The world’s 7th largest economic power as of 2020, France is standing strong. The country’s economy has seen better days than yesteryear, and the numbers and forecasts are not too bright either. Compared to other European countries, its economy was among those that were hit the hardest by the consequences of the so-needed stringent lockdown measures. The extension of the lockdown period may be an impediment to a fast economic recovery.
All the country’s sectors of industry proved vulnerable to the pandemic, with tourism, transport, aerospace and automobiles industries being among those that were affected the most. Unsurprisingly, pharmaceuticals and agri-food sectors were the resilient ones.
Indeed, France unemployment rate and public debt have risen considerably, yet IMF’s expectations are far from being gloomy, with a 5.5% and 4.1% anticipated GDP growth for 2021 and 2022, respectively. We believe that the country’s biggest companies will be among the pillars to support the economy and, therefore, decided to compile this list of top largest companies by revenue in France in 2020.
*All figures are in USD. M: Millions of USD, B: Billions of USD
Total SE (further Total) is a century-year-old French multinational company managing oil and gas units that ensure upstream, midstream and downstream operations, along with chemicals manufacturing. With their headquarters located in Paris, Total’s wingspan now spreads to over 130 countries, assuring almost 108 thousand employees with jobs. This year is the third one in a row when Total makes it into our top 3 companies in France by revenue and the second year of holding the leading position with an astonishing figure of $176.25 B in revenue as of 2020. While being the 8th in the top companies in France by assets in 2021, Total promises to keep transitioning towards a lower carbon energy mix, as well as increase their renewable energy generation to 25 GW by 2025.
A big dream of a small group of people to grow from a Normandy-focused insurer to being one of the global leaders in insurance worked, and as of 2020 AXA SA (further AXA) asserted its presence in 54 countries across 4 continents serving over 100 million clients. Officially launched as AXA in 1985, it is today a holding company primarily engaged in providing both property-casualty and life&savings insurance as well as asset management. Being a preferred workplace of almost 100 thousand employees, AXA has reported $149 B in revenue for 2020 taking the second spot on our list of largest companies in France by revenue.
Crédit Agricole Group (further Crédit Agricole) is one of the world’s systemically important banks and is the largest cooperative financial institution. Tracing its roots back to the end of the 19th century, today Crédit Agricole is a leading bank and a leading insurer in France and top asset manager in Europe, while also engaging in social projects, cultural patronage and environmental protection. Almost 80 thousand employees in 48 countries gladly serve 52 million customers. With their common effort, Crédit Agricole makes it into our top 3 companies in France, recording $105 B in revenue in 2020.
Carrefour S.A. (further Carrefour) is a well-known international corporation dealing in retail trade. Opened 61 years ago in then-suburban Annecy in Eastern France, Carrefour is now present across 4 continents. Among the main goals to achieve by 2022 is to make healthy, fresh organic food accessible to everyone and encouraging food transition. Unsurprisingly, yesteryear has accelerated the retail giant’s digitisation, and a new Carrefour e-commerce platform was launched. Altogether the activities have brought the company $85.9 B in revenue, leading Carrefour to 4th place in our top 25 public companies in France in 2020.
BNP Paribas S.A. (further BNP Paribas) is yet another financial institution making it in our top five public companies in France by revenue in 2020. An international banking group, it is headquartered in Paris and represented by over 190 thousand employees across 68 countries and territories. In 2020, BNP Paribas has participated in several initiatives for a socially responsible recovery as well as mobilised on a large scale to meet their clients’ needs. With all the sad events in mind, BNP Paribas has managed to hit $85.06 B in revenue and thus getting the 5th spot in our list of leading companies in France in 2020.
Peugeot S.A. (further Peugeot) is a French holding company with a colourful history. It started with a family-owned steel foundry and evolved into a world-renowned vehicles and motorbikes manufacturer, employing over 200 thousand people across five continents. Peugeot vehicle models have won a series of awards and their sale along with other activities brought the company $83.6 B in revenue as of 2020. At the very beginning of 2021, Peugeot has become part of Stellantis N.V., a multinational company specialising in the design, development, manufacture and marketing of vehicles and motorcycles, which was formed by a 50-50 cross-border merger. But this is a totally different story.
Électricité de France S.A. (further EDF) is one of the big multinational guys among the world’s electric utility companies. Headquartered in Paris, EDF pride themselves in as much as 90% of production free from CO2 emissions. Being present in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Middle East and Asia, EDF employs over 165 thousand people and serves almost 38 million client sites worldwide. Altogether, these helped EDF generate $80.28 B in revenue and thus rank 7th in our list of the largest public companies in France in 2020.
