Leaders and large groups established
in the Basque Country
Thanks to its strategic location between the South West of France and Spain, its living environment between the ocean and the mountains, and its natural and human resources, the Basque Country has been attracting major world industrial groups for decades. Whether it is the aeronautical industry, industrial production, the textile industry, the health sector or the board sports industry, the Basque Country has become a benchmark region over the years thanks to the establishment of renowned companies: here are the main ones.
The largest industrial production companies in the Basque Country
According to a study by the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 9% of jobs in the Basque Country are generated by industrial activity (13,519 jobs out of a total of 150,212 jobs in the Basque Country). This makes it the third most important sector in the Basque Country. It must be said that the infrastructures, the port of Bayonne, and the motorway, rail and airport networks make it a prime location for industrial production companies. Whether they are large international groups or companies created in the Basque Country, here are the major industrial companies in the Basque Country:
Epta France: market leader in air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment for retail and industrial professionals, Epta designs, manufactures, markets and installs refrigerated units in retail outlets of all sizes. Based in Hendaye, the company has created a research and development center and benefits from an ultra-robotic production center.
→ Key figures: 560 employees // Annual turnover of 277 million euros in 2021
Quiksilver: part of the Boardriders group, Quiksilver has established its European headquarters in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Owning leading textile brands in the surfing industry, Boardriders chose the Basque Country for its location, a region historically anchored in the board sports industry.
→ Key figures: 600 employees // Annual turnover of 254 million euros in 2021
Tribord (Decathlon group): a Decathlon group brand dedicated to water sports, Tribord has established a large research and development center in Hendaye, close to its users and the resources to test their products in real life. Hundreds of products are designed, developed and tested in the Basque Country by product managers, designers, prototypists and engineers.
→ Key figures: Annual turnover of 1.5 billion euros in 2021
Lauak Group: established in Hasparren since 1975, the Lauak Group is a reference company in its activity of production of spare parts for the aeronautical industry, the medical, electronic and naval sectors. It is a historical partner and supplier of Dassault Aviation, in particular.
→ Key figures: 1100 employees in Europe // Annual turnover of 120 million euros in 2021
Celsa France: formerly Aciérie de l’Atlantique, Celsa France is a subsidiary of the Spanish group Celsa, which has been based in Bayonne (Boucau) since the 1990s. Specializing in the production of steel billets, its location on the port of Bayonne provides it with a strategic location for importing and/or exporting raw materials and sold products.
→ Key figures: 201 employees // Annual turnover of 496 million euros in 2021
BMS Circuits: specializing in the manufacture of assembled electronic boards, BMS Circuits is based in Mouguerre and favors the relocation of production locally, in the Basque Country. For example, the company collaborated with Lunii (“the story box”) in 2020 to produce their components locally.
→ Key figures: 237 employees // Annual turnover of 110 million euros in 2021
Major companies in the aeronautics, mechatronics and composites industry in the Basque Country
The Basque Country is a major region for the aeronautics, mechatronics and composites industry, thanks to the presence of renowned companies such as :
Safran Helicopters: specializing in the design, production, sale and maintenance of small and medium power gas turbines for helicopters, it is the leading engine manufacturer on the international market.
→ Key figures: 1,500 employees in Tarnos // Annual turnover of €1.3 billion in 2021
Dassault Aviation: the Dassault Aviation Biarritz site, established in the 1970s, specializes in the production of complex aeronautical structures and composite parts for civil and military aircraft (Falcon, Rafale, Mirage…)
→ Key figures: 900 employees // Annual turnover of 6.4 billion euros in 2021
Health and medical equipment sector: the largest companies in the Basque Country
The health and medical sector is one of the largest areas of employment and skills in the Basque Country. Some of the major companies in this sector include :
Technoflex: based in Bidart, the company produces and markets medical devices and flexible bags for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. The leader in its market in Europe, Technoflex achieves a large majority of its turnover through exports, particularly to the United States.
→ Key figures: 284 employees // Annual turnover of 37 million euros
B.Braun: a German group established in 64 countries, B.Braun has set up its industrial production site on the Basque coast, in Saint-Jean-De-Luz, specializing in the design of products for enterostomy, post-operative drainage and urostomy. With 7 production sites in France, B.Braun is the leading employer in medical technologies in France.
→ Key figures: 2,000 employees in France // Annual turnover of 368 million euros in Saint-Jean-de-Luz in 2021
DJO Global (Enovis France): a leading American company in the manufacture and distribution of rehabilitation and recovery products (orthopedic and vascular), DJO Global has set up its French headquarters in Mouguerre and is one of the big names in the Basque Country’s health economy.
→ Key figures: more than 200 employees // Annual turnover of 127 million euros in 2021
Sophia Genetics: world leader in data for medicine established in the Basque Country in 2018, this Swiss startup is one of the most innovative startups and has ambitious development goals in order to meet the strong demand from the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare institutions.
→ Key figures: more than 500 employees worldwide // Annual turnover of $47 million in 2022
Every year, major world-renowned companies decide to invest in France by setting up their business in the Basque Country. Moving to the Basque Country and setting up your company here are significant advantages for the development of your business and the well-being of your employees. Basque Invest can help you work on your relocation strategy: contact us!