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Biggest firms built on raw materials

Commodities groups Glencore and Trafigura and food multinational Nestlé have been ranked as the three largest Swiss-based companies according to turnover.

Companies active in raw materials are gaining in dominance in the Handelszeitung business newspaper’s annual ranking of the leading 500 Swiss companies.

At the top, Zug-based Glencore had a turnover of SFr145 billion ($174 billion) last year, while Nestlé ranked second with SFr109.7 billion.

Trafigura took third place with a turnover of SFr79.2 billion. Pharmaceutical group Novartis overtook rivals Roche to settle in fourth and fifth places respectively.

Also in the top ten were engineering firm ABB, supermarket Migros and employment agency Adecco.

Of the 500 firms, 280 increased turnover in 2010, and 143 made over SFr1 billion.

Nestlé was the biggest employer with 281,000 staff around the world at the end of 2010. Novartis was next with nearly 120,000 employees and ABB with around 116,000. and agencies


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