France-country of croissants, Eiffel Tower and camembert cheese. Of course, there is a long list of products made in France but if we take a closer look at French economy we are able to state that it is mainly based on the private sector in combination with government intervention. Such system led to forming million of partnerships, which many of them became popular all over the world huge companies. What is more, the European Union (which France has been a member since 1958) offers financial support for big companies, especially in experimental work so that can be continually expanded. Though this large list, we can point out TOP 10 the biggest French companies and we are sure that these French business names are known to you regardless of the part of the world you come from.
1. Top 10 French companies
In the light of the present list of French companies, there are positions from different lines of business-banking sector, supermarkets or motorization. Surely, you made use of their services, but did you know these entities are French?
10. Groupe BPCE
Groupe BPCE is one of the big French companies which operates in banking services, especially provides deposits and loan offers to small and medium businessmen. The group highlights consumer protection-it even appointed a special independent mediator, who can explain every detail of the document given to the customer without any additional costs. All in all, the company focuses on 3 major sections: investing in its human capital, enhancing collective efficiency and emphasizing its activities as a cooperative bank.
9. Groupe PSA
Groupe Peugeot Société Anonyme is an automotive company and the owner of brands such as Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Proton, Opel, and Vauxhall. It was established in 1976 and there are lots of automobile works in many countries of Europe, Asia or South America. The French company cooperates with Toyota, BMW, Fiat, Ford, Mitsubishi and Chinese Dongfeng. In 2017 Groupe PSA employs over 212 thousand people and became second the biggest Europe’s vehicle manufacturer. There also is a special Foundation of Groupe PSA which supports three types of projects: integration, education and culture and disability. Foundation endowed lots of projects in the amount of 9.5 million EURO in the space of five years.
8. Électricité de France
This is another example of the best French companies which operates in the distribution of electrical energy. It has been acting on a market since 1946. The business supports customers in green energy consumption-it is more than 18.500 installations with residential customers. In general, it deals with 3 research priorities: electricity transition, climate transition, and digital and societal transition. These three sectors consist of wide range of activities such as financing eco-efficiency systems in Europe, design, and commercialization of solar photovoltaic solutions, energy management for energy efficiency and demand-side response and maintenance of high-voltage and medium-voltage equipment.
7. Société Générale
One of the oldest and the biggest French banks which were founded in 1864 to support industry and trading. It operates in five strategic priorities: grow, deliver on costs, transform, further refocus and foster responsibility. The company is serving over 31 million customers in 67 countries and is also engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility. Furthermore, presented bank fights against climate change and in 2017 made commitments about activities in this area such as a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions per employee by 2020. There is no doubt that Societe Generale is one of the prestigious names for businesses-as the 1st French company and bank receive an award for its action on Twitter.
6. Crédit Agricole
In the beginning, Credit Agricole was an agricultural credit union and this is the reason why the company is often called a Green Bank. That one of the top French companies consists of Crédit Lyonnais bank, investment bank Calyon and insurers Predica and Pacifica. Crédit Agricole focuses on four main sectors: retail banking, insurance and banking, specialized services, corporate and investment banking. Additionally, the company is a main financial supporter of energy transition and the purpose of that operation is protecting the environment by implementing innovative eco-responsible solutions into its products and services. In 2017 Crédit Agricole awarded the title for the quality of regulatory information-Grand Prix de la Transparence for its annual guidance document.
Almost everybody knows this French store name. Carrefour is a hypermarket and supermarket chain which was founded in France in 1959. The first shop was situated in the intersection of five streets and the name of the store comes from first localization because the French word carrefour means exactly intersection.
We can go to Carrefour in over 34 countries across 4 continents. The company also supports humanitarian actions such as improving food security, correcting the malnutrition rate and organizing social grocery stores. What is more, Carrefour Foundation joined a Biodiversity Program in 2017, where is able to support organizations and projects in favor of animal and plant in France.
Also known as GDF Suez which was established in 2008 and it is a pioneer in nuclear energy in Europe. Besides, ENGIE is engaged in electricity generation, natural gas and renewable energy. In its operations, the company focuses on working towards low-carbon or even zero-carbon energy generation and trying to make cities energy-autonomous.
It employs over 154.000 people in 70 countries. In 2015 company got the 2nd place in a ranking of largest companies among electric utilities organized by Forbes. There also is Engie Foundation which finances projects connected with helping children to join society and give them a chance for education or providing access to energy within sustainable development.
3. BNP PARIBAS
The company is a result of a merger of two banks-Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas. It was founded in 2000 and it is the biggest Euro area bank in terms of market capitalization. The company has its bank branches in 73 countries and employs over 198.000 people. In 2018 this one of the famous French companies was awarded the title of World’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance by Euromoney. The titbit is that bank sponsors male tennis circuit BNP Paribas Masters-one from the ATP World Tour. What is another interesting fact, BNP Paribas also attaches importance to the environment-it promotes eco transport, notably the bicycles and even organizes different events connected with that, for example, bicycles breakfast or bike Fridays.
AXA is an insurance firm which has been acting on the market since 1996 and its business office is situated in Paris. The company is engaged in life, sickness, property, car insurance and more. We can also classify AXA as one of the French finance companies which handle investment consulting under the name Axa Investment Managers. AXA has claimed the best insurance brand in the world in terms of brand identification in 2017 by Best Global Brands.
This company in French is engaged in oil extraction and natural gas mining. In addition, it also cares about transport, distribution, and marketing of these primary products. The company was founded in 1924 and firstly was named as Compagnie française des pétroles (CFP). The change was in the 1991 year and since that time the firm name is Total. Company deals with agents in 130 countries across 5 continents and guarantees about 100 000 workplaces.
What is more, it is the world’s 2nd largest solar energy company one of the global leaders in petroleum industry next to ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch/Shell with sales of $171.5 bn in 2017. It also deals with bioenergies-as a pioneer in biofuels Total aims at becoming a leader in this sector and its ambition is developing innovative bioplastics.
2. French for company
As we noticed, in France, there were founded many popular companies, which branches are situated all over the world. Thanks to French policy or regulation and co-financing of European Union businesses in France can be expanded in an easy way. Naturally, there are larger French corporations–the names such as Orange, Tefal or Leroy Merlin sounds familiar, aren’t they? And of course, do not forget about smaller entrepreneurs who can also conquer the market in the future!