Manufacturing's Might

Dec. 21, 2004
The sixth annual IndustryWeek 1000 shows that manufacturing remains the world's economic power source.

The IW 1000, IndustryWeek's annual global ranking of the largest manufacturing firms, proves these publicly held companies continue to be the power generators of the world's wealth. The 2001 list of the world's top manufacturers shows that they created goods -- from raw steel to semiconductors to soda pop -- that produced $9 trillion in revenues from continuing operations in 2000, a figure that surpasses the combined GDPs of Japan, Germany, and the UK, and approaches the U.S.' GDP of $9.9 trillion. Who are these manufacturing titans? The IW 1000 includes 26 industries that provide products for countless markets around the world. The top revenue-producing industries, in order, are: petroleum/coal products, motor vehicles and parts, electronics/electrical equipment, food, chemicals, computer/office equipment, metals, pharmaceuticals, industrial equipment, and publishing. Some 728 companies on the IW 1000 list are in these top 10 industries, accounting for more than $7.3 trillion in revenues. In 2000 energy prices rocketed nearly 140%, so there is no surprise that an oil company tops this year's IW 1000. By generating $228.4 billion in revenues Exxon Mobil Corp. earned the No. 1 spot. The multinational oil refiner and marketer unseated last year's No. 1 IW 1000 company, General Motors Corp., which ranked No. 2 this year with $184.6 billion in revenues. In fact, eight of the top 10 companies on the IW 1000 are oil or auto manufacturers. Ford Motor Co. placed third and DaimlerChrysler AG fourth on the list. Oil firms Royal Dutch/Shell Group and BP PLC ranked fifth and sixth, respectively. Toyota Motor Corp. got the No. 8 spot, and French oil company Total Fina Elf SA ranked No. 9. General Electric Co. and IBM Corp. ranked No. 7 and No. 10, respectively. An industry-by-industry analysis shows that the biggest revenue producers did not achieve the greatest profit margins. Petroleum. While the petroleum industry's revenue giant is Exxon Mobil, of the 82 oil companies on the IW 1000 it was Houston-based Apache Corp., an independent oil and gas producer with 1,500 employees, that posted the highest profit margin: 31.2% on revenues of $2.3 billion. Apache, ranked 756, is among 16 petroleum companies that are new to the IW 1000. Autos and auto parts. Although GM produced the most revenues in 2000 among the 70 manufacturers in the motor vehicle and auto parts industry, Danaher Corp. earned the highest profit margin: 8.6%. Based in Washington, D.C., Danaher is one of the largest manufacturers of automotive specialty tools. Electronics/electrical equipment. Among the 115 companies in the electronics/electrical equipment industry on the list, GE had the highest revenues, $129.4 billion, but Intel Corp. had the best profit margin, 31.2%. Computer-chip manufacturer Intel, which purchased one company per month in 2000, reported shipments of its Xeon processor for e-business applications grew by almost 50%. The company also shipped its billionth flash-memory chip used for mobile phones and other wireless devices. Food. Of the IW 1000's 121 food manufacturers, Switzerland's Nestl SA produced the highest revenues, US$50.5 billion, but Bass PLC posted the strongest profit margin, 44.6%. Nestl, one of the world's most recognized brand names, streamlined its manufacturing operations by reducing its factories from 509 to 479, and implemented continuous-improvement programs at all plants. London-based Bass PLC has been successful at developing various brands of soft drinks. Last year Bass manufactured 1.1 billion liters, making it one of the largest soft-drink companies in Europe. Chemicals. Although 2000 was a rough year for Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co., it nevertheless posted the highest revenues ($40.0 billion) of the 101 companies in the IW 1000 chemicals sector. The UK's BG Group PLC, a manufacturer of liquefied natural gas, earned the highest profit margin, 12.5%. The company expanded its business last year by increasing production levels 17%, which helped yield an operating-profit increase of 108%. Computer systems/office equipment. IBM