Which European nations have the most successful companies?

The UK is the European nation home to the most high-profit companies
Global fintech group Plus500 analysed the largest companies in Europe by market cap and compared their total profit in 2022 with their number of employees

Even those with relatively scant knowledge of the business landscape could probably reel off many of the biggest businesses in Europe.  

But which European nations are home to the companies that make the most profit per employee?

In a bid to establish just that, global fintech group Plus500 analysed the largest companies in Europe (by market cap) and compared their total profit in 2022 with their number of employees.

Researchers were then able to see which countries had the highest number of companies with the largest profit-per-employee in the top 100 list.

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UK, France and Germany lead the way 

Plus500’s study finds that the UK is top of the pile when it comes to countries with the most super-profitable companies, with 22 of the top 100. 

Energy giants BP and Shell, for example, make a profit-per-employee of US$447,430 and US$398,452 respectively, meaning they occupy second and third place on the list. 

Global pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca also feature in the top 100, as do banking heavyweights HSBC and Lloyds

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With 21 companies in the top 100, France and Germany rank joint second in the context of Europe. 

France’s most profitable organisations include luxury retailers Hermès, Dior and LVMH, which have all set the benchmark for high-end fashion worldwide. 

Meanwhile, food production company Danone and liqueur retailer Pernod Ricard both rank in the top 25.

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Germany is home to what can be perceived as the most successful company in Europe, the shipping and transportation specialist Hapag-Lloyd, which has an eye-watering profit-per-employee of almost US$1.3 million. The country also has some of the world’s largest retailers, like Adidas, and major car manufacturers such as Porsche and Mercedes

Netherlands best of the rest 

The Netherlands is fourth on the list, with 10 companies that make the most profit per employee, including the automotive manufacturer Stellantis.

It is also home to one of the world’s most famous beers, Heineken, as well as the renowned multinational music corporation Universal Music Group.

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The Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, has eight of Europe's most successful companies, led by tech and consulting giant Accenture and global medical technology leader Medtronic

Energy colossus Eni – with its profit-per-employee of US$397,844 – is one of five Italian firms in the top 100.

Denmark has four entries, Sweden three and Belgium one. 

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For more business insights, check out the latest edition of Business Chief UK & Europe and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

You may also be interested in the Business Chief US & Canada website. 

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