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The Biggest Companies In South Africa 2006 Vs 2016


South Africa’s corporate landscape has seen some significant changes over the past 10 years, with many former top companies dropping out of the Forbes global 2000 list – making way for some rising stars.

Looking at the historic data in the Forbes Global 2000 list, Standard Bank has remained South Africa’s biggest company over the past decade, with little to challenge the banking group in terms of its massive asset value.

There have been some star performers over the years though: namely MTN, Naspers, Bidvest and Remgro, which have climbed the overall rankings over the past 10 years – while the rest have slipped.

Naspers is a standout –  thanks to its investments in global internet players, specifically Tencent in China, which has pushed the company to a R1 trillion market valuation on the JSE.

Its stellar growth has lifted the company from the 12th biggest in the country to the 6th biggest since 2006. The company has grown from a market value of $5.7 billion in 2006 to a massive $60 billion in 2016 – over 950% growth.

The South African mining sector meanwhile, has taken a big hit, with former heavyweight companies such as Gold Fields and Impala Platinum dropping off the global 2000 map completely.

State owned telco, Telkom, has also lost its title as one of the country’s biggest companies. In 2006, at the peak of its monopoly of telecommunications and internet in the country, the company was listed as the 5th biggest company.

Between 2006 and 2016, eight local companies have dropped off Forbes’s Global 2000 list, with three new businesses added to the list.

Below are the 18 companies which qualified in 2006, and the 13 which made the cut in the most recent rankings for 2016.

The biggest companies in South Africa in 2006

Rank Company Sales (US$bn) Profits (US$bn) Assets (US$bn) Market Value (US$bn)
1 Standard Bank Group 9.3 1.4 108.6 15.39
2 FirstRand 6.3 1.2 69.5 17.0
3 Sasol 10.4 1.4 13.2 23.3
4 Sanlam 16.4 0.6 39.9 7.2
5 Telkom 6.9 1.1 9.1 14.1
6 MTN Group 4.6 1.0 4.6 16.2
7 Remgro 1.6 1.4 6.3 10.1
8 Bidvest 9.5 0.3 3.1 5.1
9 Impala Platinum 1.9 0.8 3.1 11.4
10 Imperial Holdings 6.4 0.4 4.3 4.7
11 Barloworld 6.2 0.3 4.4 4.0
12 Naspers 2.2 0.4 2.4 5.7
13 Metropolitan Holdings 3.0 0.3 7.8 1.3
14 Gold Fields 1.8 0.03 3.6 10.8
15 Sappi 4.9 -0.2 5.6 2.9
16 Steinhoff 2.9 0.2 3.6 3.7
17 Alexander Forbes 0.7 0.1 14.7 1.2
18 Tiger Brands 2.4 0.3 1.4 4.0
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The biggest companies in South Africa in 2016

Rank Company Sales (US$bn) Profits (US$bn) Assets (US$bn) Market Value (US$bn)
1 Standard Bank Group 15.4 1.9 127.7 14.4
2 Steinhoff International 13.3 1.4 25.1 22.8
3 Sasol 13.3 1.4 24.4 20.9
4 FirstRand 5.8 1.7 73.5 18.5
5 MTN Group 11.5 1.6 20.3 18.9
6 Naspers 6.4 1.1 13.3 60.0
7 Sanlam 6.4 0.7 43.2 10.5
8 Bidvest Group 15.1 0.5 6.6 8.4
9 Shoprite Holdings 9.3 0.3 3.3 6.7
10 Remgro 2.1 0.6 6.3 9.3
11 Aspen Pharmacare 2.8 0.5 6.8 10.1
12 MMI Holdings 5.3 0.2 29.0 2.6
13 RMB Holdings 32.0 0.6 2.5 5.8

In direct terms, the 13 South Africa companies listed in the Forbes ranking have a total asset value of $382 billion, which is larger than the $305 billion total recorded in 2006.

However, when adjusted for inflation, it’s clear that South African companies have taken a knock over the past decade, across all indicators.

SA top companies

The graph below shows the changes in the top companies in South Africa over the past decade, as well as which companies have dropped out of the top 2000 global list entirely.

Changes in SA’s top companies between 2006 and 2016

South Africa top companies 2006 2016

 

Source: Business Tech

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