The skyline of Milan, Italy. Editorial Credit: Garsya, Shutterstock
With 60 million inhabitants and a GDP of $44,218 USD per capita, Italy is the eighth-largest country by nominal GDP in the world. A major exporter of a significant variety of products, Italy is the world’s largest wine producer and also manufactures machinery, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, furniture, food and beverage, clothing, and robots. The country is also well-known for being the largest hub of luxury goods in Europe and the third-largest globally behind China and the United States.
Here are the 10 largest Italian companies by revenue in 2019, with conclusions drawn based on last year’s financial statements. Interestingly, the Italian government still owns a significant share of many of these businesses, a remnant from when the state was the most important buyer for the strategic utilities industry during Italy's fascist period.
10. Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane
Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (Italian State Railways) is a state-owned holding company that manages infrastructure and services of the entire Italian rail network, including Grandi Stazioni S.p.A., the company redesigning the customer experience of the biggest Italian rail stations.
Within their strategic goals for the next few years is the willingness to increase high speed transportation and reduce CO2 emissions not only in Italy, but also in the more than 60 other countries where the company operates as maintenance operator, like for the metropolitan in Riyadh and as a member of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association.
The company earned 12.4B € (around $14.7B USD) in 2019 and counts 83,760 employees.
Formerly Leonardo-Finmeccanica and Finmeccanica, Leonardo S.p.A is an Italian multinational company specialising in aerospace, defence, and security.
Its name is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, the Italian inventor who also designed the first airplane: the ornithopter. Indeed, Leonardo designs, manufactures, and builds helicopters and other manual and automatic air vehicles, as well as solutions to manage air traffic.
The company is partially owned by the Italian government through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which holds 30.2% of the company's shares and is its largest shareholder. Leonardo is listed on the Borsa Italiana (the Italian Stock Exchange) and is a constituent of the FTSE MIB and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.
The company earned 13.78B € (around $16.3B USD) in 2019 and counts 49,530 employees.
Edizione S.r.l. is one of Europe’s main holding companies. It is controlled by the Benetton family, the owners of several large Italian businesses. One of them is United Colors of Benetton, the clothing brand that counts more than 5,000 physical stores around the world. The corporate communication of the company has been internationally recognized for being very innovative since the early ‘90s, as messages in its advertising were related to civil, social, and political issues.
Edizione also holds 30% of Atlantia S.p.A. (the operator of nearly two-thirds of Italy's motorways), 60% of Autogrill (a chain of roadside restaurants), and other investments in the hotel industry, including the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.
The company earned 17.9B € (around $21B USD) in 2019 and counts 103, 251 employees.
TIM S.p.A is an Italian telecommunications company which has provided telephone and mobile services since 1994, the result of a huge merger with the main player of the market. It currently owns 32.2% of the market share within the Italian mobile network.
The company's stock is traded in the Borsa Italiana. Since 2017, the Italian State has exercised "Golden Power," the right to oppose or condition acquisitions and corporate transactions of companies that own “strategic” assets in Italy. This allows the government to take actions on the company to protect the strategic interests of the country and its technological development, specifically through the diffusion of 5G.
The company earned 17.97B € (around $21.2B USD) in 2019 and counts 40,237 employees.
TechInt Group is a global company that sells integrated solutions for engineering, construction, procurement, and project management for the oil & gas, energy, mining, downstream and petrochemical markets, as well as industry and infrastructure civil works. It was founded in 1945 and started international business with Mexico and Argentina in 1954.
The most well-known company belonging to the Group is Tenaris, a global leader in pipes for the oil & gas industry, but TechInt is also the owner of the Humanitas Clinical Institute, which holds some of the most excellent private hospitals in Italy. In fact, the engineering knowledge of the industrial products share synergies with specialized products and processes within the health business.
The company earned 18.5B € (around $22B USD) in 2019 and counts 55.542 employees.
GSE S.p.A. (Gestore Servizi Energetici) is the company that enables the contractualization of energy in Italy.
It is a public company, fully controlled by Italian government through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, that is leveraged to pursue and achieve environmental sustainability goals. It plays a leading role in the development and diffusion of renewable sources and energy efficiency in Italy, contributing to the country’s energy policy choices and interventions.
The company earned 30B € (around $35.6B USD) in 2019 and counts 603 employees.
4. Poste Italiane
Poste Italiane S.p.A. is the Italian postal service provider. Poste Italiane also offers integrated communication, postal savings products, logistics, and financial and insurance services throughout the Italian territory.
The Poste network is one of the most widespread in Italy, as it counts 12,809 offices open every day that welcome customers and serve them for financial and logistics needs. Among the most used retail services there are collecting pensions and picking up online purchases.
The company earned 32.5B € (around $38.6B USD) in 2019 and counts 127,431 employees.
Eni S.p.A is an Italian multinational oil and gas company that operates in 66 countries in many fields, including contracting, nuclear power, energy, chemicals and plastics, refining/extraction, and distribution machinery.
In 2005 Eni signed the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative EITI, the global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources, to improve transparency and governance of natural resources in EITI-committed countries around the world. The Italian government owns a 30.303% golden share in the company and in 2019, Eni ranked 83 on the Fortune Global 500 list by revenue.
The company earned 76.4B € (around $90.8B USD) in 2019 and counts 32,000 employees.
Enel S.p.A. is an Italian multinational energy company that is active in the sectors of electricity generation and distribution, as well as in the distribution of natural gas. Enel was first established as a public company at the end of 1962 before it was privatized in 1999, but the Italian state is still the main shareholder, owning 23.6% of the shared capital.
Enel is also owner of Enel X, which is innovating on energy distribution systems from storage batteries to electric mobility, and from instruments of energy management in cities to software that controls energy exchange in distributed self-generation systems.
The company earned 80B € (around $95B USD) in 2019 and counts 70,000 employees.
1. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) designs, engineers, manufactures, and sells vehicles and related parts, services, and production systems worldwide. FCA started as FIAT in Italy in 1899 and now sells through dealers and distributors in more than 130 countries. Its automotive brands include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram, and Maserati.
One of the company's recent innovative vehicles is an electric version of the FIAT 500, one of the most concrete examples of how FCA wants to reduce global CO2 emissions.
FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”
The company earned 102B € (around $121B USD) in 2019 and counts 192,000 employees.
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