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20 Largest European Companies By Market Cap in 2020

Ty Haqqi
·9 min read

In this article we are going to list the 20 largest European companies by market cap in 2020. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest European companies by market cap in 2020.

We are going to focus on what is probably the most developed continent in the world, and is the model that most countries are trying to emulate and copy across the world. Many countries in Europe, especially Western Europe, are often ranked among the countries with the highest standards of living and the happiest and most satisfied countries in the world, with the Nordic countries often leading the way in this regard.

While America is undoubtedly the world's biggest superpower as evidenced by the fact that it easily tops the list of the 10 most powerful militaries in the world in 2020, and ostensibly every year before as well, it seems in many ways European countries are faring much better, and once again, I am discussing primarily Western European countries which are also rich and are considered to be among the developed countries in the world. However, these countries are nowhere near to being as capitalistic as the US and instead focus more on social welfare to ensure equal footing for all their residents and hence why they tend to have a much better standard of living and much less wealth disparity than the United States of America.

Even then, the European Union's combined GDP is still less than that of the US at $18.3 trillion, which is a couple of trillion dollars less than the United States. However, this difference in mindset, culture and approach are only very small contributors to the fact that European companies are much smaller than those in the the US. After all, according to World Population Review, both the UK and Ireland have greater economic freedom as compared to the US. That is not to say that Europe has very small companies; some of their biggest companies have a market cap of over $200 billion in revenue and the combined market cap of the 20 largest European companies is well over a trillion dollars. However, compared to the US, they are still much smaller.

Cities with the Most Unfaithful Wives
Cities with the Most Unfaithful Wives

canadastock/Shutterstock.com

One of the reasons behind this gap is the fact that even though the European Union has a population of over 500 million people, nearly 200 million more than the US, this population is divided into 28 countries with significantly different cultures, identities and languages. Then, there are several different currencies in use as well even though the Euro is used by most countries, other currencies such as Swiss Francs and krone are also used commonly. But perhaps the main reason behind the difference of company size in Europe and the US is due to the laws in both countries, with Europe having stricter laws which are overarching in nature, while the US laws are generally quite specific; for specific industries for example. Secondly, like I mentioned earlier, due to the methodology of wanting to spread wealth among citizens in Europe, taxes in these countries are a lot higher than the US, especially on large companies diminishing their size, though the added benefit is better infrastructure, public transport and universal healthcare just to name a few. One other reason is the fact European companies focus on margins to maximize profits while the US focuses on growth due to the large population and the large number of potential customers. But perhaps the greatest issue is the lack of funding available to European companies and the entrepreneurial mindset present in the US, which has seen the existence and boom of companies such as Facebook, Tesla, Twitter and many others worth billions and even over $100 billion. After all, there is a reason the American Dream is such a popular edit and has been for the last century, encouraging people to completely reform their lives and grow without any inhibition. Add in the fact that due to stringent labor laws in Europe, which aren't as strict in the US, and you can figure out why the US has much bigger companies.

According to a report by leading services firm PwC, of the top 100 companies by market capital across the world, over 50 belonged to the United States of America, displaying the strength of the US in this department. Only 17 European companies made the list. These companies belong to a wide range of industries, from oil and gas to fashion and from food and beverages to the pharmaceutical industry. These companies also have some of the highest revenues in the world. The total market cap of just the top 20 European countries in June 2020 topped $3.2 trillion, even during the coronavirus pandemic which has ruined the economy of many countries, and as the second wave has struck Europe with renewed vigor right now, and lockdowns and restrictions are being imposed again, the industries may continue to suffer. After all, Airbus, which is the world's largest aviation company and one of the 15 largest defence companies in the world, it is no longer in the top European companies according to market cap, as the airline industry has suffered catastrophically due to the ban of international and in some cases, domestic travel. Even after lifting of restrictions in a few places, many still do not trust traveling right now, and companies in the hospitality industry continue to suffer. If you compare the 10 busiest airports in the world in 2019 to that in 2020, you will find a drastic difference, illustrating the impact of the worst pandemic in a century, which has cost over 1.3 million lives and affected over 55 million people. Even now, there are over half a million cases every single day. So let's took a look at the cornerstones of the European economy, starting with number 20:

20. Diageo

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 78

Diageo is a British alcohol beverage company and is one of two alcohol companies in this list, signifying the affection that Europeans have for alcohol.

monticello/Shutterstock.com

19. Anheuser-Busch Inbev

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 100

With 630 beer brands in 150 countries, it is the world's biggest beer brewer by far and is one of the biggest FMCG companies in the world as well.

