Daily Die Welt’s annual company ranking, “Germany’s Top 500,” reported on Monday that carmaker Volkswagen is far and away the revenue king, earning €126.9 billion last financial year, a rise of 20.6 percent.
Fellow automaker Daimler came in second place with €97.8 billion, a jump of 23.9 percent. Utility company Eon has the third highest revenue with €92.9, a rise of 13.5 percent.
The 500 largest firms all have earnings of more than €1 billion. In 2009, during the dark days of Germany’s worst post-war recession, the same survey recorded an average sales slump of 8 percent.
The latest boom is the greatest since 2000, when the top 500 grew their sales by an average of 17.1 percent. Last year’s exact rise was 11.8 percent on average.
Chemical firm BASF had the fastest growth, with 26 percent, reaching €63.9 billion, jumping from tenth to sixth place.
The survey also shows that the top 500 grew their global workforces by an average of 2.9 percent. Employment growth is well below sales growth because most firms didn’t lay people off during the depths of the crisis but rather used schemes like Kurzarbeit, putting them on shorter working hours.
The state that houses the headquarters of most big companies is North Rhine-Westphalia with 144. These companies have a combined turnover of €1.24 trillion. Bavaria is second with 91 firms and Hesse third with 75.