Germany: TOP 20 Manufacturing Companies

  • Published 18 October 2022
  • Language: English

While less than 5% of all companies registered in Germany are engaged in manufacturing, there are 4 manufacturing companies on the list of Germany’s top 10 companies in terms of sales.

Companies on the list of top 20 manufacturing companies in Germany focus on various areas - from automotive and construction, through medical materials, to chemical and pharmaceutical production.

There are 7 companies from the car manufacturing sector and 5 companies operating in the chemical industry. Two companies are engaged in the production of medical devices and materials. One company focuses both on manufacturing and energy.Then one company from each of the following sectors - building materials, clothing, mechanical engineering, processing of mineral raw materials, production of software solutions.

The largest manufacturing company in terms of sales is VOLKSWAGEN AG

In 2021, VOLKSWAGEN AG had the highest consolidated sales among the companies on our list (EUR 264B). The company also has a share in AUDI AG and Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. Mercedes-Benz Group AG was second with sales of more than EUR 138B. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) was third with EUR 111B. It should be noted here that we used consolidated sales data for all companies.

In total, the top 20 companies of German manufacturing earned EUR 1.15T in 2021. Of this, more than 54% of sales were generated by 5 car manufacturing companies (VOLKSWAGEN AG, Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, AUDI AG, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG).

VOLKSWAGEN AG was founded in 1937 and gradually bought shares in other well-known companies engaged in car production, such as SEAT, Škoda, Lamborghini, Porsche and others. It is currently the world's largest car manufacturer. Mercedes-Benz Group AG was founded in 1926. BMW has been operating since 1916 and is currently the 14th largest automobile manufacturer in the world. The consortium includes brands such as Rolls-Royce and Mini.

BASF SE is a company operating since 1865. It produces industrial chemicals for the construction, pharmaceutical and automotive industries. Siemens AG has been operating since 1876 and does business in several areas. One of the divisions that is also part of our list, Siemens Healthineers AG, is engaged in the production of medical devices. In addition, Siemens also operates in energy and telecommunications.

Robert Bosch Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung is a mechanical engineering company founded in 1886. It produces parts for the automotive industry, various tools and household appliances. ZF Friedrichshafen AG founded in 1915 is also a supplier to the automotive industry. So is Continental AG, which manufactures tires and various parts. Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA - a company founded in 1912 - produces dialysis equipment and other devices used in the healthcare industry. SAP SE, operating since 1972, is a global supplier of B2B software solutions. Adidas AG, operating since 1949, is a well-known manufacturer and seller of sportswear.

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, which has been on the market since 1876, is a company with several divisions. One focuses on cosmetics, one on detergents and one on industrial adhesives. MERCK KG auf Aktien is a pharmaceutical company which has been operating since 1668. HeidelbergCement AG has been engaged in the production of building materials since 1873. Aurubis AG is one of the largest copper producers, having started business in 1866. The last Covestro AG, which is the youngest company on our list (founded in 2015), focuses on production of polyurethane and polycarbonate materials.

Sales of the TOP 5 German transport companies (in EUR)

Company 2019 2020 2021
VOLKSWAGEN AG € 264.1B € 235.3B € 264.9B
Mercedes-Benz Group AG € 172.7B € 154.3B € 167.9B
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG € 105.2B € 99.91B € 111.9B
Robert Bosch Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung € 80.03B € 73.31B € 78.75B
BASF SE € 64.49B € 61.41B € 69.39B
Siemens AG € 56.80B € 55.25B € 62.26B
AUDI AG € 55.68B € 49.97B € 53.07B
Bayer AG € 43.54B € 41.40B € 44.08B
ZF Friedrichshafen AG € 37.10B € 33.22B € 38.90B
Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA € 35.84B € 36.67B € 37.90B
Continental AG € 44.48B € 31.86B € 33.77B
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG € 28.52B € 28.70B € 33.14B
SAP SE € 27.55B € 27.34B € 27.84B
adidas AG € 23.85B € 18.43B € 21.23B
MERCK KG auf Aktien € 16.87B € 18.37B € 20.22B
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA € 20.28B € 19.25B € 20.07B
Siemens Healthineers AG € 14.58B € 14.46B € 18.00B
HeidelbergCement AG € 18.84B € 17.99B € 17.99B
Aurubis AG € 10.82B € 12.46B € 16.37B
Covestro AG € 12.59B € 10.77B € 15.90B

Mercedes-Benz Group AG had the highest profit before tax in 2021

VOLKSWAGEN AG had been the company with the highest profit before tax for a very long time. In 2021 it was surpassed by Mercedes-Benz Group AG with earnings before tax (EBT) of EUR 28B, while VOLKSWAGEN AG had EBT of more than EUR 20B. In 2021, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), was also able to increase EBT from EUR 5.2B in 2020 to EUR 16B in 2021.

The only company on our list with a negative EBT was HeidelbergCement AG with a loss of EUR 1.6B.

