10 Largest Companies in New Zealand
Table of Contents
Before we jump to the list of 10 largest companies in New Zealand, here are a few interesting points about businesses in New Zealand.
- New Zealand is home to 562,520 companies that employ 2.3 million people (source: Stats NZ).
- The North Island region of the country has 246,100 companies and is followed by Auckland and South Island regions, with 208,870 and 143,260 registered companies, respectively.
- 95% of the enterprises in the country are designated as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (source: Stuff NZ), but the country’s stock exchange, valued at over NZ$180 billion, makes it a wealthy country for its size.
- The stock exchange currently lists 184 companies (source: NZX).
The largest companies in New Zealand featured in this blog have been listed based on their market capitalization as of 21st September 2021.
However, the noted valuation of these companies is subject to change due to fluctuations in currency and the stock market.
Let’s head to the list.
Market Capitalization: US$16.753 billion
Number of Employees: 3,642
Year Founded: 2006
Company CEO: Steve Vamos
Industry: Software as a Service (SaaS)
Xero is a public technology company domiciled in New Zealand.
The company provides cloud-based accounting software primarily for small and medium-sized businesses using the Software as a Service (SaaS) model and on a subscription basis.
Xero has three offices in New Zealand, six in Australia, three in the United Kingdom, 3 in the United States, and more in South Africa, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Though Xero has a presence across the ANZ region, it is listed only on the Australian stock exchange and not on the NZS (having delisted from the NZX in 2018 (source: Xero)).
In the last few years, Xero has made several acquisitions and strategic partnerships around the world – including:
- Hubdoc, a data capture solution
- Australian startup Waddle, a company offering invoice financing.
- E-invoicing firm Tickstar in March 2021
- Planday, a workforce management platform.
The company’s products are currently used in over 180 countries (source: Enterprise Times), and it ranks as New Zealand’s largest company with a market value of US$14.079 billion as of January 2022.
Fisher and Paykel Health Corporation Limited
Market Capitalization: US$13.426 billion
Number of Employees: 5,081
Year Founded: 1934
Company CEO: Lewis Gradon
Industry: Healthcare devices
Fisher and Paykel Health Corporation Limited (FPH) is a healthcare device manufacturer involved in designing, manufacturing, and marketing various healthcare devices.
The company’s products are used in acute care, respiratory care, and the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
FPH currently manufactures most of its products at its primary plant in New Zealand.
The company has two additional facilities active in Tijuana, Mexico, which are responsible for manufacturing around 30% of all FPH products (source: FPH).
The company started in 1934 as an importer for refrigerators and moved towards manufacturing in the 1950s.
The transition to the healthcare sector took place in the 1960s, with the company aiming to use its manufacturing and technological prowess to benefit New Zealand’s health care industry.
FPH products are currently sold in 120 countries around the world (source: Stuff NZ).
However, most of its revenue comes from exporting the devices it manufactures, with just 1% of the revenue coming from New Zealand.
FPH is listed on both New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges and was formerly listed on Nasdaq as well.
With a market value of US$12.367 billion, FPH is the second-largest enterprise in New Zealand.
Market Capitalization: US$9.532 billion
Number of Employees: 867
Year Founded: 1998
Company CEO: Neal Barclay
Industry: Electricity Generation and Retailing
Meridian Energy is an electricity generation and retailing company in New Zealand.
The company has the largest share in the country’s electricity generation at 35% , and is the fourth largest electricity retailer, with a 12% share (source: Electric Authority).
Meridian Energy was one of the three companies founded after the break-up of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ).
Meridian took control of Manapouri and Waitaki River hydro schemes and was state-owned before being privatized in 2013. However, the New Zealand government still owns a 51.02% shareholding in the company.
Meridian currently operates four wind farms in New Zealand’s North Island region, seven hydroelectric power stations, one wind farm in the South Island, and two wind farms in Australia – one in Victoria and the other in South Australia.
Meridian also owns Powershop, which is an online electricity retailer established in 2007 and has over 400 employees worldwide.
Powershop operates in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK, with Powershop Australia recently acquired by a consortium led by Shell Australia.
The company has eight more electricity generation products under development and aims to grow the retailing side of its business (source: Meridian). With a market value of US$8.180 billion, it is the third-largest company in New Zealand.
Auckland International Airport Limited
Market Capitalization: US$7.559 billion
Number of Employees: 509
Year Founded: 1966
Company CEO: Adrian Littlewood
The Auckland International Airport is New Zealand’s largest and busiest airport.
The airport saw 21 million passengers in 2018 and handled around 71 percent of the country’s air arrivals and departures since 2001 (source: Stats NZ).
