The 32 Largest German Companies By Revenue 2012

** UPDATE ** 

For the latest list checkout : The Top German Companies By Revenue 2016 (TFS)


Germany has the largest economy in Europe and is a key member of the European Union. Unlike other European countries the German economy weathered the recent European crisis well and the country helps rescue other debt-ridden EU members. Germany is in the news this week due to its strict and harsh bailout conditions imposed via the EU on the tiny island country of Cyprus.

With a strong manufacturing base and an export-oriented economy Germany is considered as the powerhouse of Europe. Germany was also a pioneer in many innovative policies long before other developed countries.For example,  Kaiser William I also known as the Chancellor Bismarck introduced the pension system for older workers in the late 1880s. This program was later emulated by other countries.

Here are some interesting facts about Germany:

  • In 2011, Germany’s population was about 82 million.
  • Public debt as a share of GDP was about 82.0% in 2012.
  • The unemployment rate stood at about just 6.0% in January of this year.
  • The nominal GDP was $3.6 Trillion in 2011 making Germany the fourth largest economy in the world behind the U.S, China and Japan.
  • Last year Germany exported goods valued at over one Trillion Euros.
  • Germany is a net exporter.

Source: DeStatis

Germany continues its centuries-old  tradition of excellence in engineering and science. As a result today the country is home to some of the leading companies in the world such as BASF, BMW, Volkswagen, Bayer, etc.

Thousands of small and medium-sized companies called as the Mittelstand firms thrive in Germany. But at a global level large scale German multinationals dominate. For example, some of the top world-class companies are found in the Fortune Global 500 ranking.

The German firms in the Fortune Global 500 list for 2012 are shown below:

Country RankCompanyGlobal RankCityRevenues($ millions)
9Munich Re Group76Munich90,137
10Deutsche Telekom89Bonn81,554
11Deutsche Post98Bonn76,307
12Deutsche Bank104Frankfurt74,425
13Robert Bosch110Stuttgart71,600
16Landesbank Baden-Württemberg128Stuttgart67,431
17Deutsche Bahn179Berlin52,808
20Lufthansa Group248Cologne41,220
21Franz Haniel272Duisburg38,023
22Heraeus Holding293Hanau36,406
23DZ Bank334Frankfurt33,279
24Edeka Zentrale342Hamburg32,531
25Phoenix Pharmahandel363Mannheim30,023
27Energie Baden-Wirttemberg420Karlsruhe26,126
29Marquard & Bahls455Hamburg24,258
30Fresenius479Bad Homburg22,973
31KFW Bankengruppe491Frankfurt22,496

Source: Fortune

As most of the German companies do not trade on the organized US exchanges the simple and easy way to invest in them is via the iShares Germany ETF (EWG).  The fund has $3.5 billion in assets and financials account for less than 17% of the portfolio.

Disclosure: Long E.ON(EONGY), RWE (RWEOY) and Fresenius(FMS)

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  1. I would like to know which of these companies are export oriented. That is with the largest amount of exports on their total sales.

  2. It’s “Landesbank Baden-Württemberg,” NOT “Landesbank baden-Wirttemberg.” You need to correct the spelling!

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