Top GDB companies

Top 25 Public Companies in Hong Kong by Sales in 2018

by Nicolae Buldumac
Top 25 Public Companies in Hong Kong by Sales in 2018

Hong Kong is one of the leading international financial centers in the world, which means favorable conditions for business, including low taxes and nearly free port trade. It’s strongly connected to the Chinese economy. Most of its companies serve the Mainland China area along with the Hong Kong territory and many Chinese companies, like China Mobile and Lenovo Group, are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. 

At the same time, this country was able to become an independent center of attraction for businesses of all sorts, especially the investment and financial ones. It can be called the financial capital of Asia. As the Index of Economic Freedom claims, Hong Kong is the most economically-free region in the world since this rating was first established. 

Hong Kong’s economy has grown by 1.2% in the last quarter of 2018, while the yearly growth was more modest - 0.6% only. The current situation heavily depends on the US - China trade war twists, that affect mainly fixed investment and goods export, while the stock and property sectors stay untouched for now. The next G20 summit could change the situation to the best, but the experts agree that a trade deal between the US and China is still very unlikely. 

Despite the ongoing situation with the Chinese economy contractions, caused by the trade war,   
Hong Kong still continues to be one of the most preferred destinations for businesses from all over the world. Global Database collected data on the biggest local public companies to help you evaluate the best investment and partnership possibilities within Hong Kong’s most attractive economy sectors. This Top 25 public companies in Hong Kong by sales is based on the data our business intelligence platform contains and gives you the possibility to get some financial insights on the biggest players on the market.

*All figures are in USD. M: Millions of USD, B: Billions of USD

*HKD was converted to USD using an average exchange rate of 7.81 HKD to 1 USD   

1. China Mobile ($111.8B)
China Mobile Communications Corporation (further China Mobile) is the leading public company and the biggest telecommunication provider in Hong Kong. Though headquartered in Hong Kong, China Mobile offers its GSM standard mobile services across mainland China, which makes it the biggest mobile telecommunications company by market cap ($194.93B) and by sales ($111.8B) in China in 2018. But the list of achievements doesn’t end on this. No wonder, that China Mobile is also the world’s leading mobile phone operator by subscribers’ number, which was as big as 902M+ as of June 2018.

2. CITIC ($68B)
CITIC Limited (further CITIC) is a multi-industry company, operating in energy, resources, real estate, financial services and other sectors, located in Hong Kong. The CITIC Group from China owns over half of its public shares. The holding includes steel, mining, telecom and other companies. It also owns major shares of the franchise rights for McDonald’s in China and Hong Kong. The diversified business of CITIC has resulted in $68B in sales, $6.4B in profits, $978.5B in assets and a $43.6B market value in 2018.

3. Lenovo Group ($50B)
Lenovo Group Limited (further Lenovo) is an international technology company from China, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company is the biggest personal computer dealer in the world by unit sales, as of March 2019, with annual sales of $50B in 2018. Lenovo has over 54,000 employees, working across plants and offices in more than 60 countries and supporting its sales network, that extends across 160 countries. The market value of the company is $11.2B.

4. China Unicom ($44.1B)
China Unicom Global Limited (further China Unicom) is a telecommunications company from Hong Kong. Its mother company, China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. is the 4th biggest mobile service provider by the number of subscribers. China Unicom is serving Hong Kong and international markets, like Asia Pacific, Middle East, Americas, Europe, and South Africa. This wide operational geography allowed the company to earn $44.1B in sales and $1.6B in profits in 2018. 

5. Jardine Matheson ($42.5B)
Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited (further Jardines) is a syndicate from the UK with headquarters in Hong Kong, operating 8 businesses in logistics, hotel, dairy and other areas. The company is primarily listed on the London Stock Exchange, having a market value of $20.2B. Jardines reached $42.5B in sales and $1.7B in profits in 2018, almost half of the company’s profits being earned in China. The assets owned by Jardines were $86.3B in the same year.  