Currently connected to 26 domestic and 49 international destinations, the Auckland International Airport is also an economic and infrastructure hub for New Zealand, generating numerous jobs in the area.
The airport used to be managed by the Auckland Regional Authority but was corporatized in 1988, leading to the creation of Auckland International Airport Limited.
The government was the initial majority shareholder, but sold its shares in 1998, making Auckland International Airport the fifth publicly-listed airport company globally.
60 percent of the airport’s shares are currently held by domestic shareholders, with the remaining 40 percent in the hands of international shareholders.
Auckland International Airport Limited is currently the second-largest listed company on the NZX, with a market share of 7.0% (source: Interest).
The company has a diverse revenue system, including non-aeronautical ventures such as retail and car parks. The company purchased a 24.99 percent stake in Queenstown Airport Corporation Limited in 2010. With a market value of US$7.668, Auckland International Airport Limited is the fourth-largest company in New Zealand.
Market Capitalization: US$7.044 billion
Number of Employees: 10,137
Year Founded: 1978
Company CEO: Bruce Plested
Mainfreight is a transport and logistics company founded by Bruce Plested and headquartered in Auckland.
The company started with only a seed funding of NZ$7,200 and managed to grow by taking over a significant portion of the freight market after land transport deregulation in 1982 (source: NZ Herald).
Currently, Manfreight is an international organization with a total of 297 offices in 26 locations around the world.
Along with transport and logistics, Manfreight also provides supply chain management and freight forwarding services.
The company conducts air and sea freight operations in Australia, the United States, and various parts of Asia along with New Zealand.
Over the years, Mainfreighthas also invested in and acquired several companies worldwide to diversify its operations and expand even further.
The acquisitions include:
- The purchase of Owens Group, one of New Zealand’s largest trucking firms
- Investments in Europe and South America purchased Wim Bosman in the Netherlands and established Manfreight Chile in Santiago, Chile. The former acquisition cost Manfreight US$227 million (source: NZ Herald).
- Daily Freight in New Zealand
- ChemCouriers in both New Zealand and Australia
- Carotrans worldwide.
Manfreight claims to offer end-to-end supply chain logistics solutions, with its global reach and size making it one of New Zealand’s largest freight companies.
With a market valuation of US$6.404 billion, Manfreight is the fifth-largest company in New Zealand.
Spark New Zealand
Market Capitalization: US$6.519 billion
Number of Employees: 5,224
Year Founded: 1987
Company CEO: Jolie Hodson
Spark New Zealand Limited is New Zealand’s largest telecommunications provider and digital services company.
Established in 1987 after the New Zealand Post Office was split into three companies, Spark was initially known as Telecom New Zealand.
The company was purchased by Verizon and Ameritech in 1990 before being listed on the New Zealand, Australian, and New York stock exchanges the following year.
The company bought back most of its shares in 1997 and has since maintained its presence as New Zealand’s largest telecommunications company.
Telecom New Zealand rebranded to Spark New Zealand in 2014.
Nowadays, Spark New Zealand offers several telecommunications and digital services.
This includes fixed and mobile telephony, internet access, home automation, and a streaming video on-demand service.
Spark is currently the largest internet service provider in the country and the second-largest mobile operator in terms of market shares. It leads Vodafone in the former and tails it in the latter.
Spark Mobile currently has a 40% market share, right behind Vodafone (source: Comcom NZ).
Spark launched its sports streaming service, Spark Sport, in 2019.
The streaming service is available in New Zealand and offers various sporting events on demand, such as World Rugby championships and New Zealand’s international cricket matches.
Spark is the third-largest listed company on NZX, with a 6.8 percent market share (source: Interest). With a market value of US$5.664 billion, Spark New Zealand is the sixth-largest company in the country.
Market Capitalization: US$6.442 billion
Number of Employees: 800
Year Founded: 1999
Company CEO: Vince Hawksworth
Industry: Electricity Production and Retailing
Mercury NZ Limited is an energy generation and retailing company based in Auckland.
Started in 1999 as Might Power Limited, Mercury NZ was one of the three energy companies formed after the break-up of the Energy Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ).
Might Power Limited was given control of eight hydroelectric power stations on the Waikato River. Mighty Power handled the generation side of the venture, while their retail operations were conducted under the Mercury Energy moniker.
The company was partially privatized in 2011 and merged its two generations and retail divisions in 2016, changing its name to Mercury NZ Limited (source: StopPress).
The company expanded into geothermal power in 2000 and has acquired multiple power stations, such as Rotokawa geothermal power station and Southdown power station.
Mercury NZ currently operates seventeen power stations and is developing six more. As a result, mercury NZ is divided in to generating all of its electricity generated by renewable resources.
