The year 2017 saw an economic growth rate of 7.4% and it has also been quite a good year for the companies. The biggest 500 companies of Turkey increased their net sales and net profits by 29.4% and 52.3% respectively. However, the increase in sales and profits was not reflected to employment. The 500 giant companies increased their employment only by 2.5% whereas the employment loss was significant in the manufacturing and construction sectors.


Year 2017 Fortune 500 List, showing the biggest companies in the production, service, construction and commercial sectors of Turkey outside banking and holdings, has been announced. Accordingly, while Tupras remains to be on top of the list, dominance of companies from the energy sector within the first 10 companies in the list attracts attention. 500 companies included in the list reached a total net sales of TL 1 trillion 204 billion, corresponding to an increase of 29.4% compared to the year 2016. Fortune 500 companies multiplied their profits in 2017; the profit of the companies included in the list increased by 52.3% and reached TL 64.8 billion. Fortune 500 companies achieved a high growth in terms of profit and net sales, but performed poorly in terms of employment. Employment in the Fortune 500 companies increased to 1,144,945 people, corresponding to an increase of 2% compared to the year 2016. Employment dropped by 6% and 29.7% in the manufacturing and construction sectors respectively, while it increased by 21.3% and 15.5% in the service and commercial sectors respectively.


The Fortune 500 List was released yesterday by Cuneyt Toros, Editor in Chief of Fortune Turkey, Ayfer Yildiz, Editor of Fortune Turkey, and Didem Taner, Chairman of the Executive Advisory Board of Crif Turkey that is the cooperation partner of Fortune Turkey. Accordingly, while 93 companies entered the list for the first time, Enerjisa and Sok Markets which had attracted attention with their public offerings this year managed to enter among the first 25 companies. The only newcomer in the first 10 companies in the list compared to the year 2016 was Arcelik, which rose from the 12th to the 9th rank. On the other hand, Gama Energy, which jumped into the list of the first hundred companies, attracts attention among the most rapidly rising companies. While it ranked the 239th in 2016 it rose to the 89th in 2017. It seems that the new projects of Gama Energy and the developments related to Iran have been effective in obtaining this rise. Furthermore, news circulate that the shares of Gama Energy may be put on sale due to the financial situation of Gama Holding. The value of the assets of the 500 companies has reached TL 1 trillion 221 billion with an increase of 16.4% while the value of their equity has reached TL 435.3 billion with an increase of 7.5%.


Manufacturing companies which decreased their employment by 6%, increased their net sales by 33.7%. On the other hand, construction companies which decreased their employment by 29.7%, decreased their net sales by 5.22%. Net sales of the commercial companies increased by 27.3% and net sales of the service companies increased by 26.4%. Actually, these two sectors also came to the fore in terms of the increase in employment. However, the decrease in production gives rise to concerns about the quality and sustainability of employment.

The most striking companies in the list are the iron, steel and mining companies to the extent that they are also number one among those who made a leap forward. Gunesgil Kuyumculuk rose by 187, Eti Bakir by 183, Gram Altin Pazarlama by 177, Koc Metalurji by 138, and Tosyalı Demir Celik by 119 ranks in the list. There are also other mining companies which rose to higher ranks in the list albeit not so fastly, particularly Borcelik, Eti Maden and Bastug Metalurji.


Odeon Tourism is the fastest rising company in the list as is evidenced by its rising to the 158th rank by a rise of 330 ranks compared to the 488th rank in 2016. Why? Because the company which offers Russia-based tourism services had sustained big losses in its sales as a result of withdrawal of the Russian tourists from Turkey after Turkey's downing of Russian warplane in 2016. However, the Russian tourists returned in 2017 and this led to an increase of 367.8% in the net sales of Odeon Tourism and consequently the company leaped forward in the list by 330 ranks at once.



Kerevitas Gıda attracted attention by being among the fastest rising companies in the list by rising by 337 ranks. Kerevitas, which was operating in the frozen food market with Superfresh brand as well as being engaged in the production of tuna fish and canned food products in the year 2017, purchased Besler which is the market leader in the oil market and makes production for renowned brands like Bizim Yag, Terem Yag, Luna and Ona as well as incorporating the Marsa brand. With this acquisition, Kerevitas, which is an affiliate of Yıldız Holding, rapidly rose to higher ranks in the list. While 124 companies listed in Istanbul Stock Exchange found place in the year 2008 Fortune 500 List, that figure increased to 129 in the year 2009, but fell to 97 in the year 2018. Now a company is required to have realized sales volume of minimum TL 421.1 million in order to enter in the Fortune 500 List.

Bridge Revenue Enables Entering the List

Otoyol Yatirim ve Isletme A.S. founded in 2010 by Nurol-Ozaltın-Makyol-Astaldi-Yuksel-Gocay Group, which was awarded the contract for the construction of “Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir (including Izmit Bay through roads and link roads) Highway Project”, managed to enter the Fortune 500 List for the first time this year. The company, which increased its sales by 197% in 2017 with the revenues obtained from Osmangazi Bridge opened in 2016, the highway and the recreation facility ‘Oksijen’, reached a sale revenue of TL 638.4 million. With this pace, the company managed to enter among the first ten companies in terms of the highest rate of increase in sales.

They Realized the Half of the Total Export Volume

Total exports of the Fortune 500 companies increased by 29.8% and reached TL 286 billion 543 million. Exports also increased on USD basis by 7.72% and reached USD 78.5 billion. Total export volume of the Fortune 500 companies corresponds to 50.1% of the total export volume of Turkey. Turkish Airlines is again at the top of the companies with the highest export volume. Turkish Airlines realized an export of services in the amount of TL 34 billion in the year 2017, followed by Ford Otomotiv in the second rank with an export volume of TL 17.8 billion, and Arcelik in the third rank with an export volume of TL 15.4 billion.


2017 ranking

2016 ranking


Net Sales (Million TL)