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Top 10 Largest British Companies in the World

Friday, October 21st 2011. | Largest


On this page we take a look at the ten largest British companies in the World. Interestingly, just three British companies were judged to be bigger than Apple, seven were considered bigger than Google, eleven bigger than McDonald’s.

 

10. GlaxoSmithKline (Pharmaceuticals)

Largest British Companies in the World GlaxoSmithKline

Largest British Companies in the World GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline is the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world, beaten only by Johnson & Johnson (United States) and Pfizer (United States), it’s portfolio of products include treatments for major diseases such as cancer, as well as as a general healthcare division which produces everyday brands such as Gaviscon, Sensodyne, Nicorette, Aquafresh, and Alli. The company has a presence in 99 cities across 39 countries worldwide and directly employs around 100,000 people.

 

9. Anglo American Plc (Mining)

Largest British Companies in the World Anglo American Plc

Largest British Companies in the World Anglo American Plc

The company was formed by an American and a Brit in 1917, initially called the Anglo American Corporation, and it’s primary activity was initially gold mining. The American was in fact J.P. Morgan, the man who gave the name to the worlds largest company and the only company considered larger than HSBC. Anglo American Plc now mine diamonds, copper, nickel, iron ore, and various other metals, as well as thermal coal and platinum. The company accounts for 40% of world platinum output and has operations in six continents, whilst it also owns a 45% stake in the diamond mining company De Beers.

 

8. AstraZeneca (Pharmaceuticals)

Largest British Companies in the World AstraZeneca

Largest British Companies in the World AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is the seventh largest pharmaceuticals company in the world, and the second largest British pharmaceuticals company after GlaxoSmithKline (which is coming in 10th position on this list). AstraZeneca produce drugs used to treat a wide array of conditions, including Cardiovascular and Neurological. It has a major research & development center in Cheshire where it employs 4500 people, and another major research & development center in Sweden which has 4800 employees. AstraZeneca employ a total of 60000 people worldwide. In 2007 the business acquired the American biotechnology company Medlmmune for over $15bn.

 

7. Prudential Plc (Financial Services)

Largest British Companies in the World Prudential Plc

Largest British Companies in the World Prudential Plc

Prudential Plc also owns Jackson National Life Insurance, one of the largest life insurance providers in the US. Prudential Plc were the founder of Egg, the first UK internet bank in 1998, they later sold it to Citibank. It almost bought out American International Assurance for $35.5bn in 2010 but the deal collapsed at the last minute. Prudential employ around 25000 people globally.

 

6. Standard Chartered Group (Financial Services)

Largest British Companies in the World Standard Chartered Group

Largest British Companies in the World Standard Chartered Group

Standard Chartered is a universal bank which employs over 80,000 people and operates in over 70 countries. Despite being a British based company it makes 90% of it’s profit from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In the past 20 years the company has increased the scope of its private and offshore banking services. Standard Chartered Group has one of the largest loan portfolios in the United Arab Emirates, with a loan book standing at almost $8bn. It also owns majority shareholdings in Indian and Pakistani banks.

 

5. Tesco (Retailer)

Largest British Companies in the World Tesco

Largest British Companies in the World Tesco

Tesco is the third largest retailer in the world by revenues, beaten only by Walmart (American) and Carrefour (French), Tesco is fast expanding into global markets and now has stores in 14 countries worldwide, including the United States where they opened their first ‘Fresh & Easy’ store in 2007, it now has 177 stores in California, Nevada, and Arizona, having originally planned to open a new store every 2.5 days; growth was slowed down as a result of recession. William Buffet recently gave the firm a vote of confidence however, his company Berkshire Hathaway recently increased their shareholding in Tesco from 3.21% to 3.64% ahead of a fresh assault on the US grocery market.

 

4. Rio Tinto (Mining)

Largest British Companies in the World Rio Tinto

Largest British Companies in the World Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is British-Australian business with headquarters in both London and Sydney, it has a highly complicated business system involving hundreds of wholly owned or partly owned subsidiary companies, but most of their activities are concentrated in the resource rich countries of Canada and Australia. The business is dual-listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange, as opposed to having a primary listing and secondary listings like many other global businesses. Rio Tinto is the fourth largest publicly listed mining company in the world.

 

3. Barclays (Financial Services)

Largest British Companies in the World Barclays

Largest British Companies in the World Barclays

Barclay’s is the 10th largest banking and financial services group in the world, and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. Barclay’s is the third largest bank by value of assets held, after BNP Paribas (France) and HSBC (United Kingdom). As of 2011 Barclays employed around 145,000 people worldwide. Barclay’s is one of the oldest banks in the world, having been founded in 1690 by two Englishmen who started trading as goldsmith bankers in London. The business headquarters has been in London ever since, currently in Canary Wharf near to HSBC.

 

2. Vodafone (Telecommunications)

Largest British Companies in the World Vodafone

Largest British Companies in the World Vodafone

Vodafone is the worlds largest telecommunications company measured by revenues, and the second largest telecommunications company when measured by the number of subscribers (behind China Mobile which is state owned). Vodafone operate 30 networks as well as 40 ‘partner networks’ worldwide. The company also owns a 45% stake in America’s largest telecommunications company Verizon Wireless, which in turn now owns the American subsidiary of T-Mobile. Vodafone directly employ over 80000 people worldwide.

 

1. HSBC Holdings (Financial Services)

Largest British Companies in the World HSBC Holdings

Largest British Companies in the World HSBC Holdings

HSBC Holdings plc is headquartered in Canary Wharf, London, and is the world’s second largest financial services provider as well as the second largest public company overall. It is beaten on both counts only by American company JPMorgan Chase. Half of HSBC’s $2.47 trillion in assets are held in Europe, with around 25% in North America and the remaining 25% in Asia. HSBC has offices in some 87 countries worldwide. As of 2011 the company had around 295,000 employees globally it’s the largest British companies.


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