Its seventeen power stations have 1777 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity, 1077 MW of which is hydroelectric, 467 MW geothermal, and 233 MW wind (source: Mercury).
Mercury NZ currently generates more than 17% of New Zealand’s electricity and has a 19% share of the country’s retail market (source: Electric Authority).
The company is a major shareholder in GLOBUG; a pre-pay electricity retailer operating in New Zealand.
On the NSZ, Mercury NZ is the 12th largest company with a 3.0% market share and a market value of US$5.874 billion.
The company also happens to be the seventh-largest enterprise in New Zealand.
Market Capitalization: US$5.499 billion
Number of Employees: 6,100
Year Founded: 1984
Company CEO: Richard Umbers
Industry: Aged care
Established in 1984, Ryman Healthcare Limited is a retirement village and rest home operator based in New Zealand.
The company is the largest aged care provider in the country and currently operates 34 villages in the country, with over 5000 employees.
Ryman Healthcare had its IPO in 1999 and has not felt the need to raise capital ever since. It has been developing and functioning on its operational cash-flows and is an ever-expanding venture.
Founded by John Ryder and Kevin Hickman, Ryman offers a blend of healthcare services and property development as its business model.
The villages offer various retirement living options and feature mini-hospitals with a separate dementia wing.
Ryman calls this structure the “continuum of care” and aims to provide residents with all required amenities and healthcare needs. In addition, Ryman Healthcare villages operate on a “deferred management fees” model, which deducts a fee from the occupancy advance paid by the resident after they leave their establishment (source: Ryman).
Ryman Healthcare expanded to Australia in 2012, building a village in eastern Melbourne.
The company currently operates two villages in Melbourne and is building eight more in Victoria, Australia.
Also, Ryman Healthcare is the eleventh largest company on the New Zealand stock exchange, with a 3.2% market share (source: Interest). And with a market value of US$4.061 billion.
The company is the eighth-most prominent company in New Zealand.
Market Capitalization: US$4.508 billion
Number of Employees: 934
Year Founded: 1996
Company CEO: Mike Fuge
Industry: Electricity generation and retailing, Natural gas wholesaling and retailing, LPG retailing
Along with Meridian Energy and Mercury NZ, Contact Energy was founded in 1996 after the break-up of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ).
Edison Mission Energy (EME) purchased 40% of Contact Energy, with the remaining 60% being traded publicly (source: Converge). Since then, Contact Energy has gone through multiple ownerships and is entirely publicly owned right now.
Contact is the second largest energy generator in New Zealand after Meridian.
Its share of power generation stands at 23%. At the same time, it is the second-largest energy retailer in the country with a 22% market share, placing it right behind Genesis Energy (source: MBIE).
The company has a diversified energy portfolio with hydroelectric, geothermal, and natural gas assets. It operates twelve power stations in total, including two dams on the Clutha River.
Along with its power generation and retail capacity, Contact Energy has a significant role in New Zealand’s LNG market. A 2006 joint venture with Genesis Energy led to the development of an offshore terminal built to facilitate LNG import.
Contact also joined hands with Origin Energy in 2011 to develop a gas storage facility in the Ahuroa reservoir in the Taranaki area.
Currently, Contact is working on expanding its geothermal energy generation with the Tauhara geothermal project.
Contact Energy is the fifth largest company on the New Zealand stock exchange with a 5.1% market share.
Moreover, its market value of US$4.294 billion makes it the ninth-largest company in the country.
Market Capitalization: US$4.297 billion
Number of Employees: 14,500
Year Founded: 2001
Company CEO: Ross Taylor
Fletcher Building is one of the largest construction companies in New Zealand.
The company is listed on the New Zealand stock exchange, where it is the eighth largest company and has a 4.5% market share (source: Interest).
Fletcher Building may have been founded in 2001, but the company has deep historical roots going back to the early 20th century.
The organisation is a direct descendant of Fletcher Holdings and the Challenge Corporation, which merged in 1981 as Fletcher Challenge before going defunct and divesting in 2001.
The construction wing of Fletcher Challenge became Fletcher Building, which now exists as a multinational building expert and material distributor.
The company currently serves New Zealand, Australia, the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa with their building products, concrete, distribution expertise, and residential and development construction services.
Fletcher Building Australia is a major division of the company, with 225 retail sites in the country (source: Fletcher Building).
Fletcher Building is headquartered in Auckland and is one of New Zealand’s largest companies. Its predecessor, Fletcher Challenge, was New Zealand’s largest multinational business.
With a market value of US$4.014 billion, Fletcher Building is the 10th largest company in New Zealand.