Europe, Asia, Africa and Americas with the common generation capacity of over 120 GW that serve more than 38M customers all over the world. 2018 financial year brought a good income to the company - $78.5B and a positive profit change of 13.4%. One of EDF’s focuses is on renewable energies development. Around $28B were spent on photovoltaic solar power generation sites and technologies only in 2018.
7. Engie ($75.6B)
ENGIE is a European electric utility giant, headquartered in France, and the first electricity provider to build a nuclear energy production plant in the region. Currently, ENGIE owns nuclear reactors in France, Belgium and Germany, each one’s capacity equivalent to 1,208MW. It also operates within the natural gas and renewable energy market. The company employs 151,677 professionals (as of the end of 2018) that helped it reach a revenue of $75.6B, as well as $180.5B assets in the same year.
8. Peugeot ($73.5B)
Peugeot, the French automotive giant with $69B assets as of 2018, holds five European Car of the Year awards. Its motorsport cars have won numerous rally prices all over the world and keep doing this till now. The Peugeot auto concern is among European leaders of successful CO2 emission reduction, the 2nd after Renault. With its 177,757 professionals working at Peugeot plants across 4 continents and in multiple subsidiaries the company managed to reach a revenue of $73.5B in 2018 and increase the profit with 13.7%.
9. Société Générale ($69.9B)
Société Générale S.A. (later Société Générale) is the most famous French banking group, operating in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia and headquartered in Paris. This investment bank and financial services organisation has a collection of titles, demonstrating its success, like “the 3rd largest bank by total assets in France” or “the TOP-6 European largest banks’ member”, which is not surprising considering the $1,531B in assets (as of 2018) and the impressive number of employees (153,168 people), that generated $69.9B annual income in 2018.
10. Renault ($66.2B)
Although Groupe Renault (later Renault), one of the biggest automotive manufacturers and retailers, has ended its past financial year somewhat more modest than its main competitor in France, Peugeot ($66.2B annual revenue vs $73.5B), we can say for sure that the fight goes on and the next year’s TOP may look different. Renault keeps up with the times and partners with Nissan on electric vehicles production. The company’s effort has brought the incredible 52.5% profit growth and increased assets to $132B in 2018.
11. Groupe BPCE ($61.1B)
Groupe BPCE (later BPCE) is yet another international banking holding from France, that serves around 40M customers via over 8,200 offices in France only, and has subsidiaries also in Germany and the UK. All these branches, providing banking & financial services to all types of clients, from individuals to big organisations (including state institutions), are handled by 104,770+ employees, who managed to generate $61.1B income in 2018.
12. Auchan Holding ($60B)
Groupe Auchan SA (later Auchan Holding or Auchan) is a multinational retail giant from France operating in 15 countries except the home country. The huge Auchan retail stores chain counts around 639 hypermarkets and over 2,800 supermarkets, served by 341,349 employees across 16 countries. Altogether the Auchan’s retail stores generated $60B annual revenue and $310M profits in 2018. The company retails 12 own-label product brands.
13. Finatis ($51.6B)
Finatis Group (later Finatis) is a French holding operating a large food retailer The Casino group, including hypermarkets, supermarkets and discounters under the Giant Casino, Leader Price, Monoprix and Franprix brands, and a real estate company Fonciere Euris. Around 231,544 professionals working for Finatis and serving the assets it owns achieved solid results during the 2018 financial year: $51.6B yearly income and $42M assets.
14. CNP Assurances ($50.7B)
CNP Assurances S.A. (later CNP) is an insurance corporation, working internationally (Brazil is its 2nd largest market) and headquartered in France. CNP is 40% state-owned. Its 5,171 employees serve over 14M pension and savings policyholders, as well as 27M insurance policyholders. CPN registered a $50.7B annual income in 2018 and, judging by the positive revenue change (6.1%) in the same year it has got as much a chance to continue the trend it in 2019.
15. Christian Dior ($49.2B)
Christian Dior SE (later Dior) is one of the most well-known European luxury goods companies and the world’s fashion icons, it’s pret-a-porter and haute-couture collections being an object of adoration of fashion lovers all over the world. The company spent a successful financial year in 2018 with a yearly income of $49.2B and profits of $2.5M as a result of the work of 131,310 employees across multiple Dior assets around the globe.
