List of the 5 largest companies in Berlin
Berlin is not only the political and administrative center of Germany, but has always been an important business location. The German capital owed its rise to a metropolis of millions to the industrial revolution. These are the five largest companies headquartered in Berlin today:
1. Deutsche Bahn AG
Deutsche Bahn AG was created in the 1990s in the course of a railroad reform. In the process, Deutsche Bundesbahn and Deutsche Reichsbahn were merged, and Berlin became the company’s new headquarters. The company is 100 percent state-owned. In 2020, Deutsche Bahn carried around 2.9 billion passengers and over 213 million tons of freight. The rail group with its more than 322,000 employees is divided into numerous subsidiaries – including DB Fernverkehr, DB Regio, DB Cargo and DB Schenker.
2. Bayer Pharma AG
The business of the former Schering group continues under the name Bayer Pharma AG. Schering used to be an independent pharmaceutical company and was acquired by Bayer in 2006. Bayer Pharma AG was a subsidiary of Bayer HealthCare AG until 2016. At that time, the group was reorganized divisional. Today, Bayer Pharma is part of the Pharmaceuticals corporate division and operates in the Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, Special Medicine and Women’s Healthcare business areas. The name Bayer Pharma is no longer used in its external image.
3. Zalando SE
Zalando is a Berlin-based online mail order company for shoes, fashion and cosmetics. It has made Internet shoe sales respectable in Germany. Zalando was founded in 2008 with capital from the three Samwer brothers, who have “incubated” many Internet business models. Zalando founders David Schneider and Robert Gentz were former classmates of the Samwers. Zalando now operates online retailing of shoes and other items in 20 European markets. It is also trying to connect with brick-and-mortar retail. The company has more than 14,000 employees.
Update 2023: At the end of 2022, Zalando announced that David Schröder would be appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO). He takes over the duties of Jim Freeman, who will leave the company as Chief Business and Product Officer on March 31, 2023.
4. Dussmann Group
The Dussmann Group is a family-owned Berlin-based group of companies focusing on services. The most important company, Dussmann Service, focuses on facility services and accounts for approximately two-thirds of sales (2020: 1.4 billion euros). Other Dussmann companies: Dussmann Office (office services including office rental), Kursana (services in the area of care and support for senior citizens), Dussmann Technical Solutions. Dussmann also operates a bookstore, the Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann, directly adjacent to Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse train station. The Dussmann Group employs around 60,000 people.
5. KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft
KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft represents the German branch of the international auditing network KPMG. In Germany, the auditing company employs over 12,000 people at 26 locations. KPMG international is one of the so-called “Big Four” in the auditing business – the four networks that together generate around two-thirds of the world’s auditing revenues. KPMG Germany serves clients from all industries and of all sizes. The business comprises Audit, Tax, and Advisory (business and management consulting).
Picture source: S. Widua via Unsplash (12.07.2023)
This information is included in the list
- Company name
- General contact data (address, e-mail address, telephone number, URL)
- Serial letter suitable for addressing the management (e.g. “Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Müller”)
- Name of the management
- Sales figures for the years 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 as well as employee figures for the years 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 (taken from the annual and consolidated financial statements)
- Field of activity
Note: If the sales and employee figures are not included in a company’s own financial statements but in the parent company’s consolidated financial statements, the data from the respective consolidated financial statements are provided.
The following industries are covered
The Berlin economy: Statistics and facts
Berlin is characterized by its function as a capital city, but has also been a strong business location at least since the industrialization of the 19th century. Only with the factories did Spree-Athens become a metropolis of millions. Berlin’s economy has always operated in a political environment characterized by major upheavals. With a gross domestic product of a good 153 billion euros (2019), the capital today ranks sixth among the German states, both in absolute terms and per capita.
In 2018, there were a total of around 185,000 legally independent commercial enterprises in Berlin, plus around 192,000 branches of companies based outside the capital. In recent decades there has been a major shift in emphasis away from industrial production towards the service sector. Almost 5,400 companies are active in manufacturing, 14,600 in construction and about 164,500 in the service sector. Around 85 percent of the Berlin economy’s turnover is generated by services. Tourism is of great importance. The capital is one of the hippest city destinations in Europe with millions of visitors every year. This benefits the hotel and restaurant industry, but also the retail sector.
Strong economic sectors in Berlin are the media and creative industries, trade fairs and congresses (including the International Consumer Electronics Fair, Berlinale, International Green Week, ITB Berlin), biotechnology and health care, optics (especially in the Berlin-Adlershof Technology Park) and transport systems technology. After the turn of the millennium, Berlin has become the leading center for Internet start-ups in Germany. The Berlin-based company Rocket Internet has made a significant contribution to this development as an “incubator” for many start-ups.
Major companies have their headquarters or secondary headquarters in the capital. These include Deutsche Bahn, Siemens, Zalando, Dussmann, Axel Springer and Vattenfall.
Picture source: Florian Wehde via Unsplash (12.07.2023)
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