faced many challenges in 2000, but it posted the most revenues, $88.4 billion, of the 31 companies on the list that make computer systems and office equipment. IBM's earnings rose 16% and it made $500 million in acquisitions last year. It was EMC Corp., a U.S. manufacturer of computer-information-storage software and hardware, that reported the highest profit margin -- 20.1% -- in the industry. EMC has become the No. 1 supplier to the information-storage industry. Metals.ThyssenKrupp AG earned $35.1 billion, the highest revenues among the 79 companies in the metals industry. The German steel manufacturer reported a 15% increase in sales last year, while customer orders jumped 22%. But Norilsk Nickel RAO of the Russian Federation posted the highest profit margin -- 49.5% -- in the industry. As the largest metals manufacturer in Russia, Norilsk Nickel saw its revenues soar by more than 300%, while its profits increased fivefold. Pharmaceuticals. Merck & Co. Inc. took in $40.4 billion, the highest revenue figure among the 33 pharmaceutical manufacturers on the IW 1000, while Amgen Inc. had the highest profit margin, 31.4%. Merck's growth has been propelled by new drugs such as Vioxx, an arthritis medication, and Zocor, a cholesterol-modifying drug. Industrial equipment. Among the 65 industrial-equipment producers on the IW 1000, Caterpillar Inc. generated the most revenues -- $20.2 billion. The maker of agricultural and earth-moving machinery launched a corporate-wide Six Sigma quality program last year and managed to increase sales and revenues by 2%, while sales of its compact construction equipment nearly doubled. Japan's Fanuc Ltd. earned the highest profit margin at 18.8% despite a slow economy in its home country. While Fanuc's domestic sales decreased, the manufacturer of industrial robots and CNC systems says sales in the U.S. and Europe were strong. Publishing/printing. Verizon Communications Inc. had the highest revenues -- $63.4 billion -- of IW 1000 companies that are engaged in publishing. Verizon, one of the largest publishers of telephone directories, also posted the best profit margin -- 17% -- in the industry. Multiple Strengths Only two companies on the IW 1000, Eli Lilly & Co. and Oracle Corp., earned profit margins better than 20% in 1998, 1999, and 2000, while also producing double-digit growth in ROE and ROA in the same time period. Lilly, which launched Prozac as the first drug treatment for clinical depression in the 1980s, reported double-digit sales of drugs that fight cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, and schizophrenia. Software manufacturer Oracle says it is saving more than a billion dollars and improving its operating margins, net income, and cash reserves by implementing an e-business strategy that includes putting every aspect of its business on the Internet. IW 1000 companies Amgen Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. all posted average profit margins of greater than 30% from 1998 to 2000. These manufacturers also showed impressive returns on assets for the last three years. Microsoft's average return was 30.3%, while Amgen hit 28.5% and Taiwan Semiconductor made 20.8%. Pharmaceutical firm Amgen achieved sales of nearly $2 billion for Epogen, a drug that treats anemia in dialysis patients. Despite weakness in the high-tech industries, Microsoft, the world's largest software company, enjoyed strong sales of its products, and Taiwan Semiconductor, the world's largest contract computer-chip manufacturer, significantly expanded its capacity and efficiencies by merging with two other Taiwan-based semiconductor manufacturers in 1999 and 2000. However, regardless of the consistent and strong financial performance of these companies, they did not rank among those that produced extraordinary average three-year revenue growth. Three of the top 10 firms in average three-year revenue growth are U.S.