ENGIE S.A. (further Engie) is yet another contender on our list of top companies in France by revenue in 2020 busy with energy-related activities. It is one of the few multinational electric utility companies that are engaging in both upstream and downstream activities, and have been doing it quite successfully so far. Engie has a truly global presence, hiring over 170 thousand people all over the world. With a confident vector on helping businesses and local authorities to shift to carbon neutrality, they have been directing a growing amount of investments in renewable energies. With all that in mind, Engie has managed to score $67.2 B in revenue in 2020, thus taking the 8th spot in the top ten companies in France by revenue.
Renault S.A. (further Renault) is one of the historically important corporate giants still standing strong on the automobile market both locally and internationally. It holds the 9th spot in our top public companies in France for the second year in a row, reporting $62.16 B by revenue as of 2020. Renault closed the year with over $137 B in assets, managing 38 plants around the world and hiring over 170 thousand employees. Renault has a relatively small market value ($5.8B), compared to other companies on this list of largest companies in France, and is one of the two entities presented in this top Global Database companies post that has registered a loss. Yet its ‘Renaulution’ along with Nissan and Mitsubishi partnerships towards carbon neutrality and sustainable mobility appears to be quite promising.
On the verge of its 75th anniversary, Christian Dior SE (further Christian Dior) stubbornly keeps expanding the boundaries of extravagance and pampers customers all over the world with the exquisite goods and goodies leaving their production sites. A truly iconic luxury brand, Christian Dior is now present on European, North American and Asian markets, operating through over 400 subsidiaries. With the help of almost 150 thousand employees, Christian Dior managed to record $60.07 B in revenue and thus made it in our top 10 public companies in France by revenue in 2020.
Société Générale S.A. (further Société Générale) is a multinational financial institution headquartered a few kilometres away from Paris. Specialised in local, international and global banking, financial services and investor solutions, it is now the workplace for almost 130 thousand professionals. Even though in 2020 Société Générale has been through better and worse days, they still managed to close the year with $2.8 B in profit and $1,522.5 B worth of assets, bringing Société Générale to the 3rd place among the largest public companies in France by assets. From the income perspective, Société Générale has generated $56.85 B, thus ranking 11th in our top companies in France by revenue in 2020.
VINCI S.A. (further VINCI) is a construction company and transport infrastructure concession operator, headquartered in Rueil-Malmaison, just a few kilometres west of Paris. During over 120 years of existence, VINCI has completed a wide range of major construction and concession projects in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As of 2020, VINCI employed over 220 thousand people all over the world and reported $102.3 B in assets for the same year. As for revenue, despite the declines in anticipated motorway traffic, VINCI generated $54.79 B and therefore got the 12th spot on our list of the largest companies in France by revenue in 2020.
CNP Assurances S.A. (further CNP Assurances) is a major life insurance, pension, personal risk insurance, health insurance and service provider, headquartered in Paris. Their history goes back to the 19th century and CNP Assurances are actually pioneers of life insurance in France. In present times, though, the international partnerships they have built help them offer their services not only in France but also across Europe and in Brazil. Their a bit over 5 thousand employees have managed and closed the year with $470.3 B worth of assets, while also reporting $54.36 B in revenue. In such a way, CNP Assurances have earned their place in our list of top 15 companies in France by revenue in 2020.
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A. (further Saint-Gobain) is a French company that is recognised for the 10th consecutive year as being one of the 100 most innovative companies in the world for a noble reason. Even though they seem to have been on the market forever, their foundation going back to the 17th century, Saint-Gobain are continuously developing and innovating to “make the world a better home”. Dividing their activities into building supplies, construction products, external venturing as well as innovative materials, they proudly say that one in four products they make did not exist 5 years ago - a quite impressive innovation rate. On top of that, Saint-Gobain was one of the 16 companies in the world to receive the ‘Top Employer Global’ distinction, and they were presented this award for the 6th consecutive year. In such a way, Saint-Gobain’s over 167 thousand happy employees helped the company generate $47.65 B in revenue in 2020.
Orange S.A. (further Orange) is one of the well known big multinational telecommunications dogs. Orange is headquartered in Paris, their services being provided all over the world. Moreover, their voice and data network is present in 220 countries and territories across the globe, creating the possibility to offer flawless services to over 266 million customers, corporates and individuals alike. Orange’s most important vectors until 2025 are growth and responsibility, with an emphasis on ethical principles to enable sustainable performance and digital equality. The common efforts of their 146 thousand employees brought Orange $47.27B in revenue, helping the company to make it in the top 15 largest companies in France in 2020.
Finatis S.A. (further Finatis) is a company running a handful of quite diverse activities, including food retail, real estate and sports equipment, to name a few, and hiring over 200 thousand people as of 2020. Their investment portfolio includes both real estate and private equity. Being headquartered in Paris, the company’s presence expands across France and certain regions in Latin America. Finatis is the second company in this list of biggest businesses in France by revenue the bottom line of which showed a negative figure, and namely ($173.4M). Regardless, Finatis reported $45.04B in revenue for the same year, hence the 16th place in our list of largest companies in France in 2020.
