Brazil - Economy & Business


The largest corporations operating in Brazil


Below, the ranking of the largest Brazilian corporations back in 2003.

Check out the ranks of
Brazilian companies in 2015.


Exame, the most important Business and Economy Brazilian magazine, published a list of the largest corporations operating in Brazil (financial companies, like banks, were not included) in 2003; information were collected from balances released by the companies.

The table below lists the 50 largest ones, by sales; each entry shows Name of company, city and State where the main office in Brazil is located, the business field and the volume of sales (in millions of US dollars), and applicable comments.

The complete list organized by Exame had the largest 500 companies; the company #500 was Trombini, from Curitiba, which had business of US$ 149,8 in the Pulp and Paper business; only 69 companies (excluded the financial ones) had more than US$ 1 billion in sales.

Company City/State Business Field Sales Country Comments
1 Petrobras Rio de Janeiro, RJ Petroleum and Energy 38,441 1
2 BR Distribuidora Rio de Janeiro, RJ Wholesale (fuel) 10,567 1
3 Telemar Rio de Janeiro, RJ Telecommunications 6,311 2
4 Telefonica São Paulo, SP Telecommunications 5,699 Spain 2
5 Ambev São Paulo, SP Beer and drinks 5,344
6 Ipiranga Rio de Janeiro, RJ Wholesale (Fuel) 5,060
7 Volkswagen São Bernardo, SP Automobiles 4,791 Germany
8 Shell Rio de Janeiro, RJ Wholesale (Fuel) 4,382 UK/Holland 3
9 General Motors São Caetano, SP Automobiles 4,131 USA
10 Brasil Telecom Brasilia, DF Telecommunications 3,913 2
11 Bunge Food Gaspar, SC Food and Drink 3,866 Argentina
12 Pão de Açucar São Paulo, SP Retailer 3,858
13 Vale do Rio Doce Rio de Janeiro, RJ Mining 3,628
14 Carrefour São Paulo, SP Retailer 3,628 France
15 Brasken Camaçari, BA Petrochemical 3,345
16 Esso Rio de Janeiro, RJ Wholesale (Fuel) 3,192 USA
17 Texaco Rio de Janeiro, RJ Wholesale (Fuel) 3,175 USA
18 Embratel Rio de Janeiro, RJ Telecommunication 3,167 Mexico 4
19 Cargill São Paulo, SP Food and Drink 3,163 USA
20 Eletropaulo São Paulo, SP Utilities (Electricity) 3,056
21 Nestle São Paulo, SP Food and Drink 2,916 Switzerland
22 FIAT Betim, MG Automobiles 2,813 Italy
23 CEMIG Belo Horizonte Utilities (Electricity) 2,649
24 C.S.N. Rio de Janeiro, RJ Iron and Steel 2,573
25 VARIG Porto Alegre, RS Transportation (air carrier) 2,375
26 Unilever São Paulo, SP Pharmacy and Hygiene 2,319 UK/Holland
27 Souza Cruz Rio de Janeiro, RJ Tobacco 2,284 UK 5
28 Embraer São José Campos, SP Airplanes 2,243
29 Gerdau Porto Alegre, RS Iron and Steel 2,206
30 Usiminas Belo Horizonte, MG Iron and Steel 2,200 Brazil/Japan
31 Itaipu Brasilia, DF Utilities (Electricity) 2,184 Brazil/Paraguay
32 REFAP Canoas, RS Petrochemical 2,131
33 Casas Bahia São Caetano do Sul, SP Retailer 2,112
34 AGIP São Paulo, SP Utilities 2,108 Italy
35 Correios Brasília, DF Postal Service 2,074
36 DaimlerChrysler São Bernardo, SP Automobiles 2,022 Germany 6
37 Sadia Concórdia, SC Food 1,966
38 Light Rio de Janeiro, RJ Utilities (Electricity) 1,891 France
39 Copesul Triunfo, RS Petrochemical 1,891
40 Ford São Bernardo, SP Automobiles 1,890 USA
41 Vivo São Paulo, SP Telecommunications 1,870 Portugal/Spain 7
42 Furnas Rio de Janeiro, RJ Utilities (Electricity) 1,757
43 Bunge Fertilizers São Paulo, SP Fertilizers 1,725 Bermuda
44 CPFL Campinas, SP Utilities (Electricity) 1,576
45 Cosipa São Paulo, SP Iron and Steel 1,573
46 Nokia Manaus, AM Electronics 1,550 Finland
47 Sabesp São Paulo, SP Utilities (Water & Sewage) 1,515
48 Perdigão São Paulo, SP Food 1,483
49 Basf São Bernardo, SP Chemicals 1,461 Germany
50 Copersucar São Paulo, SP Wholesale (sugar & alcohol) 1,448

1.Petrobras drills wells and refines petroleum. BR Distribuidora sells the products (gasoline, diesel, etc) to the wholesalers (Shell, Esso, etc) which eventually sell to the gas stations.

2.Each phone company operates in different regions of the country, as defined by the chartering contracts. The restrictions may be lifted (companies may operate in other regions, or can offer new services - e.g., mobile telephony) depending on their performance (also as defined by the contracts), periodically revised.
Telemar operated in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and the Brazilian northeast; Telefonica operated in the State of São Paulo; Brazil Telecom in the South and Central West.

3. Petrobras lost the constitutional monopoly on exploration of petroleum, but, in practice, it´s still a monopolist. In Brazil, the large oil companies like Shell, Exxon (in Brazil, called Esso) and others (Mobil and Chevron do not operate here) are focused on the retailer market (gas stations) only. These companies ann others are exploring some fields, but the years of monopoly gave to Petrobras a large competitive advantage.

4.Embratel used to have the monopoly of long-distance and international calls, but now they have a few competitors. It was a property of American MCI, but it was recently sold to Mexican group Telmex.

5.A property of British Tobacco Co.

6.The main activity of DaimlerChrysler in Brazil is the production of trucks Mercedes-Benz, which have been present in the country for decades. There is an assembly line of Class-A in Juiz de Fora, MG, but it is working way below capacity.

7.The largest operator of celular telephony in Brazil; resulted of the merging of several smaller companies.

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