-based oil companies: Anadarko Petroleum Corp. posted the highest, 240.0%; Devon Energy, at 131.4%, took fifth; and Frontier Oil Corp. filled the No. 7 spot with a average three-year revenue growth of 118.1%. All of these companies are new to the IW 1000 list. Also posting outstanding three-year revenue growth were South Africa's diamond-mining giant DeBeers Consolidated Mines Ltd., which ranked No. 2 with 225.6% growth, and Italy's largest telecommunications firm, Olivetti SpA, which ranked third, with 216.6%. IW 1000 newcomers Siebel Systems Inc., a software maker, and electronic-manufacturing-services company Sanmina Corp., ranked fourth and sixth in average three-year revenue growth, respectively. Both based in the U.S., Siebel posted an average revenue growth of 152.9%, and Sanmina, 122.8%. Singapore-based electronics-manufacturing-services giant Flextronics International Ltd. ranked seventh with an average three-year revenue growth of 121.8%, while IW 1000 newcomers China Resources Enterprise Ltd., Hong Kong, a beverage and food conglomerate, and Elcoteq Network Corp., Finland, an electronic-manufacturing-services company, took the ninth and 10th spots. China Resources had average three-year revenue growth of 110.5%; Elcoteq, 108.5%. Newcomers Nearly 45% of the 105 companies new to this year's IW 1000 are headquartered in the U.S. Newcomers that were ranked among the 100 largest include Verizon Communications Inc. (16), Bellsouth Corp. (69), and Sprint Corp. (81). While these companies are known for delivering services through telecommunications and wireless products, they also are among the largest manufacturers of telephone directories. Other newcomers that placed in the top 100 on this year's list include Chinese oil producer PetroChina Co. Ltd. (54); British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline PLC (66), the result of a 2000 merger of Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC; France Telecom SA (70); the Netherlands' European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV (86); and three U.S. companies: energy firm TXU Corp. (89), conglomerate Loews Corp. (91), and auto-parts maker Visteon Corp. (97). This year 24 companies improved their ranking by more than 200 places on the IW 1000 list. The biggest jump was Flextronics International's -- it soared to 463 from 934 on last year's list. Like most electronic-manufacturing-services firms, Flextronics continues to benefit from major outsourcing deals with original equipment manufacturers. Right behind Flextronics was Olivetti SpA, which leapfrogged to 67 from last year's 504 ranking. Olivetti bought Telecom Italia, which made Olivetti Italy's largest telecommunications firm. Olivetti also manufactures office products, communication peripherals, and service-automation systems. Teradyne Inc. leaped to 608 from last year's 939 spot. Teradyne, the world's largest maker of systems for testing semiconductors, posted a whopping 70% increase in sales in 2000. ADC Telecommunications Inc. jumped to 564 from 876 in last year's ranking. ADC's sales grew more than 50% in 2000 thanks to the huge demands for the fiber-optic systems and broadband connectivity equipment the company manufactures. Smith International Inc. climbed to 645 on this year's IW 1000 list from last year's rank of 935. Smith International, a manufacturer of drilling and fluid products for the oil and gas industry, posted a revenue increase of 52.9%. In terms of the IW 1000's geographical distribution, 359 companies are headquartered in the U.S. and 245 in Japan. The UK accounts for 56; Germany, 49; France, 43; Canada, 34; and South Korea, 24. Italy and the Netherlands each has 18, and Switzerland and Australia each has 15. The IW 1000 shows that Japanese companies are still beleaguered by the country's economic problems. Among the top Japanese manufacturers by revenue, five posted profit margins of less than 1%. For example, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. reported its profit margins plummeted 11.4%, and the automaker also lost $6.0 billion. Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., and NEC Corp. all posted profit margins of less than 1%. Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., and Japan Tobacco Inc. saw small profit gains of just over 1%. At the same time, however, two major Japanese automakers, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp., reported better profit margins than any of the world's top three auto manufacturers. Honda reported a profit margin of 4.3% and Toyota Motor Corp. a 3.2% profit margin. GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler posted profit margins of 2.4%, 2.0%, and 1.5%, respectively. Among firms in the UK, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, ranked 66 on the IW 1000, reported a profit margin of 23.0% (on $27.0 billion in revenues), making it the profit-margin leader among British manufacturers. The pharmaceutical giant also recorded a return on equity of 104.7%. BP PLC had the highest revenues of British companies with $146.2 billion, followed by consumer-packaged-goods company Unilever Group with $43.3 billion. Conglomerate E.ON AG ($69.9 billion in revenues) earned the highest profit margin, 4.8%, among German companies on the IW 1000. The company also posted the highest return on equity at 24.8%. DaimlerChrysler raked in the most revenues, $153.2 billion, followed by Volkswagen AG, $80.7 billion. Among the French firms on the IW 1000, oil company Total Fina Elf SA posted the best profit margin -- 6.3% -- and recorded revenues of $108.1 billion and a return on equity of 26.1%. Building-materials manufacturer Compagnie de Saint-Gobain's 5.3% profit margin was the second-highest among French firms; the company posted revenues of $27.2 billion and a return on equity of 15.9%. Representing Canada on the list, oil and natural gas company Canadian Pacific Ltd. reported the highest profit margin, 10.9% on revenues of $10.8 billion. Its return on equity was 21.8%. Imperial Oil Ltd. posted the second-highest profit margin -- 7.9%, on $12.1 billion in revenues -- and a return on equity of 32.0%.

Ranking MethodologyIndustryWeek partners with Thomson Financial to compile IW 1000. For its sixth annual ranking of the world's largest publicly held manufacturing companies, IndustryWeek partnered with Thomson Financial (formerly Primark Corp.), a subsidiary of Toronto-based Thomson Corp., a global information-services company. Thomson Financial's global databases were used to identify all publicly held manufacturing firms meeting IndustryWeek's SIC code criteria. The actual cutoff for inclusion on the IW 1000 list was $1.62 billion in revenues. Thomson Financial obtained the latest financial information on these companies. This process was supplemented with Internet-based research. Erik L. Fine, a Charlotte, N.C.-based information consultant, managed the data project. Manufacturing companies were defined according to criteria established by IW. They included: companies with a majority of their business in a manufacturing industry; companies that generated less than 50% of revenues from manufacturing, but more revenue from manufacturing than the lowest-revenue-producing company on last year's list; computer software companies whose primary business is the manufacture of software programs; oil and gas companies that derive approximately 50% of their revenues from the refining of oil and gas products; and companies that derive approximately 50% of their revenues from the manufacture of mined materials. Because all publicly held manufacturing companies were eligible, a number of subsidiaries or associate companies that are publicly traded separately from their parent company made the list along with the parent. The data elements are based on information obtained directly from publications distributed by the corporations. To more accurately reflect the company's core business, only revenue numbers from continuing operations were used. Currency valuations in U.S. dollars were made using exchange rates as of Dec. 31, 2000. Where 2000 data are not available, 1999 data are provided. An asterisk next to the company name on the IW 1000 list indicates that 1999 data were used. Where 1999 figures are given, profit growth is for 1998-99. An "NA" appears in cases where data were not available. A not-meaningful code (NM) was used for the return on equity and debt-to-equity ratios when equity was negative. In instances where companies showed negative net income for the comparative year, an "NM" appears in the profit-growth column. An "NA" appears in cases where data were not available. Accounting standards and terminology vary from country to country. Direct comparison of figures, even when terms appear to be the same, can be misleading.
