The world’s most successful companies by profit per employee

In June, chipmaker Nvidia joined fellow tech giants Apple and Microsoft in the $3 trillion market cap club. For a brief moment, Nvidia even surpassed them both, becoming the world’s most valuable company.

However, while market cap offers valuable insights, it isn’t the sole indicator of a firm’s success, nor is it always the most comprehensive. In today’s economy, where the significance of employee talent and knowledge often outweighs physical capital, other financial metrics gain equal or greater importance. One such crucial metric is profit generated per employee, which directly measures the individual contributions that drive the company’s success. It is also a good indicator that a business is productive and its operations are effective and streamlined.

This inspired our team at BestBrokers to identify which companies are generating the most profit on a per-employee basis. We gathered financial data on the 200 largest companies by market capitalisation as of June 28, 2024, sourced from Companies Market Cap. To work out the profit per employee, we divided each company’s annual net income (profit after expenses and operating costs) by the number of its full-time staff. We then ranked the firms based on this metric.

The World’s Most Valuable Companies Ranked by Profit Per Employee

Collectively, the top 20 global companies with the highest profit per employee, according to our research, generated a staggering net income of approximately $474.25 billion. With a combined workforce exceeding 600,000, the average profit per employee stands at an impressive $737,707. More than half of these top-performing firms are headquartered in the United States. China contributes three companies to the list, while Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and Brazil each have one representative.

Leading the list is Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, which despite ranking sixth in market capitalisation at $1.820 trillion, outshines its global competitors with the highest annual net profit for 2023 totalling $120.73 billion. Remarkably, Saudi Aramco achieves the highest profit per employee among these top companies, generating an astounding $1.65 million for each of its 73,000 staff members. This not only indicates financial success but also highlights productivity, efficient human resource management, and the company’s ability to create significant leverage per team member.

Prologis, a real estate company headquartered in San Francisco, California, secures the second spot with $1.19 million in profit per employee with a workforce of just 2,574 people. The company reported a robust net profit of $3.05 billion for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023. Following closely is ConocoPhillips, a U.S.-based energy company, achieving $1.11 million in profit per employee with a workforce of 9,900. Notably, this figure is 1.5 times less than the leading energy company on the list.

Nvidia emerges as the highest-ranking tech company on the top 20 list, claiming the 4th position overall, with $1.01 million in profit per employee for its 29,600-strong workforce. This figure outpaces its industry peers like Google (ranked 23rd) and Microsoft (ranked 26th) by more than double. Meanwhile, Apple stands out with substantial net income per staff member, despite employing 161,000 people. It achieves an impressive $602,453 in profit per worker and more than doubles the annual net income of Meta Platforms, which has fewer employees.

However, not all companies in our analysis have enjoyed the same level of success. Out of the 200 companies we reviewed, four reported a loss per employee. South Korean semiconductor manufacturer SK Hynix, for instance, faced a substantial loss of $143,433 per worker, while its industry peer Micron Technology reported a loss of $135,651 per worker. Meanwhile, huge names, including Walmart (2.1 million employees), Walt Disney (225,000 employees) and Starbucks (381,000 employees) exhibited some of the lowest profits per worker on the list, at $7,386, $10,462, and $10,825, respectively.

Energy Companies Lead in Profit Per Staff Member

Many of the companies that earn the most income per employee are in the energy sector, with eight comprising the top 20 globally (40%). This highlights their ability to achieve significant earnings with relatively few employees. This efficiency is largely because energy companies’ operations require large investments in infrastructure and technology, which lead to high profits without requiring a lot of employees. Additionally, advancements in technology and automation help them operate more efficiently and reduce the need for many workers.

The remaining top-ranked companies include five technology firms (25%), three finance companies (15%), and one company each from the real estate, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, and travel sectors.

American Corporations Making the Highest Profit Per Employee

Out of the ten American companies generating the highest profit per employee, we see that top performers emerge primarily from the technology, energy, and finance sectors, though the top spot is claimed by a real estate firm. Noteworthy mentions outside the top 10 include Netflix, a leading streaming media company, achieving $415,999 per employee across its 13,000-strong workforce, and Mastercard, a major player in payment card services, generating $335,180 per employee. Technology giants Google and Microsoft also feature prominently, achieving $407,944 and $327,425 in profit per worker, respectively.

UK Companies with the Most Profit Per Worker

In the UK, Shell stands out with a remarkable profit per employee of $187,951, highlighting its effective workforce management. Close behind are Rio Tinto, a leading metals and mining company, and BP, headquartered in London, achieving $176,456 and $173,554 in profit per employee, respectively.

European Companies Leading in Profit Per Employee

Investor AB, a top Swedish investment company, leads Europe with an impressive profit per employee of $660,244. Switzerland boasts three of the highest-performing companies in this metric, while France and the Netherlands each have two firms. Denmark and the United Kingdom also feature prominently, with one standout company each in the high-profit-per-employee category.


To compile our list of companies with the highest profit per employee, the team at BestBrokers reviewed the top 200 largest firms globally by market capitalisation as of June 28, 2024, sourced from Companies Market Cap. We meticulously gathered financial data from each of the companies’ 2023 annual reports or the corresponding fiscal period. We focused on the net income attributable to shareholders, which is the income minus different expenses and operating costs. We converted those into US dollars using exchange rates from Xe Currency Converter as of July 7, 2024, for consistency across various currencies.

Furthermore, we obtained the number of employees from each company’s official website and cross-verified this information with platforms like Yahoo Finance. Using this data, we calculated the profit per employee for each company by dividing their yearly net profit by the total number of full-time registered employees. Companies were then ranked based on this metric, offering valuable insights into which firms effectively utilise their workforce to achieve high levels of profitability. You can access the complete dataset on Google Drive via this link.