Germany: Earnings before tax (EBT) of the top 20 manufacturing companies (EUR)

Company 2019 2020 2021
VOLKSWAGEN AG € 18.36B € 11.67B € 20.13B
Mercedes-Benz Group AG € 3.830B € 6.339B € 28.78B
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG € 7.118B € 5.222B € 16.06B
Robert Bosch Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung € 3.256B € 1.505B € 3.299B
BASF SE € 5.288B € 3.302B € 3.560B
Siemens AG € 2.193B € 5.502B € 7.496B
AUDI AG € 5.223B € 4.187B € 6.929B
Bayer AG € 2.853B € -17.25B € 2.046B
ZF Friedrichshafen AG € 540.0M € -745.0M € 1.082B
Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA € 3.912B € 3.726B € 3.652B
Continental AG € -588.6M € -615.9M € 1.710B
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG € 4.054B € 4.397B € 5.729B
SAP SE € 1.263B € 7.220B € 6.847B
adidas AG € 2.558B € 578.0M € 1.852B
MERCK KG auf Aktien € 1.736B € 2.630B € 3.924B
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA € 2.811B € 1.925B € 2.149B
Siemens Healthineers AG € 2.193B € 1.954B € 2.404B
HeidelbergCement AG € 1.764B € -1.602B € -1.602B
Aurubis AG € 260.0M € 367.3M € 825.3M
Covestro AG € 761.0M € 605.0M € 2.185B

Car manufacturers had the the highest earnings after tax (EAT) in 2021

The most profitable company in 2021 was Mercedes-Benz Group AG with a net profit of more than EUR 23.3B. VOLKSWAGEN AG was second with EUR 15.4B. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) was third with a net profit of more than EUR 12.4B.

The only company on our list with a negative EAT was HeidelbergCement AG, which had a loss of more than EUR 2B.

Germany: Earnings after tax (EAT) of the top 20 manufacturing companies (EUR)

Company 2019 2020 2021
VOLKSWAGEN AG € 14.03B € 8.824B € 15.43B
Mercedes-Benz Group AG € 2.709B € 4.009B € 23.40B
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG € 4.978B € 3.857B € 12.46B
Robert Bosch Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung € 2.060B € 749.0M € 2.499B
BASF SE € 4.979B € 2.546B € 3.560B
Siemens AG € 1.586B € 4.200B € 6.697B
AUDI AG € 3.943B € 3.774B € 5.649B
Bayer AG € 4.091B € -10.50B € 1.000B
ZF Friedrichshafen AG € 400.0M € -741.0M € 783.0M
Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA € 3.029B € 2.823B € 2.819B
Continental AG € -1.171B € -918.8M € 1.507B
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG € 2.801B € 3.166B € 4.038B
SAP SE € 3.370B € 5.283B € 5.376B
adidas AG € 1.918B € 443.0M € 2.158B
MERCK KG auf Aktien € 1.296B € 1.993B € 3.065B
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA € 2.103B € 1.424B € 1.629B
Siemens Healthineers AG € 1.586B € 1.423B € 1.746B
HeidelbergCement AG € 1.286B € -2.009B € -2.009B
Aurubis AG € 191.3M € 265.4M € 613.0M
Covestro AG € 557.0M € 454.0M € 1.619B

The strongest companies had a double-digit profit margin

In terms of the profit margin (how many euros a company can earn per 1 euro of sales), however, companies from the automotive industry are not leading on our list, despite the fact that their profit margin increased in 2021. The best is the software company SAP SE, which was able to earn more than 19 cents from one euro of sales in 2021. MERCK KG auf Aktien was second with a profit margin of 15% and Mercedes-Benz Group AG was third with a profit margin of less than 14% (in 2020 it had a profit margin of only 3.86%).

Germany: Profit margin of the top 20 manufacturing companies

Company 2019 2020 2021
VOLKSWAGEN AG 5.31% 3.75% 5.82%
Mercedes-Benz Group AG 1.57% 2.6% 13.93%
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG 4.73% 3.86% 11.14%
Robert Bosch Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung 2.57% 1.02% 3.17%
BASF SE 7.72% 4.15% 5.13%
Siemens AG 2.79% 7.6% 10.76%
AUDI AG 7.08% 7.55% 10.64%
Bayer AG 9.39% -25.35% 2.27%
ZF Friedrichshafen AG 1.08% -2.23% 2.01%
Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA 8.45% 7.7% 7.44%
Continental AG -2.63% -2.88% 4.46%
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG 9.82% 11.03% 12.19%
SAP SE 12.23% 19.32% 19.31%
adidas AG 8.04% 2.4% 10.16%
MERCK KG auf Aktien 7.68% 10.85% 15.16%
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA 10.37% 7.4% 8.12%
Siemens Healthineers AG 10.88% 9.84% 9.7%
HeidelbergCement AG 6.83% -11.17% -11.17%
Aurubis AG 1.77% 2.13% 3.74%
Covestro AG 4.42% 4.22% 10.18%

The manufacturing sector in Germany is highly concentrated. In 2021, in terms of sales, car producers were the strongest (Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz Group AG, BMW). In the case of profit before or after tax, only the order of the first three companies changed, where Mercedes-Benz Group AG overtook Volkswagen AG. In terms of profit margin, the software company SAP AG is in the best position - in the last two years the company was able to convert one euro of sales into a net profit of more than 19 cents.

If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact us

Martin Lindak - Analyst
Martin Lindak Analyst

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