Spanish Companies throughout the World

In the last few decades, the world has experienced huge growth in multinational corporations, and international investments have soared.

Global Spanish Companies

Global Spanish Companies

Spanish companies´ willingness to take risks in developing markets, combined with financial prudence and a commitment to investment in technology and personnel, has established the “Made in Spain” brand as a passport to global success. In fact, Spain´s exports are expected to rise by 4.2 percent in 2013, topping the European average, according to a recent European Commission report.

Outward Bound

Most firms seek to introduce their products and services worldwide to expand their customer base and sales, as their home markets become saturated by competition.

South America was a logical first port of call for Spanish firms, taking advantage of historical, cultural and linguistic links. That continent then served as a platform for acquisitions in Europe and the US.

Pioneers of Industry

Spanish banks Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBVA) and Santander have left their their footprints from South America to Asia, and their overseas business accounts for over two-thirds of revenues. Telecommunications giant Telefonica, energy company Iberdrola and fashion retailer Inditex have also become global household names.

Winning strategies

  • BBVA announced last month plans to invest in technology such as online banking to keep business growing in Mexico, which provided 40 percent of the group´s adjusted profits in 2012. New technologies are also expected to turn the U.S. market into one of BBVA´s biggest.
  • SANTANDER: Eurozone´s biggest bank by market value became a financial powerhouse over the last decade by acquiring prominent foreign banks at bargain-basement prices, installing its own management team and implanting its home-grown technology across the globe.
  • TELEFONICA: The company´s global profile has led to almost 68 percent of its revenues being generated outside Spain. Since 2000, its revenue has doubled and its customer base quadrupled, boosted by successful participation in privatisations in South America as well as acquisitions across Europe.
  • IBERDROLA: One of the five biggest electricity companies in Europe and the world leader in wind energy thanks to investments of around 77 billion euros in 2001-2012. Iberdrola has built up a strong international presence via acquisitions in the UK, the US and Brazil.
  • INDITEX: The world´s largest fashion retailer has expanded to Europe and Asia through new store openings and an increased on-line presence. In 2012, overseas sales were over 70 percent of the total.
  • The group´s flagship Zara brand has taken the world by storm with head-turning fashion and economy-defying growth. The success of its “fast fashion” concept is reflected in its impact on the industry, which brought changes in the organisational methods of peers such as Benetton and Mango.

What other Spanish companies do you recognise abroad?

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