Top GDB companies

TOP 20 Companies in UK by Revenue in 2017

by Nicolae Buldumac
TOP 20 Companies in UK by Revenue in 2017

2017 was a difficult year for UK business; political uncertainty and the fallout from the Brexit vote meant business confidence being undermined and a decrease in consumer spending for the majority of the year.

However, it wasn't all bad; the vast majority of industries still saw some overall growth; the highest of which was in the education and transport and storage sectors, increasing by 15.4% and 17.7% respectively. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) noted that business growth actually picked up rapidly during the final few months of the year, giving weight to the theory that the economy is getting back on track as we head further into 2018.

While SMEs made an impressive £1.9 trillion combined by the end of the year, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the country's biggest companies are still bringing in the eye-watering sums of money. Data collated by business intelligence provider Global Database shows the 20 highest earning companies operating within the UK in 2017, and there are plenty of surprises. Alongside the household names you'd expect to feature; the likes of Shell, Tesco and HSBC for example, there are those that are much less obvious. An airline in fifth place that you may never even have heard of, and a telecommunications company that made over £30 billion, despite being just two years old - proof that age isn't always the best indicator of success.

So, without further ado let's take a look at the highest earning companies operating in the UK in 2017...

1. Shell

Oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell saw over £187 billion in turnover during 2017. The company also acquired First Utility at the end of the year, meaning they're now set to supply energy to around 825,000 UK households from the end of February onwards. While the cost of the deal was undisclosed, experts suggest it probably fell in the region of £200-£300 million. Last year also saw the company branch out into new niches, including the purchase of two electric car infrastructure companies.


As one of the world's seven oil and gas 'supermajors' it's no surprise that BP features so highly on the list. The company, headquartered in London, has certainly had its share of bad luck in recent times; the 2010 oil rig explosion cost them deeply in both finances and reputation. It's only now, almost a decade later that the company is getting fully back on track - 2017 saw a turnover of £141 billion.

3.Legal and General Group

The financial services company pulled in £78 billion in 2017. The company, headquartered in London, is potentially set to increase turnover within the next few years by capitalising on its growth in the US insurance market.

4.Prudential Public Limited Company

The British financial services company, founded in 1848, revealed its plans last year to combine its UK and European businesses in a bid to cut costs. In the meantime, the company turned over £72 billion in 2017.

5. HSBC Holdings

The banking giant, whose main offices are in London's Canary Wharf, saw a turnover of £60 billion in 2017. The company is set to review its global media planning and buying account this year, estimated to be worth around £286 million, so it will be interesting to see how any changes to its marketing efforts affect its figures in due course.

6. Tesco

The supermarket giant, set to celebrate its centenary this year, turned over £56 billion in 2017 - not bad for a retail outlet that started life as a few market stalls.

7. Legal and General Assurance (Pensions Management)

The insurance provider enjoyed a turnover of £55 billion in 2017. The company remains the largest investment manager of UK pension fund assets, and is also amongst the largest providers of auto-enrolled pensions in the UK, currently having over 2.2 million clients.

8. Aviva

The British company is the largest insurance provider in the UK, and saw a turnover of over £55 billion in 2017. They've come under fire from customers recently for problems with their Aviva for Advisers platform - not a great way to start the new year.

9. Aviva International Insurance Limited

Formerly known as CGU International Insurance, the Aviva Group Holdings subsidiary provides life and general insurance services to customers worldwide. With a growing market in the US, the company saw turnover of £51 billion during the past year.

10. Lloyds Banking Group

The company, which also owns Halifax and HBOS, is the UK's largest retail banking group. It saw revenue of £48 billion in 2017, up from £39.6 billion on the previous year.

11. KAZ Minerals Projects Finance Limited

The company, headquartered in London and with operations in Kazakhstan and Hong Kong, has only been in business for seven years, making 2017's £48 billion turnover all the more impressive.

12. Shell Trading International

The subsidiary of the The Shell Petroleum Company Limited sells and transports oil, gas, power and chemicals globally. 2017 saw the oil and gas company turn over £46.2 billion.

13. Unilever

The consumer goods group may have made it to the halfway point in the list, but 2017 was far from ideal. Hurricanes and earthquakes across America, and a disappointing summer weather-wise in Europe, coupled with increasing competition from smaller rivals, saw the company's sales fall short. Revenue in 2017 was £44.4 billion, compared to around £46 billion the previous year.

14. Vodafone Group Public Limited Company

While growth in the UK market flatlined for the British telecoms company, strong performance in European markets, particularly Spain, Germany, and Italy, saw targets met. 2017 saw the company gain £42.6 billion in revenue.

15. Tesco Stores Limited

The subsidiary of Tesco plc currently has around 2,650 stores across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The retailer enjoyed turnover of £40.1 billion last year.

Want to know what are the Top companies in other countries and how to make the most of this information? Contact us and get some useful advice.

16. Glencore Energy

Glencore Energy UK Ltd is a subsidiary of Glencore UK Ltd., selling oil and gas. The company, headquartered in London, turned over £39.6 billion in 2016.

17. Green Planet Productions

The 16-year-old company, which deals in waste removal and freight transport, walked away from the 2017 financial year with a very respectable turnover of £38 billion.

18. The Prudential Assurance Company Limited

A subsidiary of Prudential plc, the company sells life insurance and workplace pensions. Based in London, the international financial services company turned over £32.5 billion last year.

19. Sse PLC

Despite reporting a substantial fall in profits in the months leading up to September last year, the second biggest UK energy supplier managed to top 2016's revenue, turning over £29 billion this year, up from £28.7 billion the previous year. In November last year the company announced plans to merge with Npower's retail business to create a new energy company, though the process isn't likely to be completed until the end of 2018 at the earliest.

20. BHP Billiton PLC

The Anglo-Australian mining and metals giant achieved a healthy turnover of £28.8 billion in 2016. While its petroleum output is expected to decline in 2018, iron and copper production remain strong and are expected to see more growth.


Copy and distribution of this content is allowed only if you reference in your article, with a direct link to this publication.


Related posts

What are SIC Codes and NAICS Codes?
What are SIC Codes and NAICS Codes?
Understanding both the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and Northern American Industry Classification System (NAIC) can help you get the most from these databases, which represent an extensive survey of the economic landscape of North America, from larger market trends to company specific information about business activities.
Why Does B2B Lead Generation Matter?
Why Does B2B Lead Generation Matter?
In this basic B2B lead generation guide, you’ll learn about B2B lead generation marketing and digital strategies, effective tools and tactics, and B2B lead generation platforms that can put you on the path to sustainable business growth.
Top 10 features of  B2B data providers
Due diligence
Top 10 features of B2B data providers
Information has always been a critical success factor of any business, be that knowledge about prospects, the market or competitors. But today, with the digital boom and the B2B data sector moving with an extremely fast pace, data has become the indispensable fuel of any business’ engine.