6. AIA Group ($39.5B)
AIA Group Limited (further AIA) is the biggest public life insurance company from Asia, headquartered in Hong Kong. AIA operates in eighteen countries across Asia Pacific, serving most of them in collaboration with Citibank. The company provides individual insurance services to over 30M customers and supports group insurance schemes for around 16M group members. AIA managed to get $39.5B in sales in 2018, while the profits and assets for the same year reached $3.2B and $226.9B respectively.

7. CK Hutchison ($35.4B)
CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (further CK Hutchison) is an international syndicate, working in such areas as energy, retail, telecommunications and many more. The company is registered on the Cayman Islands and located in Hong Kong, while its operations are spread across 50+ countries. CK Hutchison is the owner of 28 major holdings across 5+ industries, served by over 270,000 professionals, who generated $35.4B in sales and $5B in profits in 2018.

8. CNOOC ($33.9B)
CNOOC Limited (further CNOOC) is the main subsidiary of one of the biggest national oil enterprises in China. It is also the biggest offshore crude oil and natural gas producer in the country with almost 5,500 employees, who generated annual revenue of $33.9B in 2018. CNOOC can also boast of $98.9B in assets and $83.9B market value for the same year. The company’s assets are located in the home country, as well as in the rest of Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania.

9. China Taiping Insurance ($27.3B)
China Taiping Insurance Holdings Company (further CTIH) is a major insurance holding, serving the mainland China and Hong Kong area. It’s operating reinsurance, property insurance, asset and pension management and many more businesses across the area, thus earning a decent income. The annual revenue for 2018 was $27.3B, the assets were $94.3B and the profits - $846M. CTIH is listed on the HKEX with a market value of $11.9B.

10. China Resources Pharmaceutical Group ($24.2B)
China Resources Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. (further CR Pharma) is a big pharmaceutical and healthcare products manufacturer and retailer, involved also in research and development. The company’s retail network operates across 16 Chinese and Hong Kong provinces and its assets are worth $22.5B. 62,000 employees, working across the CR Pharma facilities, contributed to its sales of $24.2B and $515M profits in 2018.

11. WH Group ($22.6B)
WH Group is China's biggest meat and food processing enterprise with a market value of $17.2B (as of 2018), that generated $22.6B in sales in 2018. The company’s operating cycle encompasses all the steps including farming, production and packaging to retailing. It even works as a biomaterials supplier of biopharmaceutical companies. WH Group is the world’s leading pork producer, employing over 63,000 professionals to keep moving and delivering high quality products to its clients all over the world.  

12. China Resources Land ($18.4B)
China Resources Land Limited (further China Resources Land) is a major member of the China Resources Group, focused on property development, management, construction and decoration. It serves the Mainland China and is listed on the HKEX with a market cap of $29.9B. Over 38,000 employees of the company working all over China in 4 business segments generated $18.4B in sales in 2018 and reached a $3.6B revenue in the same year.

13. Geely Automobile Holdings ($16.1B)
Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (further Geely) is a Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd branch, listed on the HKEX. This large automotive group managed to sell more than 1.5M cars under such brands as Lotus, Volvo, Geely Auto and others in 2018. The Geely’s financial indicators for the past year (2018) were as follows: market value - $20.9B, annual sales - $16.1B, profits - 1.9B, assets - $13.3B. They are forecasted to steadily grow in the next 3 years according to MarketScreener.

14. Sun Art Retail Group ($15.1B)
Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. (further Sun Art) is the biggest investment holding listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange measured in terms of sales ($15.1B as of 2018). The company is one of the largest public companies by sales in Hong Kong according to Global Database and has over 143,000 employees. It managed to reach a market value of $8.5B and $9B in assets. Sun Art is focused on food retail and is operating such hypermarkets as Auchan, and many more.  

15. Cathay Pacific Airways ($14.2B)
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (CPA) (further Cathay Pacific) is the 10th biggest airline in the world by sales ($14.2B) and the 14th biggest by market value ($7B). The airline operates in over 60 countries, serving around 200 destinations, 44 of them being located in the Asia-Pacific region. After 2 years of consecutive loss, Cathay Pacific started to grow in 2017, reaching $299M in profits and $24.3B in assets in 2018 and launching 13 new routes. 

