Fortune Media unveiled the first-ever Fortune 500 Europe, the world’s most authoritative ranking of Europe’s largest companies by revenue.
Fortune 500 Europe’s inaugural list includes companies from 24 different countries in the region.
With energy supply constraints due to global tensions (and wars), it’s not a surprise Fortune’s list is led by companies in the energy sector.
The No. 1 company on the list for 2023 is UK energy giant Shell, followed by five more energy companies landing in the top 10 based in Germany, France, and Russia.
Conversely, challenged as well by a tepid merger and acquisition market, investment banks and financial service companies are well down the list with Spain’s Banco Santander at No. 21, France’s BNP Paribas at No. 27, and U.K.’s HSBC Holdings at No. 28.
“European corporations have had to navigate several challenges in their latest fiscal year, including the Ukraine war and its ripple effects on energy prices, as well as economic volatility due to high inflation and interest rates,” said Scott DeCarlo, Fortune List Editor.
“Despite headwinds, some industries benefited from a boost in consumer demand as they emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, and sustainability remained top of mind for several of them. With a diverse population come diverse challenges and so these European powerhouses are continuing to grow and adapt in an increasingly complex and unpredictable geopolitical and economic landscape.”
While the Fortune list for Europe includes many young and emerging companies, the companies listed are largely mature, with an average age of 108 years and a median age of 100. The oldest company on the list is Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose roots in Germany date back to 1366. Total revenue for the entire Fortune 500 Europe is $13.9 trillion compared to $18.1 trillion for the U.S. Fortune 500 and $41 trillion for the Fortune Global 500.
The Fortune 500 Europe also includes some of the world’s most well-known brands and leaders in their fields, such as Universal Music Group (#328), Spotify Technology(#285), Kering (#183), Heineken (#122), Danone (#130) and Carnival (#290), to name only a few.
The new Fortune 500 Europe is an expansion of Fortune’s iconic and authoritative list launched in 1955. It marks the independent media company’s expansion in editorial, lists and conferences in Europe following a significant uptick of monthly European readers of Fortune.com over the last year, according to syndicated research. The Fortune 500 Europe’s debut coincides with the launch of a new fortune.com editorial presence that covers the issues and news of European business, led by editors and writers based in strategic European locations.
“We’re excited to announce the expansion of our London-based newsroom, data analytics operations and commercial teams to meet the needs of our fast-growing European executive audience. This move allows us to offer our authoritative content, lists and analytics and to develop marketing programs for our growing list of clients,” said Jim Jacovides, the London-based Fortune Managing Director leading the expansion.
Fortune will also expand its editorial operations with the launch later this month of CEO Weekly Europe, a Europe-focused newsletter for senior business leaders that is an extension of the influential and closely read CEO Daily newsletter from Fortune in North America. CEO Weekly Europe writer, Peter Vanham, based in Switzerland, is perfectly geo-positioned at the heart of continental Europe.
Since becoming independent in 2018, the 94-year-old Fortune has been growing and investing in new initiatives globally. Under the stewardship of 37-year-old editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell, Fortune digital reach has more than tripled as it targets business decision makers at an array of companies and industry sectors. Fortune content focuses on the issues senior business leaders face and how they engage with them, such as stakeholder capitalism, product sustainability, employee diversity and inclusion, and, of course, the advantages and perils of AI.
Fortune European revenue has doubled in the last year with significant blue-chip advertiser support across client categories such as energy, finance, enterprise tech, government, and luxury, with advertisers including Santander, North-Rhine Westphalia, and Iberdrola, to name a few. In Europe, as it does globally, Fortune offers the full range of brand partner media activations: digital and print display, sponsored editorial, newsletters, branded content, programmatic, conferences and custom events.
To bolster Fortune’s business in Europe, Jacovides has hired two accomplished sales leads to deliver a next stage of growth. Simon Low and Rupert Turnbull, Sales Directors, Europe have a combined 50+ years of international media sales experience with blue-chip organizations such as Insider, Financial Times, Meta Platforms, BuzzFeed, Conde Nast, Time Inc. and Rodale Press.
For the Fortune 500 Europe list, companies are ranked by total revenues for their latest available respective fiscal years. All companies on the list must publish financial data and report part or all of their figures to a government agency. The latest figures in the list are as reported by the companies; any comparisons are with the prior year’s figures as originally reported. Fortune does not restate the prior year’s figures for changes in accounting.