Netherlands Top 10 Major Export Companies

Heineken beer bottles

Heineken beer

The largest export-oriented Dutch multinational is oil and gas leader Royal Dutch Shell.

Netherlands top 10 major export-oriented firms include two telecoms, two semiconductors producers and two competitors in the international trade of diversified chemicals.

To give some contextual perspective on recent company performance, the overall value of Dutch exports fell by -19.5% from US$552.5 billion in 2012 to $444.9 billion during 2016. Year over year, the drop was -6.1% from 2015 to 2016.

In the analysis below, we compare the top 10 export-related Dutch companies based on asset values, sales and profitability as of May 2017. Also presented is the Dutch city where each business has its headquarters.

Netherlands Top 10 Major Export Companies


Below are biggest export-related Dutch 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 2017 compared to May 2016.

  1. Royal Dutch Shell (oil, gas): US$411.3 billion (up 20.9% from May 2016)
  2. Unilever (food processing): $59.5 billion (up 4.8%)
  3. Heineken Holding (beverages): $42.1 billion (up 1.3%)
  4. Philips (industrial conglomerate): $34.1 billion (up 1.1%)
  5. NXP Semiconductors (semiconductors): $24.9 billion (down -5.7%)
  6. VEON (telecommunications services): $21 billion (down -37.9%)
  7. ASML Holding (semiconductors): $19.7 billion (up 24.9%)
  8. Akzo Nobel (diversified chemicals): $17.5 billion (down -5.7%)
  9. KPN (telecommunications services): $15.5 billion (down -19.5%)
  10. DSM (diversified chemicals): $13.9 million (up 6.5%)

Six of these massive Dutch corporations grew their assets as of May 2016, via a 24.9% gain for semiconductors maker ASML Holdings and a 20.9% improvement for Royal Dutch Shell.

Among the four other companies, asset deterioration was -5.7% each for NXP Semiconductors and Akzo Nobel, -19.5% for KPN and -37.9% for VEON (a telecom previously named VimpelCom).


Sales is the life blood of all business, particularly for firms that compete in the international trade arena. Annual sales at May 2017 compared to statistics as of May 2016 were up for five top Dutch businesses led by NXP Semiconductors’ 55.7% revenue gain.

  1. Akzo Nobel: $15.7 billion (down -3%)
  2. ASML Holding: $7.5 billion (up 7.4%)
  3. DSM: $8.8 billion (up 1.9%)
  4. Heineken Holding: $23 billion (up 0.9%)
  5. KPN: $7.5 billion (down -6%)
  6. NXP Semiconductors: $9.5 billion (up 55.7%)
  7. Philips: $27.1 billion (up 0.8%)
  8. Royal Dutch Shell: US$234.8 billion (down -11.4% from May 2016)
  9. Unilever: $58.3 billion (down -1.3%)
  10. VEON: $8.9 billion (down -9.6%)

Sales declines ranged from -1.3% for food processor Unilever accelerating to -11.4% for oil and gas titan Royal Dutch Shell.


Revamped telecom VEON turned over a new leaf from a -$627.6 million loss as of May 2016 to post a $2.5 billion profit at May 2017. Four other large Dutch firms managed to grow their profits led by diversified chemicals firm DSM’s 635.6% uptick.

  1. Unilever: US$5.7 billion (up 6.1% from May 2016)
  2. Royal Dutch Shell: $4.7 billion (up 123.6%)
  3. VEON: $2.5 billion (reversing a -$627.6 million loss)
  4. ASML Holding: $1.72 billion (down -4.4%)
  5. Heineken Holding: $1.7 billion (down -19%)
  6. Philips: $1.6 billion (up 123.7%)
  7. Akzo Nobel: $1.1 billion (down -10.8%)
  8. DSM: $717.9 million (up 635.6%)
  9. KPN: $399.3 million (down -30.5%)
  10. NXP Semiconductors: $200 million (down -86.7%)

Albeit all 10 top Dutch businesses remained in the black at May 2017, profitability declines range from -4.4% for semiconductors company ASML Holding to a formidable -86.7% setback for NXP Semiconductors.


Four of the top export-related companies have their headquarters in Amsterdam, national capital and the largest city in the Netherlands.

  1. Akzo Nobel: Amsterdam
  2. ASML Holding: Veldhoven
  3. DSM: Heerlen
  4. Heineken Holding: Amsterdam
  5. KPN: The Hague
  6. NXP Semiconductors: Eindhoven
  7. Philips: Amsterdam
  8. Royal Dutch Shell: The Hague
  9. Unilever: Rotterdam
  10. VEON: Amsterdam

Located on Holland’s western coast, The Hague serves as home to two other top firms and is also the seat of the Dutch government, parliament, the Supreme Court and the Council of State.

Note some of the above company offerings may include products or other than the principal category highlighted within brackets under the Assets tab.

For example, Unilever produces and markets much more than food items. Rather, the scope of Unilever operations encompasses four segments: foods, refreshments, home care and personal care. The latter category includes deodorants as well as skin, hair and oral care products.

See also Netherlands’s Top 10 Exports, Netherlands Top 10 Imports and Netherlands Top Trade Partners

Research Sources:
Forbes 2017 Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top Dutch company compiled for this study: Royal Dutch Shell. Accessed on January 27, 2018

Forbes 2017 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on January 27, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on January 27, 2018

Wikipedia, Category: Companies of the Netherlands. Accessed on January 27, 2018

Wikipedia, List of companies of the Netherlands. Accessed on January 27, 2018

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Amsterdam, Netherlands. Accessed on January 27, 2018