History 2007

Top 3: WEBHELP France 43929*
GCI MANAGEMENT AG Germany 38452*
EVN AG Austria 32954*

* Birch Index

The dynamic businesses that qualified for the 2007 Europe’s 500 show a buoyant pan-European picture demonstrating high and sustained growth, across a broad mix of activities and sectors.

They collectively increased employment over three years (2003-2006) by close to 300.000 jobs (an average per year, per company of just under 200 positions). This impressive 26% annual growth rate in employment was sustained by an equally strong annual turnover growth rate of 28%.

These fast growing, high performing, mid-sized companies come from 24 countries: 25 European Union Member States plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland whereas The United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany dominate the Listing 2007. See the full list of winners 2007.

Another sign of exceptional performance and growth is the financial strength of these companies. Together, the 500 companies were responsible for generating €134.5 billion in sales in 2006, an increase over the three years of €69.7 billion.
On average, the 500 companies increased their turnover by more than €46 million each year, representing an average annual turnover growth rate of 28% (or 108% over the three years).


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Employment Growth

Europe's 500 uses the David Birch Employee Growth Index, which combines absolute and relative job creation, to rank the 500 companies. With its consideration for both absolute and relative growth the Birch Index allows small, medium and large sized companies to be fairly compared.  For example, the top two Europe’s 500 companies ended the year 2006 at different stages in their growth cycle. The No.1 company, Webhelp, could be considered “large” (more than 1.000 employees in 2006). It increased employment with 3.750 positions (in absolute terms) substantially more than the No. 2 company GCI Management (a medium-sized company) who increased employment with 823 positions. However the relative growth of GCI (from 18 – 841 full time employees) is considerably more impressive at 4572%, over the three years, compared to that of Webhelp (1071%). The Birch Index creates the common denominator that recognizes both.

Absolute Employment Growth

Together the 500 companies created 297.455 jobs between 2003 and 2006, bringing their total collective work force of full time employees to 598.796 in December 2006. This represents a vibrant and healthy increase of almost 100,000 positions per year, or an average of 198 jobs created per company, per year.

Job growth was particularly impressive in Austria (565 per company, per year) and Finland (396 per company per, year) where larger, more established, industrial companies can be found often operating within the manufacturing sector.


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Turnover Growth


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Size of the Companies

The majority (61.8%) of the 2007 Europe’s 500 companies are mid-sized with between 101 and 1.000 employees, while 28.8% are larger companies with more than 1.000 full-time-equivalent employees at the end of 2006. The smaller companies (up to 100 employees), which account for the most impressive employment growth rates, represent 9.4% of the Listing.

This confirms the trend that has emerged from previous Listings – that, crucially, it is the mid-sized companies with between 101 -1.000 employees that are most likely to deliver and sustain high growth and job creation in Europe’s exciting business and economic environment.


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Private and Public Companies

As in previous years, more of the Europe’s 500 companies (57.4%) are private companies (not listed on a Stock Exchange).


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Sustainable Growers

Two companies from the 2007 Listing deserve a special highlight. Both have featured amongst the winning 500 European companies in nine out of the ten editions showing outstanding performance and growth for more than 14 years.

Europe's 500 Sustainers
BUW Unternehmensgruppe Rank 268 Germany Business Support Services
Redur S.A (Group) Rank 267 Spain Transport & Logistics

List of the Winners 2001

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