Largest Companies By CountryUSA
2001 Rank Company Revenue (millions of US$)
1 Exxon Mobil Corp. 228,439
2 General Motors Corp. 184,632
3 Ford Motor Co. 170,064
7 General Electric Co. 129,417
10 IBM Corp. 88,396
16 Verizon Communications Inc. 63,423
17 Philip Morris Cos. Inc. 63,276
21 Boeing Co. 51,321
24 Texaco Inc. 50,100
25 Hewlett-Packard Co. 48,782
2001 Rank Company Revenue (millions of US$)
8 Toyota Motor Corp. 112,584
13 Hitachi Ltd. 69,941
15 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. 63,806
18 Sony Corp. 58,450
19 Honda Motor Co. Ltd. 53,312
20 Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. 52,265
23 Toshiba Corp. 50,257
28 Fujitsu Ltd. 45,936
30 NEC Corp. 43,632
38 Japan Tobacco Inc. 38,210
United Kingdom
2001 Rank Company Revenue (millions of US$)
6 BP PLC 146,207
31 Unilever Group 43,299
66 GlaxoSmithKline PLC 27,000
108 Diageo PLC 17,727
122 British American Tobacco PLC 16,301
2001 Rank Company Revenue (millions of US$)
4 DaimlerChrysler AG 153,242
11 Volkswagen AG 80,738
12 Siemens AG 73,982
14 E.ON AG 69,879
36 RWE AG 40,037
2001 Rank Company Revenue (millions of US$)
9 Total Fina Elf SA 108,107
33 Peugeot SA 41,694
41 Renault SA* 35,476
51 Alcatel 29,640
65 Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 27,193
*1999 revenue Canada
2001 Rank Company Revenue (millions of US$)
121 Onex Corp. 16,387
126 Seagram Co. Ltd. 15,686
130 George Weston Ltd. 14,926
169 Imperial Oil Ltd. 12,059
194 Canadian Pacific Ltd. 10,756
Top Three-Year Average Revenue Growth*
2001 Rank Company Country Three-Year Average Revenue Growth
350 Anadarko Petroleum Corp. USA 240.0%
370 De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. South Africa 225.6%
67 Olivetti SpA Italy 216.6%
920 Siebel Systems Inc. USA 152.9%
638 Devon Energy Corp. USA 131.4%
491 Sanmina Corp. USA 122.8%
463 Flextronics International Ltd. Singapore 121.8%
828 Frontier Oil Corp. USA 118.1%
990 China Resources Enterprise Ltd. Hong Kong 110.5%
812 Elcoteq Network Corp. Finland 108.5%
Top Three-Year Average ROE*
2001 Rank Company Country Three-Year Average ROE
122 British American Tobacco PLC United Kingdom 1,077.95%
385 Quaker Oats Co. USA 201.75%
321 Campbell Soup Co. USA 145.15%
67 Olivetti SpA Italy 136.25%
602 American Axle & Mfg. Holdings Inc. USA 114.75%
338 Pearson PLC United Kingdom 109.45%
816 Terex Corp. USA 106.95%
74 Dell Computer Corp. USA 100.65%
505 USG Corp. USA 92.45%
641 Daily Mail & General Trust United Kingdom 85.55%
Top Three-Year Average ROA*
2001 Rank Company Country Three-Year Average ROA
204 Oracle Corp. USA 42.2%
558 Tellabs Inc. USA 33.4%
84 Microsoft Corp. USA 30.3%
74 Dell Computer Corp. USA 30.0%
518 Amgen Inc. USA 28.5%
209 Schering-Plough Corp. USA 26.6%
61 Nokia Corp. Finland 26.1%
861 Imperial Tobacco Group PLC United Kingdom 25.3%
564 ADC Telecommunications Inc. USA 24.8%
103 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. USA 24.2%
Top Three-Year Average Profit Margins*
2001 Rank Company Country Three-Year Average Profit Margin
346 Worms & Cie France 10,164.9%
622 Compagnie Financire Richemont Switzerland 38.7%
84 Microsoft Corp. USA 37.0%
778 Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. Taiwan 35.0%
518 Amgen Inc. USA 32.1%
204 Oracle Corp. USA 29.4%
46 Intel Corp. USA 26.4%
190 Eli Lilly & Co. USA 25.5%
927 Companhia Siderrgica Nacional Brazil 24.8%
861 Imperial Tobacco Group PLC United Kingdom 24.4%
*for current IW 1000 companies with valid data for all three years Source: Thomson Financial

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!