Top 10 Manufacturing Companies in the UK

This post was most recently updated on November 8th, 2021

The manufacturing sector is leading the world’s economy on the front foot these days. It is one of the world’s economy primary sectors that contributes around 8.10 trillion dollars to the total world economy. All these figures make manufacturing one of the most crucial industries around the world. There are many countries in the world who are leading in this sector, the UK being one of them.We will have a look on the Top 10 Manufacturing Companies in the UK.

The UK is one of the most prominent industrial nations in the world. It is currently number 8 in the world when it comes to making money through manufacturing and is promising to fix the 5th spot for itself if the current growth tendencies and rates are maintained. According to the reports UK’s industrial sector is growing at the rate of 1.4% steadily since the past 70 years and with this rate of growth it can indeed achieve that 5th spot the country is eyeing for.

The British employ around 2.6M professionals in the manufacturing sector and this contributes around 11% of the GVA and 44% of the UK export generated by the industry. All these facts and figures make the United Kingdom one of the attractive business targets for both the local and foreign companies as a whole. Also investing or partnering with some of the big UK giants like Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, etc. can be a good source of money-making for you in the long run. So, if you want to know more about the large English manufacturing firms and other companies, here’s the list of the top 10 manufacturing companies in the UK.

UNILEVER :( food, housing, and personal care)


41.8 billion Pounds revenue per year**

Unilever is proudly the world’s third-largest consumer and Goods Company, just behind Procter & Gamble and Nestle. Unilever was formed in the year 1929 by the merger of the British soap company Level Brothers and the Dutch margarine company Margarine Unie.

This company is a big name in the manufacturing sector and owns around 400+ brands including Dove, Sunsilk, and Lynx, etc. Hindustan Unilever is the branch of this company operating in India and similarly the company has many branches operating in different corners of the world making it the table topper in the list of the top 10 manufacturing company in the UK.

RIO TINTO (metals)

330px RioLogo.svg

31.6 billion Pounds revenue per year**

Rio Tinto is another manufacturing giant which is a multination British – American merger headquartered in London. The company is named after the Spanish river of the same name because the river had a mining base that was bought by the company in the year 1873 from the Spanish Government. 

The company actively operates in 6 continents through many mergers and acquisitions. It stands firm as a leader in the manufacture of coal, iron ore, aluminum, diamond, uranium and copper and hence is one of the top 10 manufacturing companies in the UK.

GLAXOSMITHKLINE ( pharmaceuticals)

GLAXOSMITHKLINE ( pharmaceuticals)

26.6 billion Pounds revenue per year**

This company is the sixth-largest pharmaceutical company in the world. It is a merger of two companies namely Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline in 2000. This Brentford based company basically deals with non over the counter pharmaceuticals that are only available from doctors mostly. But now the company also owns a few consumer brands like Horlicks, Sensodyne etc. that has altogether made it one of the best manufacturing companies in the UK.



18.2 billion Pounds revenue per year**

Anglo American is the world’s number one company in the production of platinum. It is originally a South American undertaking (Johannesburg) that was founded by German Ernest Oppenheimer, working alongside American bank J.P. Morgan.  They sourced some millions from the UK and US to start a mining company in 1917, headquartered in London to become the major producers of nickel, copper and diamonds. All these factors together make the company number 4th in the list of the top 10 manufacturers in the UK.

ASTRAZENECA (pharmaceuticals) 

305 main

17.7 billion Pounds revenue per year**

AstraZeneca is the seventh largest pharmaceuticals in the world just behind its counterpart GlaxoSmithKline. It is a British – Swedish collaboration that is headquartered in London.

They focus more on the prescription pharmaceuticals and produce Medicare that aims tackling severe diseases like cancer, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal, respiratory and inflammatory problems.This is among the best manufacturing companies in united kingdom.

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BAE Systems ( aerospace and defense)


16.3 billion Pounds revenue per year**

BAE Systems is headquartered in the UK and is one of the most prominent supplier of defense technology in the world. It supplies defense technology to countries like Australia, America and South Africa. 

The company is number one in producing quality military vehicles, including the Typhoon fighter jet, the Tornado fighter-bomber plane, the Challenger 2 tank etc. The company is also famous for producing Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier and other type of aero crafts.This is one of the top manufacturers in the uk.


14.9 billion Pounds revenue per year**

This is a prominent tobacco company in the world that owns several other cigarette brands including Pall Mall, Benson & Hedges and Lucky Strike. The company is a joint venture of the British Imperial Tobacco company with the US based tobacco company that was started in the year 1902. This company is a cap bearer in the British market and hence is one of the top 10 manufacturing company in the UK.


imperial brands

14.6 billion Pounds revenue per year**

This is another famous tobacco company in the UK. This was originally the Imperial Tobacco Company, but the American Tobacco Company sold its share of the British American Tobacco company in 1911. The company sold its shares but its ITC remained invested till the 1980s.