16. Orange ($46.3B)
Orange S.A. (later Orange) is among the world’s top telecommunication companies - the 12th largest mobile network operator with over 256M customers. Orange employs 154,000+ professionals, 95,000 of them working in France, who managed to generate a revenue of $46.3B in 2018. The company is a member of the European TOP-4 largest mobile network operators. It owns mobile operators in 9 European countries, and the Orange brand name is licenced to operators from 5 countries in Europe.
17. Vinci ($46.3B)
Vinci S. A. (later VINCI) is a concession and construction giant from France with the Channel Tunnel and the Atlantic Bridge in Panama among its major projects. VINCI is the world’s biggest company from its industry by revenue, that is $46.3B as for 2018. The company operates in Europe, North America, Africa, but most of its net sales (58.9%) come from France. Around 194,428 employees of the company provide design, construction, renovation and maintenance services for buildings, transport, energy and telecom infrastructures in over 100 countries.
18. Saint-Gobain ($46B)
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A. (later Saint-Gobain) is a multinational corporation from France with a four-century history. Initially, it was known as a mirror and other glass products manufacturer, but now Saint-Gobain is working in building distribution (4,000+ stores in 24+ countries), innovative materials and construction production sectors. Its $46B annual revenue in 2018 placed it on the 19th position in our TOP French companies. Saint-Gobain employs over 179,000 professionals that ensured the profit growth of 21,8% in 2018.
19. Sanofi ($40.8B)
Sanofi S. A. (later Sanofi), French pharmaceuticals company, working internationally, was the 5th biggest company in the world by prescription sales in 2013 and still keeps its position among the world’s pharmaceuticals leaders with $40.8B as of 2018. The company consistently acquires new laboratories and medicine manufacturers, thus expanding its products and services range. The drugs the company produces cover 7 key therapeutic areas.
20. Bouygues ($37.3B)
The French industrial group Bouygues S.A. (later Bouygues) is the company behind such well-known construction projects, as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the expansion of North Middlesex University Hospital. The company’s 115,530 employees in 90 countries from construction, telecommunications and media subsidiaries of Bouygues generated $37.3B annual income in 2018.
21. SNCF Mobilités ($35.9B)
Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (later SNCF) is the national railway company, owned by the French state and working both in France and Monaco. SNCF operates 14,000 trains daily, working on 32,000 km of railway lines, including 1,800 km high-speed and 14,500 - electrified ones. Around 202,000 employees are serving all the rail infrastructure in France and Monaco and are generating a solid income, like that of $35.9B in 2018.
22. L'Oréal ($29.9B)
L'Oréal S.A. (later L'Oréal) is a world-known personal care company from France, famous for its cosmetics. The company cares for the quality of its products, investing in the best laboratories and the most careful research. L’Oreal is a stakeholder of Sanofi-Avensis (№20 in our rating) - the largest European pharmaceuticals company. It also partners with Nestle on nutrition cosmetics. Over 82,000 employees working in L’Oreal have won $29.9B annual revenue in 2018 producing and selling the products all over the world.
23. Air France-KLM Group ($29B)
The Franco-Dutch airline holding Air France-KLM Group (later Air France-KLM), headquartered in France and operating under the local law, generated $29B annual revenue in 2019. The company is partially owned by both states (French and Dutch) in about equal shares, several foreign airlines, like China Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and employees, but the major shares part (64%) is a floating one.
24. Veolia Environnement ($28.3B)
The French transnational company Veolia Environnement S.A. (later Veolia) works in such socially significant areas, like water and waste management, as well as energy services. These fields are normally managed by public authorities, but in France, the state shifted their handling to Veolia. The company operates 2,573 subsidiaries in 48 countries from all the continents and employs over 164,300 professionals, that generated $28.3B yearly income in 2018.
25. Schneider Electric ($27.9B)
Schneider Electric SE (later Schneider Electric) is one of the world’s most famous power management companies, established in the beginning of the 19th century, located in France and operating in more than 100 countries. The company employs around 142,013 professionals that generated $27.9B annual revenue in 2018, 5% of which was allocated for innovation and research for sustainable development. Schneider Electric is the owner of 20,000+ patents and keeps increasing their number developing ultimate solutions for electrical power management.