WEALTH WARS: THE COMPANIES MORE PROFITABLE THAN COUNTRIES

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Notable Stats

  • The 10 most profitable companies combined would be the third wealthiest country, with a higher GDP than Japan.
  • Saudi Aramco, the world’s richest company, is more profitable than Italy, Brazil, Canada and Russia.
  • The UK’s richest corporations have a larger market cap than Belgium, Sweden and Thailand.
  • Apple’s CEO takes home the highest salary at £96.6 million. It would take the average Apple employee 784 years to make his yearly salary.

The world’s richest companies have seen their wealth take on new dimensions. Apple, Amazon and Microsoft might be big players in the tech industry, but their market cap far outstrips that of many countries.

ABC Finance has analysed the most profitable companies across the globe, providing them with country status based on GDP (nominal) to see where they would sit within the world. And, the results may surprise you…

THE 10 MOST PROFITABLE COMPANIES COMBINED WOULD BECOME THE THIRD RICHEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD

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The world’s 10 richest companies have a combined market capitalisation of £6.8 trillion ($8.8 trillion), making them the third-largest country based on GDP in the world. To put that in perspective, that’s more than four times larger than the GDP of the UK at £2.11 trillion ($2.74 trillion).

The companies are only beaten by the US and China, with total GDPs (nominal) of £16.5 trillion ($21.4 trillion) and £10.93 trillion ($14.14 trillion) respectively.

The 10 wealthiest corporations include the likes of Saudi Aramco, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, with seven of the top 10 based in the United States. However, Saudi Arabia takes the top spot with Saudi Aramco.

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SAUDI ARAMCO IS WORTH MORE THAN THE GDP OF ITALY, BRAZIL, CANADA AND RUSSIA

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In December 2019, Saudi Aramco – a national petroleum and gas company – became the most valuable listed company in history. Now, they are worth more than £1.5 trillion ($2 trillion). If they were to receive country status, they would be the 9th wealthiest country in the world.

Sitting in 9th place would make them richer than the whole of Italy, Brazil, Canada and even Russia.

THE RICHEST US COMPANIES HAVE A GDP OF £4.8 TRILLION – MAKING THEM TWICE AS LARGE AS THE UK

Seven of the world’s 10 wealthiest countries are based in the U.S. The companies are Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Combined, the above corporations have a market cap of £4.8 trillion ($6.25 trillion), which makes them twice as wealthy as the UK with a GDP of £2.1 trillion ($2.74 trillion).

APPLE’S MARKET CAP IS EQUIVALENT TO THE GDP OF AUSTRALIA

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Apple is, currently, the second most profitable corporation in the world. Their market cap is estimated at a huge £1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) – the equivalent to the GDP of Australia.

Yet, while Australia has a GDP of £1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) and a population of 25 million, Apple has just 132,000 full-time employees.

Apple’s 2019 revenue alone is £205.3 million ($265 mrillion), with a 15.9% revenue growth to boot.

Apple, Amazon and Microsoft combined generate more money than the UK

Apple, evaluated at £1 trillion ($1.3 trillion), combined with Microsoft and Amazon – boasting a market capatilisation of £773 billion ($1 trillion) each – are worth £2.5 trillion. This is more than the GDP of the UK at £2.11 trillion.

THE UK’S 10 MOST PROFITABLE COMPANIES ARE RICHER THAN BELGIUM, SWEDEN AND THAILAND

It’s not all bad news for UK based corporations, however. Britain’s 10 most profitable companies, including BP, HSBC Holdings and Vodafone Group have a combined market cap of £555 billion ($717 trillion). This is more than the GDP of Thailand, Sweden and Belgium at £405.5 billion ($52 billion), £405.3 billion ($528 billion) and £396.6 billion ($517 billion) respectively.

Six of the UK’s most profitable companies are based in London, boasting a total market cap of £441.3 billion. So, it’s not surprising that London’s economy is responsible for ¼ of the UK’s GDP.

APPLE’S CEO MAKES 99% MORE THAN HIS AVERAGE EMPLOYEE WITH A SALARY OF £96.6 MILLION

While Saudia Aramco is the world’s most profitable company, they pay relatively low wages for those at the top level. Aramco’s CEO, Amin H. Nasser, earns a salary of £3.8 million ($5 million), £92.8 million less than Apple’s Chairman, Tim Cook’s, reported £96.6 million ($125 million).

It would take Apple workers 784 years to make the CEO’s salary.

With Cook’s salary of £96.6 million ($125 million), Cook earns 99% more than the average pay of an Apple HQ worker at £123,162. It would take the average Apple worker 784 years to earn what Cook reportedly receives in just one year.

This also makes him the highest paid CEO of the companies studied, with Pony Ma – CEO of Tencent – coming a not so close second with a yearly wage of £37.8 million ($49 million).

BRITAIN’S HIGHEST-PAID FEMALE CEO EARNS £4.6 MILLION MORE THAN JEFF BEZOS PER YEAR

Britain’s highest female paid chairman earns an estimated £5.89 million annually, £4.6 million more than Jeff Bezos. Surprisingly, the Amazon CEO takes an annual salary of £1.2 million, with most of his £97.5 billion ($126 billion) coming from selling his shares within the company.

Emma Walmsley, Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, is the only woman to make an appearance in the UK’s richest 10 corporations. Staggeringly, of the Fortune 500 companies with the highest revenue, only 3% (14 corporations) boasted female CEOs. No women CEOs were featured in the world’s top 10 most profitable companies.

Gary Hemming, Commercial Lending Director at ABC Finance, said: “The above figures show the immense growing power of the world’s biggest corporations. It’s interesting to see how much many of them have increased their revenues over the past year, suggesting the gap is going to continue to widen in the future.”