French home improvement and gardening retailer Leroy Merlin has been recognized as the largest Western corporation operating in Russia, despite international pressure, according to a new ranking by Forbes Russia. The company’s revenues in Russia reached an impressive 529.7 billion rubles ($5.4 billion) in 2022, according to Infoline Consultancy.
Earlier this year, Leroy Merlin’s parent company, ADEO group, announced plans to transfer its Russian business to local management. This move indicates the company’s commitment to the Russian market and its desire to consolidate operations within the country.
Forbes’ ranking comprises 50 corporations, with more than half of them owned by foreign investors. Following Leroy Merlin, Japanese tobacco company JT Group secured the second position on the list, reporting revenues of $4.38 billion. US tobacco giant Philip Morris closely followed in third place, with earnings of $4.04 billion.
The remaining two spots in the top five were claimed by US food and beverage giant PepsiCo, which generated $3.15 billion in revenues, and France’s Elo, the operator of supermarket chains Auchan and Atak, with $3.03 billion in earnings.
Diverse industries continued to make an appearance in the rankings. The Dutch telecoms multinational VEON secured sixth place, with revenues reaching $2.96 billion. German cash-and-carry store operator Metro AG followed closely in seventh place, earning $2.31 billion. American food company Mars rounded up the top ten with revenues of $2.08 billion.
While the list primarily features well-established companies, there were also notable additions and exclusions. Several prominent car manufacturers, including Toyota, Volkswagen, and Renault, as well as tech giants Apple and Samsung, did not make the cut. Conversely, new entrants included Thai CP Foods, a prominent agriculture investor, Belarusian Trading House BelAZ, and two Chinese manufacturers of household appliances and electronics, BBK Electronics and Haier.
It is worth mentioning that certain companies on the list faced temporary disruptions due to local management taking control of their assets. The subsidiary of German energy firm Uniper, for instance, placed 19th with reported revenues of $1.1 billion. Similarly, food major Danone’s Russian subsidiary ranked 16th, while brewing company Baltika came in at the 20th position.
The Forbes Russia ranking highlights the economic resilience and attractiveness of the Russian market for international companies. Despite ongoing international pressures, Leroy Merlin’s success and continued presence in the country showcase the company’s confidence in the opportunities Russia has to offer.
In conclusion, Leroy Merlin’s position as the leading Western corporation in Russia, along with the impressive revenues generated by various foreign operators, reinforces the country’s appeal as a lucrative market for international businesses. With a diverse range of industries represented in the rankings, it becomes evident that Russia continues to attract and sustain significant foreign investment.