The Biggest Companies Making The Least Money [Infographic] – Forbes

Major companies with billions of dollars in revenue are moneymakers earning their investors and stakeholders fortunes. Unless—the opposite happens and they become money pits devouring unfathomable amounts.
An analysis of enterprises with more than $12 billion in revenue which were included on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s biggest companies sheds some light on this phenomenon. There are in fact several scenarios in which a major company would be kept alive despite enormous losses if these are deemed, or hoped, to be just temporary.
This chart shows large companies (of $12b+ revenue) with the highest losses as a share of revenue in … [+] 2021.
According to the latest annual data as of April 2022, several companies on the list of the biggest losers are in an ongoing struggle due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This applies to Air France-KLM Group, which lost $3.9 billion over the course of one year, the equivalent of 23% of its annual revenue of almost $17 billion. Another pandemic-struck actor is East Japan Railway, incurring the equivalent of 19% of its revenue as a loss.
When considering all companies on the Forbes Global 2000 list, the biggest losses of the last year were sustained by cruise lines. Royal Caribbean Group RCL and Carnival Corporation lost 344% and 268%, respectively, of their annual revenues of $1.5 billion and $3.5 billion. Several more airlines or their parent companies, for example British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa or China Eastern Airlines, are also among those losing substantial amounts.
Chronically unprofitable tech?
Depending on their location, governmental Covid-19 relief programs have helped travel companies stay alive while they hope for better times. Tech enterprises with a big hole in their pocket have had to rely on a different source of fresh capital, most likely in the form of investors who are betting big on innovative companies becoming (very) profitable down the line. The ones where losses are mounting up the most are Chinese tech giants. Video sharing platform Kuaishou experienced a loss almost as big as its $12.6 billion revenue last year, while losses at ride hailing giant Didi as well as delivery venture Meituan were smaller, but still substantial. The Chinese government’s introduction of tighter regulations has been an additional setback for the country’s tech players on the road to profitability.
Finally, legacy businesses like French IT company Atos, Texas-based Cheniere Energy or Gruppo Tim, formerly Telecom Italia, are also among the biggest losers. Here, reasons for giant losses are mostly specific to the company instead of being industry-based. Atos cited unexpected higher costs tied to a U.K. outsourcing contract, project “slippages” and customer and payment postponements as reasons for their dismal bottom line. Gruppo Tim said it struggled with a case of impairment of domestic goodwill and a large write-off of deferred tax assets. Finally, Cheniere Energy incurred a major loss despite its business in the liquefied natural gas segment thriving in 2021. According to industry sources, the company sells liquefied gas at fixed prices but is subject to price fluctuations on the natural gas it buys. When gas prices surged majorly in 2021, the company became momentarily unprofitable.

Charted by Statista