LunaseeStudios/Shutterstock.com

18. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 101

GSK is a British pharmaceutical company which had revenues of $42 billion in 2019 and employs nearly 100,000 people.

GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)
GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)

Pixabay/Public Domain

17. Linde (NYSE:LIN)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 110

Linde is an industrial gas company and manufactures and distributes atmospheric gases including oxygen, argon, nitrogen and rare gases as well. It earned over $28 billion in revenue in 2019.

25 Most Polluted Cities in the US in 2017
25 Most Polluted Cities in the US in 2017

NEstudio/Shutterstock.com

16. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 121

Shell is one of the biggest energy companies in the world and one of the biggest companies in the world in terms of revenue, having earned around $345 billion in revenue in just 2019.

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS-A)
Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS-A)

Pixabay/Public Domain

15. Medtronic (NASDAQ:MDT)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 125

It made our list because its headquarters are in Ireland, even though it operates mainly in the US and this medical device company had revenues of over $5 billion.

Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT)
Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT)

Pixabay/Public Domain

14. Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 129

Sanofi is a French pharma giant, which was formed in 1973 and is the world's largest vaccine producer. Currently, it is working on a vaccine with GSK against the Covid-19 virus.

Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY)
Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY)

Pixabay/Public Domain

13. AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 136

AztraZeneca is a British pharmaceutical company, which has recently been in the news for its production of a vaccine against Covid-19 and encouraging results in the latest trials, which means the company could jump in this list if it successfully provides the vaccine for the masses.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)
AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)

Pixabay/Public Domain

12. Accenture (NYSE:ACN)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 136

Accenture is a professional services company with revenues of $43.2 billion in 2019 and has close to half a million employees across the world in over a hundred countries.

Pixabay/Public Domain

11. Unilever (NYSE:UL)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 142

Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch company, produces many consumer goods and is responsible for some of the biggest and most well known consumer brands in the world including Ben & Jerry's.

brand, cosmetic, industry, sign, company
brand, cosmetic, industry, sign, company

360b / Shutterstock.com

10. Prosus NV

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 149

Prosus is the international internet assets division of the company Naspers and is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

11 Highest Paying Countries for Information Technology Professionals
11 Highest Paying Countries for Information Technology Professionals

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

9. Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 149

Novo Nordisk is the largest company in Denmark and one of the largest Nordic companies. It is a pharmaceutical company, of which Europe has many entries, and has production facilities in at least eight other countries.

Novo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NYSE:NVO)
Novo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NYSE:NVO)

Pixabay/Public Domain

8. ASML Holding (NASDAQ:ASML)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 154

ASML is the Netherland's largest company and also the biggest company in the world for photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry. Of course, considering the important of semiconductors in today's technology dominated world, it is no wonder that this company had nearly 11 billion euros in revenue in 2018 alone.

ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML)
ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML)

Pixabay/Public Domain

7. SAP SE (NYSE:SAP)

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 169

SAP is the biggest company in Germany, and produces a system used in most of the major companies around the world, and is the largest European software company in the world as well. It was founded in 1972 and has seen revenues of over 27 billion euros in 2019.

drserg/Shutterstock.com

6. L'oreal

Total market cap as at June 30, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 179

L'oreal is the biggest cosmetics company in the world and one of only two French companies in the top 100 companies in the world. It is involved in various products in hair coloring, skin care, make-up, perfume and sun protection, in addition to hair care.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Largest European Companies By Market Cap in 2020 Disclosure: No positions. 20 Largest European Companies By Market Cap in 2020 is originally published on Insider Monkey.