Five large petroleum industry conglomerates are showcased on our list for 10 among Canada’s top major product exports-oriented companies. Similarly, three multinationals from the diversified metals and mining sector are included.
From an international trade perspective, Canada’s exported goods were worth US$450.7 billion for 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -5.1% downturn since 2014 and a 7.1% uptick from 2017 to 2018.
The following analysis compares 10 among Canada’s largest exports-related businesses in terms of asset values, sales and profitability as of December 2018. The Canadian city where each conglomerate has its headquarters is also specified.
Canada’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Below are some of Canada’s biggest exports-related companies organized by asset value. Shown within parentheses is the primary industry in which each business operates. Also shown is the change in asset value as of December 2018 compared to 2017.
- Enbridge (oil equipment): US$129.4 billion, up 102.2% from 2017
- Suncor Energy (oil, gas): $70.8 billion, up 7%
- TransCanada (oil equipment): $69 billion, up 5.1%
- Canadian Natural Resources (oil, gas): $56.8 billion, up 26.4%
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals (pharmaceuticals): $35.8 billion, down -17.8%
- Teck Resources (diversified metals & mining): $29.4 billion, up 10.7%
- Bombardier (aerospace, defense): $26.7 billion, up 17%
- Husky Energy (oil, gas): $25.8 billion, up 3.6%
- Barrick Gold (diversified metals & mining): $25.4 billion, up 0.6%
- Goldcorp (diversified metals & mining): $21.6 billion,up 0.5%
Oil industry behemoth Enbridge posted the fastest increase in assets via its 102.2% expansion from 2017. Other asset gains were 26.4% for Canadian Natural Resources, 17% for Bombardier and 10.7% for Teck Resources.
The sole asset decliner was Valeant Pharmaceuticals due to its -17.8% deterioration as of December 2018 compared to 2017.
Sales is the life blood for most businesses and is particularly important for firms that compete in fast-paced international trade. As shown below, seven of Canada’s largest exports-related companies increased their year-over-year sales as of December 2018 led by the 81.4% gain from 2017 for energy sector player Canadian Natural Resources.
- Enbridge: US$33.6 billion, up 28.7% from 2017
- Suncor Energy: $25.7 billion, up 27%
- Bombardier: $16.7 billion, up 2.2%
- Husky Energy: $15.4 billion, up 57.5%
- Canadian Natural Resources: $14.4 billion, up 81.4%
- TransCanada: $10.5 billion, up 9.1%
- Teck Resources: $9.5 billion, up 35.3%
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals: $8.6 billion, down -11.1%
- Barrick Gold: $8.2 billion, down -4.2%
- Goldcorp: $3.4 billion, down -3.4%
Sales declines belonged to two relatively large gold companies, Barrick Gold (down -4.2%) and Goldcorp (down -3.4%), as well as an even larger -11.1% setback for Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Five of the largest Canadian corporations engaged in exporting products earned at least a billion US dollars in profit as of the December 2018.
- Suncor Energy: US$3 billion, up 815.8% from 2017
- TransCanada: $2.5 billion, up 1,321%
- Enbridge: $2.2 billion, up 41%
- Teck Resources: $2.1 billion, up 167.5%
- Canadian Natural Resources: $2.1 billion, reversing a -$154 million deficit
- Barrick Gold: $970 million, up 49.6%
- Husky Energy: $750 million, up 7.8%
- Goldcorp: $556 million, up 233.1%
- Bombardier: -$461 million, down -54.4%
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals: -$917 million, down -62%
Posting at least triple-digit profitability gains year over year were: TransCanada (up 1,321%), Suncor Energy (up 815.8%), Goldcorp (up 233.1%) then Teck Resources (up 167.5%).
Two of these Canadian multinationals suffered losses as of December 2018, about a half-billion in red ink for transportation giant Bombardier and almost a billion-dollar loss for Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Six of the 10 largest Canadian export companies are based in Calgary, Alberta where unemployment is relatively high due to Canada’s floundering energy industry. Two companies are headquartered in the province of Quebec, while the remaining two are in the west coast port city of Vancouver.
- Barrick Gold: Calgary, Alberta
- Bombardier: Montreal, Quebec
- Canadian Natural Resources: Calgary, Alberta
- Enbridge: Calgary, Alberta
- Goldcorp: Vancouver, BC
- Husky Energy: Calgary, Alberta
- Suncor Energy: Calgary, Alberta
- Teck Resources: Vancouver, BC
- TransCanada: Calgary, Alberta
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals: Laval, Quebec
Notably absent from the list is Canada’s most populous province, Ontario. Nevertheless, Ontario is home to many world-class banks and other financial services providers that play critical support roles in financing international trade.
Note some of the above company offerings may include products other than the principal category shown within parenthesis under the Assets tab.
For example, Bombardier not only manufactures aerospace products including business and commercial aircraft, but also has a transportation segment that designs and produces railway, subway and streetcar vehicles. Similarly, Valeant Pharmaceuticals makes not only drugs and medicines but also medical devices.
See also Canada’s Top 10 Imports, Canada’s Top 10 Exports, Top Canadian Trade Balances and Canada’s Top Trading Partners
Forbes 2017 Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top Canadian company compiled for this study: Enbridge. Accessed on October 1, 2019
Forbes Global 2000 rankings for Canada, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on October 1, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on October 1, 2019
Wikipedia, List of companies of Canada. Accessed on October 1, 2019
Wikipedia, List of largest companies in Canada by profit. Accessed on October 1, 2019