This is a very famous company that owns a number of reputed cigarette brands like Richman, Superkings and Lambert and Butler etc. They are also have their business flourished in rolling tobacco, owing the popular fine cut tobacco brand Drum and famous cigarette paper brand Rizla+.This is among the top producing companies in UK.



12.3 billion Pounds revenue per year**

The company mainly deals with consumer food brands. The consumer food brands under its label include Twinings, Ryvita, and Patak’s. They are also indulged in the companies such as British Sugar. This is indeed one of the top 10 manufacturing companies in the UK. 

Surprisingly this company also owns a clothing line namely Primark!

ROLLS ROYCE (defense and aerospace)


12.3 billion Pounds revenue per year**

You don’t need an introduction to luxurious brands like Rolls Royce. It is one of the most famous automotive companies in the world. This company is actually a merger of both the automotive and defense divisions, which together make more and more revenue for the company. The Rolls and Royce cars are one of the most famous cars in the world. Other than that the company is the 2nd biggest jet engine manufactures in the world. They produce jet engines for planes and also for the ships and submarines.

  The engines manufactured by this company are equipped in many other important auto motives too. On a lump sum this company one of the most famous manufacturing firms in the UK and hence is included in the list of the top 10 best manufacturing companies in the UK.

Top 10 Manufacturing Companies in the UK with their Websites:

Sr No.Top 10 Manufacturing Companies in the UKWebsites
2RIO TINTOhttps://www.riotinto.com/
6BAE Systemshttps://www.baesystems.com/en/home
7BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCOhttps://www.bat.com/
8IMPERIAL TOBACCO GROUPhttps://www.imperialbrandsplc.com/index.html
9ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODhttps://www.abf.co.uk/
10ROLLS ROYCE https://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/en_GB/home.html
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Faq related to Top 10 Manufacturing Companies in the UK:

What is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK?

By sector size, Food and Drink remains the single biggest sector contributing 15.1% of GVA worth roughly £73.1 billion, closely followed by transport (14.9% worth £72.1bn) and pharmaceuticals and chemicals (14.2% worth £68.7bn).

How many manufacturing companies are in the UK?

In 2020, there were approximately 288.5 thousand business enterprises in the manufacturing sector in the United Kingdom, with just 570 of these being large enterprises that employed 500 or more people.

What does UK manufacture the most?

Currently in the UK, the top three ranking sectors for Gross Value Added (GVA) are: Transport — 25.5% Chemicals and pharmaceuticals — 17.9% Other manufacturing — 13.2%

Where manufacturing is in the UK?

In June 2010, manufacturing in the United Kingdom accounted for 8.2% of the workforce and 12% of the country’s national output. The East Midlands and West Midlands (at 12.6 and 11.8% respectively) were the regions with the highest proportion of employees in manufacturing. London had the lowest at 2.8%.

What are the 18 manufacturing industries?

Seventeen of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in July, in the following order: Furniture & Related Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal 

What is UK good at producing?

England is a highly industrialised country. It is an important producer of textiles and chemical products. England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace, the arms industry, and the manufacturing side of the software industry.

Is UK manufacturing growing?

UK manufacturing maintains growth despite demand and supply disruption driving up costs. British manufacturers are continuing to grow but face soaring costs due to increased demand and persisting supply chain problems caused by the COVID pandemic.

How much of UK GDP is manufacturing?

In 2020, agriculture contributed around 0.59 percent to the United Kingdom’s GDP, 17.83 percent came from the manufacturing industry, and 70.9 percent from the services sector. The vast majority of the UK’s GDP is generated by the services sector, and tourism in particular keeps the economy going.

What industry contributes most to UK economy?

The sectors that contribute most to the U.K.’s GDP are services, manufacturing, construction, and tourism.

How much is the UK manufacturing industry worth?

 The total value of UK manufacturers’ product sales was £358.7 billion in 2020, a fall of 10.8% compared with £402.2 billion in 2019; sales declined in nearly all manufacturing divisions.

What industry does manufacturing fall under?

About the Manufacturing sector. The manufacturing sector is part of the goods-producing industries supersector group. The Manufacturing sector comprises establishments engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products.

What is England’s main industry?

Industries in Britain. Our main industries today are banking and finance, steel, transport equipment, oil and gas, and tourism.

What happened UK manufacturing?

When looking at manufacturing as a percentage of the UK’s GDP, it declined by 0.95% between 2010 and 2019, according to figures from the World Bank.Although manufacturing jobs did increase during this time, overall the industry lost approximately 1,385,000 jobs between 1997 and 2019.


These were the top 10 manufacturing companies in the UK in the terms of revenue. These companies have a big market in the UK and around the world, as they manufacture the best quality products as well as provide the best customer services to its customers. If you are looking for an opportunity to work with companies in the UK, you can indeed try one of these. I hope the readers liked our content. For any other queries don’t hesitate to write to us.



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