We estimate that the top 30 Japanese companies in Europe between them employ around 360,000 people, as of the year ending March 31 2015. Revising our Top 30 Japanese companies in Europe for the first time this year, one change is immediately apparent – the level of transparency and disclosure has improved markedly. Most of our Top 30 (ranked in terms of numbers of employees in Europe) now publish a CSR Report or Sustainability Report or have those elements in a combined Annual Report, with a highly granular level of detail.
This means that we are able reasonably confidently to compare 2014’s figures with 2015’s, for 23 out of the 30 companies, knowing that we were comparing like to like. This indicates that overall, the number of employees working at the Top 30 in Europe has risen by around 2.5%.
There were some significant increases and significant drops overall however, and some of the 7 companies that we could not find comparable figures for were in the Top 30 for the first time, having made significant acquisitions in Europe – namely Suntory (now the owner of brands such as Jim Beam, Orangina, Schweppes, Lucozade, Ribena) and Dentsu Aegis. For other companies, significant acquisitions have been followed by significant growth – Hitachi (rail and nuclear power) and Nidec (acquired several Italian, French and US motors and controls businesses over the past few years – see our post on Nidec’s founder Nagamori ) and NTT Data (see our post here for their acquisition history)
In terms of those moving down the rankings, no surprises that Japan’s IT & electronics companies have shrunk (Sony) or dropped out of the Top 30 all together (Sharp – soon to no longer be Japanese anyway). Fujitsu‘s total number of employees in Europe also seems to have dropped, but it’s difficult to be accurate on this, as Fujitsu has also changed its regional scope from a tripartite CEMEIA, UK&I and Nordics to EMEIA this past year.
In terms of regional structure, more than half of the top 30 continue to have their regional headquarters in the UK. The regional scope is usually described as “Europe” and this often seems to contain Middle East, Africa and CIS by implication rather than explicitly, presumably because the numbers of employees covered by the latter regions is relatively small. Some companies specify Europe & Africa or EMEA. If they specify EMEA it is more likely that the regional HQ is in the UK as you might expect, but Brexiteers shouldn’t be too cheered by this as at least two EMEA HQs are in Belgium and Germany. I have also heard recently of one client who has opened a European Union HQ in the Netherlands, reporting into the EMEA HQ in the UK. Some jobs have been transferred to the Netherlands as a consequence.
The big beasts in the automotive industry seem stable or slightly up, as are the imaging end of the electronics sector (Ricoh, Konica Minolta, Canon) – Canon will inch up further as it is about to take on another 900 or so people with the acquisition of Toshiba‘s medical business.
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