To give some contextual perspective on recent company performance, the overall value of Italian exports fell by -12.3% from US$523.3 billion in 2011 to $458.8 billion during 2015. A major reason behind the drop in the overall value of Italian exports is global plunge in oil prices over the past five years.
In the analysis below, we compare Italy’s top 10 export companies based on asset values, sales and profitability as of May 2016. Also presented is the Italian city where each business has its headquarters.
Italy’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Below are Italy’s biggest export companies organized by asset value. Shown within parentheses is the primary industry in which each company operates. Also shown is the change in asset value as of May 2016 compared to 2015.
- Eni (oil, gas): US$149.8 billion, down -19.7% from 2015
- Telecom Italia (telecommunications services): $77.4 billion, down -20.1%
- Atlantia (infrastructure, mobility networks): $37.7 billion, down -7.3%
- Finmeccanica (aerospace, defense): $28.5 billion, down -30.1%
- Luxottica Group (specialty stores-eyewear): $10.5 billion, down -5.6%
- Pirelli & C (car/truck parts): $9.7 billion, down -2.6%
- Prysmian (electrical equipment): $7.9 billion, down -0.5%
- Parmalat (food processing): $6.1 billion, down -0.7%
- Prada (clothing, accessories): $5.2 billion, up 1%
- Saras (oil, gas): $4.7 billion, down -11.9%
Only one of these large Italian exporters grew their asset values from 2015 to May 2016, Prada which gained 1%.
Asset declines ranged from -0.5% for Italian electrical equipment maker Prysmian to a -30.1% drop for aerospace and defense firm Finmeccanica.
Sales is the life blood of all business, particularly for firms that compete in international trade. Infrastructure and mobility networks provider Atlantia increased its international sales by 21% since 2015. Appreciating just 1%, exports from eyewear specialist Luxottica Group was the only other sales gainer.
- Eni: US$87.2 billion, down -42.9% from 2015
- Telecom Italia: $21.9 billion, down -29.7%
- Finmeccanica: $14.4 billion, down -30.4%
- Saras: $13.4 billion, down -9.5%
- Luxottica Group: $9.8 billion, up 1%
- Prysmian: $9.7 billion, down -0.4%
- Pirelli & C: $8 billion, down -2.7%
- Parmalat: $7.1 billion, up from nil
- Atlantia: $5.8 billion, up 21%
- Prada: $3.9 billion, down -16.8%
Sales declines ranged from a severe -42.9% drop for oil and gas company Eni to a small -0.4% decline for Prysmian, an electrical equipment maker.
Facing down the slowing global economy, seven of the largest firms posted profits as of May 2016. Among the remaining three businesses, only Telecom Italia expanded its losses as of May 2016 with its red ink widening by almost 9,000%.
- Atlantia: US$945.9 million, up 18.2% from 2015
- Luxottica Group: $891.7 million, up 27.4%
- Pirelli & C: $423.5 million, up 5.9%
- Prada: $364.7 million, down -59.5%
- Parmalat: $293.4 million, down -2.2%
- Finmeccanica: $265 million, up from nil
- Prysmian: $197.8 million, down -1.1%
- Saras: -$347.3 million, down -13.2%
- Eni: -$9.8 million, down -241.7%
- Telecom Italia: -$79.8 million, up 8,767%
Aerospace and defense firm Finmeccanica posted the greatest profitability growth, from nil in 2015 to $265 million as of May 2016. Posting more modest profit improvements were eyewear seller Luxottica Group’s 27.4% gain, infrastructure and mobility networks provider Atlantia’s 18.2% increase and auto parts maker Pirelli & C’s 5.9% upswing.
Four of Italy’s top 10 major export companies have their headquarters in Rome, Italy’s capital and largest city. The second-most highly populated Italian city, Milan is home to four other top enterprises.
- Eni: Rome
- Telecom Italia: Rome
- Atlantia: Rome
- Finmeccanica: Rome
- Luxottica Group: Milan
- Pirelli & C: Milan
- Prysmian: Milan
- Parmalat: Collecchio
- Prada: Milan
- Saras: Sarroch
Note some of the above company offerings may include products other than the principal category shown within parenthesis under the Assets tab.
For example, Atlantia is a holding company that operates through a handful of business segments including Italian Motorways, Italian Airports, Overseas Motorways and Other Activities. The Overseas Motorways segment deals with the holders of motorway concessions in Chile, Brazil and Poland.
See also Italy’s Top 10 Exports, Italy’s Top 10 Imports and Major Export Companies: Alcoholic Beverages
Forbes 2016 Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top Italian company compiled for this study: Eni. Accessed on September 29, 2016
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 29, 2016
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on September 29, 2016
Wikipedia, Category: Companies of Italy. Accessed on September 29, 2016
Wikipedia, List of companies of Italy. Accessed on September 29, 2016