Bouygues S.A. (further Bouygues) is a diversified services group headquartered in Paris. The spheres they operate in include telecommunications, media, construction, real estate development and transportation. In 2020, Bouygues claim to have focused even more on solutions both socially and environmentally responsible. Even though they only got the 28th spot in our list of top companies in France by assets in 2020, their 130 thousand employees in 81 countries helped Bouygues generate $42.54B in revenue, snatching the 17th place in our top public businesses in France by revenue in 2020.
Sanofi S.A. (further Sanofi) is a multinational pharmaceutical company setting base in Paris. As of 2020, the company was hiring over 100 thousand employees, a good share of which were engaged in research, production and distribution of pharma products. Sanofi is also known for its remarkable figures registered for prescription sales. As of 2020, Sanofi recorded $126.5 B in assets and 69 manufacturing sites in 32 countries. Providing healthcare solutions in 170 countries, Sanofi reported $42.12 B in revenue and ranks 18th in our top companies in France by revenue in 2020.
L'Oréal S.A. (further L'Oréal) is a renowned international personal care company, headquarters of which is located in the suburbs of Paris. L'Oréal’s history started about 110 years ago with a hair dye formula, and now the company markets thousands of individual products along with about 500 brands. Generally, the products can be grouped into high-end, dermo-cosmetic skincare, professional and consumer products. As of 2020, L'Oréal reported $33.44 B in revenue, making it 19th in our 2020 top companies in France by revenue.
Veolia Environment S.A. (further Veolia) is a transnational company engaged in the design and supply of water, waste and energy management solutions. Even with all of the yesteryear’s events, Veolia has fully mobilised its resources to assure the provision of essential services, managing and supervising all the group’s activities from their headquarters in Paris. Their over 178 thousand employees across the world helped the company in acting and committing to ecological transformation. All in all, Veolia reported a revenue of $30.43B and ranked 20th in our list of the largest companies in France by revenue in 2020.
Air France-KLM S.A. (further Air France-KLM) is also known as Air France-KLM Group due to the 16-year old merger between Dutch KLM and Air France. The companies’ routes can be traced back to 1919 and 1933, respectively, hence the great importance of the merger agreement. Serving over 250 destinations, the Group prides itself in being the most extensive route network between Europe and the rest of the world. Despite all the difficulties that had affected the global transportation sector, Air France-KLM reported a profit of $324.6 M and $34.5 B in assets. All in all, it ranks 21st among our top companies in France with $430.43 B in revenue as of 2020.
Schneider Electric SE (further Schneider Electric) is a multinational company setting base in Rueil-Malmaison in the western suburbs of Paris. The company engages in the digital transformation of energy management and automation. Schneider Electric’s mission is to help others make the most of resources and energy, partner with others for sustainability and efficiency - all by integrating outstanding process and energy technologies, soft, products and services for industries, infrastructure, data centers, buildings and homes. Hiring about 130 thousand people in over 100 countries, Schneider Electric has managed to generate $30.40 B in revenue in 2020, hence the 22nd spot on our top 25 companies in France by revenue in 2020.
Safran S.A. (further Safran) is a multinational high-technology group headquartered in Paris. After almost 100 years of activity, Safran, separately or in partnerships, holds leadership positions in the main market it operates in, and namely aviation, defence and space markets. Their over 95 thousand employees engage in the entire process of the creation of aircraft, defence and communication equipment and technologies, from design to sale. Running their operations in countries across Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania, Safran reported $28.42B in revenue in 2020.
Danone S.A. (further Danone) is a multinational company operating in the food processing industry, headquertered in Paris. The business’s activities are divided into Early Life Nutrition, Essential Dairy and Plant-based products, Water and Medical nutrition. One of their main goals is to deliver healthier and responsibly produced food and drinks to people. With that in mind, Danone products are available in over 120 countries. Hiring over 100 thousand people in 55 countries, Danone managed to generate $28.30 B in sales in 2020, making it into our list of top companies in France by revenue in 2020.
Financière de l'Odet S.A. (further Financière de l'Odet) is French investment holding company, founded almost two centuries ago. Financière de l'Odet manages various businesses along with financial assets including a portfolio of financial holdings, real estate assets and plantations. The most renowned company in Financière de l'Odet’s portfolio is Bolloré, as it holds an over 60% share of the latter’s capital and thus engages in communication and media, electricity storage and solutions, transportation and logistics, and oil logistics. Hiring almost 84 thousand people, in 2020 Financière de l'Odet generated $27.81 B in revenue closing our top 25 companies in France by revenue in 2020.