Top GDB companies

Top 30 companies in Germany by Revenue in 2017

by Nicolae Buldumac
Top 30 companies in Germany by Revenue in 2017

Germany is the leading economic and political power of the EU and the euro area, and one of the world’s economic leaders, keeping its position for decades to now, with its ups and downs, which, however, failed to strongly shake its stability in comparison with other countries. It’s also the fourth world’s largest national economy by nominal GDP ($4.02T as of 2018). And the listing of its successes doesn’t end here.

Germany is the largest capital exporter in the world ($390B* trade surplus in 2016), the 3rd biggest exporter (exported goods and services worth $1.27T in 2016, 41% of economic output). It hosts the biggest and most demanded trade fairs (two-thirds of top fairs in the world), like ITB Berlin or the International Motor Show, on which local manufacturers are represented at the highest level, displaying top-notch technologies perfect implementation and fine engineering, which the country and its business are famous for.

The political strength, state support for business and enterprise-oriented legislation, developed domestic market, as well as relentless demand for anything of the “Made in Germany” brand (be it a BMW car, Bosch power drills, Siemens gas turbines or something produced by the German SMEs), are the key factors boosting the German economy and making it extremely attractive for investors.

We at Global Database know pretty well how important it is to do comprehensive research before entering a new market and looking for beneficial partnership and investment possibilities. The purpose of the TOP companies in Germany by annual revenue, our team created for you based on the Global Database platform financial data on German companies, is simple -  to reveal the most potentially profitable industries and companies to partner with.

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

1. Volkswagen AG ($260B)

Volkswagen AG (later Volkswagen or VW Group), the most successful German automotive company and one of the biggest world’s car manufacturers, has shown 120.8% profit growth in 2017. Its 645,000 employees across over 100 production facilities and offices in around 150 countries have generated a top annual revenue in Germany in 2017 - $260B. The VW Group rightfully takes the first place in Germany and the 7th place in the world’s list of the largest companies.

2. Daimler AG ($185.2B)

Daimler AG (later Daimler) is German second largest automotive corporation, known mostly for its luxury brands, like Mercedes-Benz and Maybach. Daimler is the owner of Chrysler Corporation from the USA and has shares in other foreign automotive manufacturing companies like KAMAZ and Mitsubishi. The notable sales of 3.3M vehicles in 2017 have generated annual revenue of $185.2B and brought Daimler the title of world’s largest truck manufacturer. Now the company is shifting the focus to green vehicles.

3. Allianz SE ($123.5B)

Allianz SE (later Allianz) is a European financial service (insurance and assets management being the key directions) holding with incredible $1,960B assets under management (as of the end of 2017) and 140,553 employees who generated a $123.5B annual revenue in 2017. These figures demonstrate why Allianz deservedly bears the title of world’s and Europe’s leader in insurance and financial services (as of 2014) and is a perfect investment opportunity for those interested in financial and insurance business in Germany.

4. BMW AG ($111.2B)

BMW AG (later BMW Group or BMW) is the third largest automotive manufacturer in Germany and one of the largest in the world. BMW focuses on automobiles and motor vehicles production (scattered across 6 countries besides Germany) and was even named the world’s 12th largest motorcycles manufacturer in 2015. BMW’s 8 manufacturing plants and numerous assembly sites have achieved a common yearly income of $111.2B in 2017, as well as 28% profit growth in the same year.

5. Siemens AG ($91.6B)

Siemens AG (later Siemens) is the largest industrial production (with medical diagnostics equipment as one of directions) company in Germany and Europe with 2 headquarters in the home country and multiple subsidiaries in other countries. 390,000 employees that resulted in positive 10.2% profit change and $91.6B annual revenue in 2017. Siemens constantly invests in research and development, allocating about 5% (almost $4B in 2011) of its revenues for the purpose and performing the research in 15+ countries, thus gaining more than 54,000 patents as of today.

