The Top500 in Europe


The best companies in Europe



Description of our method of collecting

We are collecting since 1997 the addresses of the large companies in Central Europe So we have a good experience in collecting and handling large masses of data. In 2000 we started to extend this collection to all countries of Europe. The collection procedure has different levels
  1. Collection level: With some programs we are searching systematically through the internet for companies which may fit our needs. On this level the criteria are very simple. If for example the company has a special legal form, or its phone number indicates the existence of extension lines. On this level, we have already about 450.000 candidates in our database.
  2. Research level: All interesting companies (the required minimum here is a yearly sales of one million Euro) are researched now for more details like the address, sales. About 350,000 companies have passed this level and are at least on one of our lists.
  3. Questionaire level: After we have checked out the data, we double check the data by sending a questionaire to the company.
  4. Evaluation level: Now, we have plenty of large companies, but HOW large are they? Our main criteria is the yearly operational result. This is for most companies the sales of the company itself (we do not count the sales of the subsidiaries). For banks/insurances we get the value of assets/premium income and correct the value to make it comparable with the sales of other companies.
    Finally, we compare the relation of the GNP (Gross National Product) of a country to our found minimum company's output (the sales of the 500th company) with the same relation of Germany, where we have the most experience and where we are sure to have the 500 largest companies in our list.
  5. Observation level: Partly automatically, we are checking their homepages and published news for changes within the companies. We also send out every 2 weeks a questionaire to about 5% of our companies. So every year, we are updating every entry in our database.

Our company is based in Germany. For researching and evaluating, we are using software tools, which we developped in the last years. Also the requests for information and reading of the filled forms is mostly done by programs. This ensures, that the forms filled out in different languages are handled properly and efficient.

The "tuning" (Correcting wrong filled out forms, removing of duplicates) is mostly done by our staff supported by some intelligent programs, which search through the database for duplicates and wrong interpretations of the filled forms or web-pages of the companies.

For special cases we have e-mail contacts to economical interested people in the major european countries.

But the final decision to publish a company on our web-site or in our lists is always done by an economical trained person.

This all ensures, that you will get reliable addresses on a high quality standard of the largest companies in Europe.

Published Data

We are publshed the data in different arrangement. The top 25,000 of the largest cities of Europe is a very unique list. Normally the size of a city is measured by the number of inhabitants or tax income or the built-up area. But in our times, when the economy has a growing influence on our life, it is a good idea to rank the cities by the number of companies or their summarized sales.
The steps for creating this list are the following
  1. Identifying the countries of Europe
  2. Beside the official countries, we included Russia and Turkey completely (the eastern part of these countries is normally considered as part of Asia). We included also the Canary Islands but excluded other parts (e.g. colonies) in America and Asia.
  3. Identifying the big companies
  4. A big company has an annual sales from their operation of at least one (1) millionm Euro (1.2 million USD). It is registered in an European country and has an identified central office.
  5. Identifying the big cites
  6. A big city is hosting at least one central office of a big company.
  7. Correcting data
  8. We accept and publish cities only in their official spelling of the local name, which is sometimes not the same as in English. There is one exception: The names must consist of characters of the West-European alphabet (according to ISO 8859). For company names, we publish the official registered form.
  9. Removing errors
  10. The internet provides a huge set of information channels. The format of the provided data is very different and very often erroneous. Sometimes even the cities or companies are using different spellings on their official websites.
    You can help us in correcting by send us an email. The address you can find below the given data. Or if you are not sure or have just a question, join the forum. It is free and no registration is needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • How can I find my city?
  • For searches in the ranking, we are using the Google search functions. Unfortunately, Google needs some time to check all ranks. So it might be, that you will not find your city. Or Google present you an old page but the city moved in the meantime to another rank. In these case, we recommend to ask in the forum. Mostly you will get an answer soon.
  • Are there really so many cities in Europe?
  • We have a slight different definition of a city. We do not look at the number of inhabitants or evaluate the infrastructure. We just count the head offices of big companies. So it might be, that a small village with a big company has a higher rank than the big "sleeping" green suburbs of capitols, where the people are living while big companies are not allowed to settle there.
  • Some cities have a very low rank. Can this be?
  • Even nobody is perfect. But the most reason is, that some companies are counted in a different city. For example "La Defense" is a very popular sub-division of Paris. Plenty of companies told us, that their head office is in La Defense". So for a while we thought, it is a separate city. After we removed this error, Paris gained some positions. Similar things happened with Copenhagen, where it is often added a single letter to indicate an area of Copenhagen.
  • I think the ranking by number of companies is not fair. Isn't it better to order them by sales?
  • Both rankings have their advantages and disadvantages. But we really plan to all cities by the cumulated sales of their big companies. So far, we have already added the sales and you can make an estimation about this alternate ranking. Moscow willl be on top of this ranking.
  • Why are you counting the head offices? For the economical aspect the tax or number of employees are better.
  • Yes, you might be right. But we have no data about this. Nevertheless we believe that for most companies the head office is near the operative fascilities. So it is not so bad, when you accumulate all the sales of a company in the city of its head office.
  • How do you compare manufacturer, banks and insurances?
  • For all companies we put the annual net sales into our calculation. Sales between the members of a group or a the daughters of a holding are not included.
    For banks we take the amount of assets and divide it by 20. For insurances, we assume a quarter (25%) of the annual net premium income as the sales of this company.
  • How accurate is this ranking?
  • Our figures are based on public information available in the internet and information provided by the companies itself. So the input is pretty accurate. New data are put into our database iwthin days. This will have an effect on the next monthly ranking.
  • How can a city make just a big jump forward or backward?
  • Big jumps are marked in red or green. A bug jump can happen, when teh head office of a company moved to another city. Or a company sold part of its business, whoich means loss of sales.

Some Statistics

coming soon this year.
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