16. China Agri-Industries ($13.9B)
China Agri-Industries Holdings Limited (China Agri-Industries) is the biggest processed agricultural products producer and supplier in China. The company is a former subsidiary of China Foods Limited, now independent and listed on HKEX with a market value of $1.8B. China Agri-Industries employs almost 18,000 professionals, processing rice, oilseed and wheat, as well as providing biochemical and biofuel services. These activities generated sales of $13.9B for the company in 2018.

17. Shimao Property Holdings ($13B)
Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. (further Shimao Property) is one of the biggest real estate development companies in Hong Kong measured in terms of annual sales ($13B in 2018). It is also the biggest real estate developer in China by land bank size. Shimao Property has 3 headquarters, one of them in Hong Kong, and is listed on HKEX (market value - $10.2B). The group is focused on developing commercial buildings in prime locations, such as Le Royal Méridien Shanghai, Xiamen Shimao Lakeside Garden and others. 

18. Li & Fung ($12.7B) 
Li & Fung Limited (further Li & Fung) is a company operating in the supply chain management field and serving mainly the EU and US stores, brands, e-commerce sites and many more. It has around 22,000 employees, working in 250+ offices in over 40 countries. Together they are serving 8,000+ corporate customers and managed to generate $12.7B in sales in 2018. This allowed Li & Fung to become one of the 20 largest Hong Kong public companies by sales in 2018. 

19. CLP Holdings ($11.7B)
CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd. (further CLP) is the largest Hong Kong electric company by sales ($11.7B), Hong Kong Electric Company being its tantamount competitor. The company is serving 5 markets besides the home one - Mainland China, Taiwan, India, Australia and Southeast Asia. Around 8,000 employees working across the CLP facilities, including power stations, managed to earn $11.7B in sales for the company in 2018.  

20. Swire Pacific ($10.8B)  
Swire Pacific Limited (further Swire Pacific) is a Hong-Kong publicly traded branch of an English-Hong Kong syndicate, which has very diversified business interests. It is operating in marine services, property, food and beverages and industrial sectors. Swire Pacific is the major shareholder of Cathay Pacific (ranked 15th in our rating), owning 45% of the stock, and the owner of a UK biodiesel producer. It holds has the Coca-Cola bottling licence. Altogether the numerous business types generated $10.8B in sales in 2018, and this number is forecasted to grow according to Market Screener. 

21. New World Development ($10.5B)
New World Development Company Limited (further NWD) is yet another property, infrastructure and services-focused company from Hong Kong. It is known among the biggest foreign direct investors in China. NWD managed to enter the Top 25 largest Hong Kong public companies by sales in 2018, created by Global Database, with annual sales of $10.5B. The profits for the same year were $3B.

22. China Mengniu Dairy ($10.4B)
China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited (further Mengniu Dairy) is one of the biggest dairy products and ice cream manufacturers and distributors in China. It is listed on HKEX with a market value of $14.2B. Along with usual dairy products, the company is famous for its UHT milk and milk tablets. Mengniu Dairy employs over 41,000 people working across the company’s facilities in China. Their common effort resulted in $10.4B in sales and $461M profit in 2018.

23. China Resources Power ($9.8B)
China Resources Power Holdings Company Limited (further CR Power) is a subsidiary of a big investment holding from China, focused on coal mines and coal-burning power plants. CR Power is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with $6.9B market value as of 2018. The sales for the same year were $9.8B. This was the reason for China Resources Power to be chosen for the Global Database’s list of the biggest public companies in Hong Kong by sales in 2018.

24. Sun Hung Kai Properties ($8.8B)
Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (further SHKP) is a real estate corporation from Hong Kong, operating within property and infrastructure development, investment and management field. It is known for such residential and commercial projects as The Wings, IFC and many more. 37,000 employees, working for the company across the home country and Mainland China, generated sales of $8.8B in 2018 of which $4.8B resulted in pure profit.

25. Nine Dragons Paper Holdings ($8.7B)
Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Limited (further Nine Dragons) is the biggest paper manufacturer in China and all over Asia, focused mainly on containerboard products. The company also is one of the world’s leading paperboard manufacturers. 37,000 employees, working across the 9 factories operated by Nine Dragons in China and Vietnam, managed to generate $8.7B in sales and $882M revenue in 2018.

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