6. Bosch Group ($87.9B)

Robert Bosch GmbH (later Bosch or Bosch Group) is a leader of the world’s engineering and electronics economic sector, that is driven by innovation and is setting the tone for the whole industry. IT comprised 8% of the Bosch Group sales in 2017, and this share is growing. Bosch employs 400,500+ people within 4 key business sectors that generated a common annual revenue of $87.9B in 2017. The company’s striving for improvement and innovations brings it around 4,000 patents every year.

7. Deutsche Telekom AG ($84.5B)

Deutsche Telekom AG (later DT) is Europe’s biggest telecommunications provider by income, headquartered in Germany and operating various subsidiaries all over the world. DT owns the T-Mobile brand and has considerable shares in many foreign telecom companies from Hungary, Slovakia, Montenegro etc. As of the end of 2017, DT has registered an annual revenue of $84.5B with an increase of 4.5% and 32% profit growth. DT employs 216,000 professionals all over the world.

8. Uniper SE ($81.4B)

Uniper SE (later Uniper) is one of the biggest electricity manufacturers in Europe, entirely dominating the German energy market, that was separated from E.ON in 2016. Its numerous staff of 12,575 employees, working in 40+ countries (most of them being employed in the EU), has achieved annual revenue of $81.4B and $340B profit in 2017. Uniper’s facilities with common generating capacities of 36GW are producing energy from all sorts of sources, from classic nuclear power to the wind and solar energy.

9. BASF SE ($72.7B)

BASF SE (later BASF Group or BASF) is yet another German company that is a world’s chemical production industry leader. Its 390+ manufacturing plants in 80+ countries across 5 continents with nearly 116,000 people employed generated some $72.7B of yearly income and profit growth of 52.7% in 2017. Currently, the company shifts its international focus. One of the BASF global priorities is Asia that got $6.33B of the company investments through the last 15 years.

10. Deutsche Post DHL Group ($70.5B)

Deutsche Post DHL Group (later DP) is the biggest postal and international courier service in Europe and the world with 510,000 professionals working in 200+ countries and territories. Its innumerable subsidiaries have granted a notable $70.5B annual revenue in 2017, as well as a 4.8% profit growth and $48B assets under management. The company even has own electric van manufacturing, providing all the DP subsidiaries with appropriate vehicles.

11. Munich Reinsurance Company ($70.1B)

Munich Reinsurance Company (later Munich Re Group) is a financial services representative from Germany with 230,000+ shareholders, focused on reinsurance and being one of the world’s top leaders in the industry. 2017 was a hard year for the company, as a negative 85.2% profit change was registered. Anyway, Munich Re Group with around 42,410 employees still managed to keep a positive revenue change of 2.1%, thus reaching an annual revenue of $70.1B in 2017.

12. Bayer AG ($51.9B)

Bayer AG (later Bayer) is the most famous life sciences and the biggest pharmaceutical company from Germany, and one of the world’s pharmaceuticals leaders with around 99,820 professionals employed in several countries. The impressive 65% profit change and a remarkable annual revenue of $51.9B have put Bayer on the 12th position in the Global Database’s TOP-companies in Germany list and made it a member of Fortune Global 500.

13. Continental AG ($49.6B)

The member of the world’s top-5 tire producers, Continental AG (later Continental) is an automotive production organisation, focusing on vehicle systems and parts, like brake and safety system, tires etc. Having 16+ large international automotive manufacturers, like BMW, Honda and Volkswagen as customers, and more than 235,473 employees across the Americas, Europe and Australia, working for them, Continental has reached $45B assets and $49.6B yearly income in 2017, accompanied by a positive profit change.

14. Deutsche Bahn AG ($48.1B)

Deutsche Bahn AG (later DB) is a state-owned railway company in Germany, headquartered in Berlin. The company has been ranked in several world ratings, getting the 2nd place in the world’s biggest transport companies (after DHL) and the 1st place among the European railway operators. The noteworthy annual passenger turnover of 4.4B passengers, around 277 tons of goods transported in one year, almost 311,000 employees from several subsidiaries are the components of DB’s success and reasons of its noteworthy $48.1B annual income and $840M profits achieved in 2017.

15. RWE AG ($47.8B)

Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk AG (later RWE AG) is a German company from the energy sector, focused on electric utilities. It’s one of the main gas (10M consumers), electricity (20M consumers) and oil suppliers in Europe. RWE also owns a share of about 17% in the biggest European energy supplier E.ON. An impressive number of employees all over the RWE subsidiaries, 59,547 professionals, and a series of successful mergers and acquisitions, provided the company with an annual revenue of $47.8B in 2017 and assets of $83B.


16. ThyssenKrupp AG ($47.4B)

ThyssenKrupp AG (later ThyssenKrupp) is an international steel manufacturing and industrial engineering holding, headquartered in Germany, that is an heir of two famous local steel business concerns, dating back to the 19th century - Thyssen and Krupp. The 670 company branches with 158,739 employees all over the world have led to some serious achievements for the ThyssenKrupp: 10th place in the top biggest companies in the world by revenue in 2015; $41B assets and $47.4B annual revenue in 2017 and leading position for the company products on international markets.

17. Deutsche Bank AG ($46.5B)

Deutsche Bank AG (later Deutsche Bank), the largest banking company from Germany, was listed in the world’s TOP-15 biggest banks by total assets in 2018 with $1,771B in assets. 97,535 professionals the Deutsche Bank and its subsidiaries employ in 58 countries have generated $46.5B annual income in 2017 after the massive net loss in 2015 and 2016. Although one of the company’s main shareholders is HNA Group from China, the majority of the bank’s operations are still concentrated in the EU and especially in Germany.

18. E.ON SE ($42.8B)

E.ON SE (later E.ON) is the world-known and internationally operating holding, headquartered in Germany, managing one of the world’s biggest electric utility service providers. Here are just some of the numbers E.ON can boast of: 33M+ customers, 42,700+ employees, 30+ countries, $67.1B assets and $42.8B annual revenue in 2017, 231st position in the Global Fortune 500 as of 2017. Besides standard energy sources assets, E.ON operates such alternative energy sources like wind farm projects. The company also is a well-known sponsor of sports and arts events and performers.  

19. ZF Friedrichshafen AG ($41.1B)

ZF Friedrichshafen AG (later ZF Group) is one of the largest car parts manufacturers in Germany, focused on engineering. Over 146,148 employees working in 230 assets across around 40 countries generated a remarkable revenue of $41.1B and $1.2B profits in 2017 for the ZF Group. The company is involved not only in the automotive industry, as driveline and chassis manufacturer, but takes part in marine, rail and defence sectors too.  

20. METRO AG ($40.9B)

METRO AG (later METRO or METRO Group) consists of an independent consumer electronics and services company and the world-known METRO Cash & Carry retail chain of 764 stores, which is one of the biggest in the world. 135,890 METRO C&C employees are serving over 21M B2B clients in 25 European and Asian countries. The two independent business directions have generated solid revenues of $40.9B in 2017, but the METRO AG activity doesn’t end here. It also supports startups via its start-up network Accelerator powered by Techstars and is always striving for innovations.

21. Deutsche Lufthansa AG ($40.1B)

Deutsche Lufthansa AG (later Lufthansa) is an airlines holding owning the leading airline in Germany, and the biggest one in Europe by the number of aircrafts and passengers carried in 2017. Lufthansa Group subsidiaries from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium total common fleet currently consists of 700 aircrafts and is served by more than 110,900 employees. Together they are generating impressive yearly income, like that of $40.1B in 2017, with a massive positive profit change (35.7% in the same year).    

22. Talanx Group ($38.6B)

Talanx Group (later Talanx) is one of the key insurance companies in Germany with a focus on B2B insurance, strongly growing through the last 10 years. It registered a positive revenue change of 10.1% and achieved annual revenue of $38.6B and profits of $757.5M in 2017. Over 20,400 professionals working for Talanx in 150+ countries handle around 5 insurance brands, belonging to the company.  

23. Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA ($38.2B)

Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA (later Fresenius) is the German health care industry leader, operating within two key business directions - health care products and services provision and hospital and medical centres engineering and management. Along with German medical centres, Fresenius group operates hospitals in European countries (Spain, UK) and North America with an annual revenue of $38.2B as for 2017 and constantly positive revenue change.

24. Edeka Group ($37.1B)

Edeka Group (later Edeka) became the biggest supermarket holding in Germany in 2017. Owning a 20.3% share on the local market, operating over 4,100 stores all over the country with more than 369,000 employees, Edeka easily hit the Global Database TOP companies in Germany and the Global Fortune 500 list (310th position as of 2017). The common annual revenue of all the stores of the Edeka Group reached a yearly income of $37.1B with $345M profits in 2017.

25. DZ Bank AG ($33.6B)

DZ Bank AG (later DZ Bank) is one of the top four German banks by assets, along with Deutsche Bank, KfW Bankengruppe and Commerzbank, and a member of the country’s biggest co-operative private sector financial network of over 900 banks and 30M+ clients. Its 28,200+ employees in over 12,000 subsidiaries across co-operative banks generated an noteworthy annual income ($33.6B) and profits ($1.1B) in 2017 and the bank was successfully holding the leading position in 2018.

26. PHOENIX Pharma ($28.4B)

PHOENIX Pharmahandel Aktiengesellschaft & Co KG (later PHOENIX Group or PHOENIX) is yet another German pharmaceuticals leader and one of the European leaders, this time in wholesale, operating a network of 153 distribution centres in the home country. PHOENIX Group also has the major share in Finnish and Czech pharma wholesalers. 27,638 professionals, employed across the network, have worked hard to achieve massive $28.4B annual revenue in 2017, and, as the trends show, PHOENIX is going to keep the growth tempo over next years.

27. SAP SE ($26.4B)

SAP SE (later SAP) is a large multinational enterprise software corporation, based in Germany and operating branches in 180+ countries with more than 335,000 clients all over the world. SAP is known by many for its perfectly working multifunctional financial accounting software. 88,543 SAP employees, serving 25 industries the company is focused on, have reached a massive profit growth and $26.4B yearly income in 2017 and increased it with $0.4B in 2018. SAP is one of the most well-known specialised software development companies in the world.

28. EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG ($24.8B)

EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (later EnBW) is a large public electric utilities company from Germany, the 3rd biggest in the country, mostly serving the domestic market. EnBW also gets a place in the Global Database ranking of the TOP companies in Germany by revenue due to its notable income of $24.8B in 2017. Over 6M customers, 19,940+ employees, around $43.9B total assets as of 2017 make this company worth mentioning not only in this rating but in the Global Fortune 500 too.

29. Adidas AG ($24.7B)

There’s hardly anybody who hasn’t heard about Adidas or seen its three stripes logo. Adidas AG (later Adidas) is a multinational sportswear shoes & clothing manufacturer, the biggest in Europe and the 2nd after Nike in the world, with over 56,900 employees. Currently, Adidas is producing sportswear and accessories for 11+ sports, is a sponsor of the most famous football teams, like Manchester United and Real Madrid and has advertising contracts with the world’s biggest stars. The company has registered a $24.7B annual revenue for 2017.

30. Heraeus ($24.6B)

Heraeus technology holding (later Heraeus) took one of the leading positions among German biggest family-owned companies. Heraeus activity combines several specific business fields, like precious metals, quartz glass, photovoltaics, medical technology and others with 13,070+ employees working across its numerous subsidiaries. The company’s annual revenue of $24.6B (as of 2017) allowed it to become a part of this “TOP companies in Germany by revenue” rating and a member of the Global Fortune 500 in 2017.


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