Since discovering oil in the latter half of the 20th century, Norway —and companies in Norway— have gone from strength to strength. But despite striking lucky in the North Sea, pinning all of the country’s success on natural resources is unfair. Thebiggest Norwegian companieshave greatly impacted domestic and global markets.
Few countries can claim as much prosperity as Norway, and compiling a list of nations that can have a more optimistic future outlook is challenging to say the least. The country has a mixed economy that serves it incredibly well, with fishing, tourism, and energy all playing a role.
While you won’t find as many tech companies as in neighboring Sweden, you will still notice a couple that have made moves in various international markets.
And thanks to the Norwegians’ practicality and openness, many huge foreign businesses — such as Microsoft and IBM — have set up offices in this sparsely-populated land.
We’re not going to talk about them in this article, however. Instead, we’ll focus on the leadingcompanies in Norwaythat have their headquarters or began their journeys here. And so, without further ado, let’s get into the swing of things.
Norwegian Air Shuttle
If you’ve heard of oneNorwegian company, it’s probably Norwegian Air Shuttle. You might have flown with them in the past, too; since forming in 1993, the airline has become one of Europe’s most popular budget airlines.
Today, the company’s headquarters are in Fornebu — just outside Oslo.
When traveling around Scandinavia by air, Norwegian is the best airline to use if you can’t afford Scandinavian Airlines’ usually-high ticket fees. The company flies to over 80 destinations, including Oslo, London, Copenhagen, Munich, and Vienna.
You can use the service to reachalmost every major city in the Nordic region, with several flights between Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm daily; the journey takes around an hour regardless of which two you fly between.
Having enjoyed significant success in Europe, Norwegian made a bold move to try long-haul flights in the late 2010s. You could use the airline to find affordable, no-frills flights to cities like New York City, Chicago, and Miami.
Since then, however, the company has pulled its long-distance services for now.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Norwegian was significantly impacted by the border restrictions that many countries placed on travelers. Its stock price on the Oslo Stock Exchange decreased dramatically, and it required financial assistance to stay afloat.
With international travel resuming, the future looks a little rosier for Norwegian Air Shuttle than it did a few years ago. The company has a new CEO in Geir Karlsen, and the business has been restructured to focus primarily on flights within Europe.
Norway’s rugged landscape of mountains and fjords makes getting around a little trickier than would otherwise be the case. However, the country has done an excellent job at building an infrastructure that makes traveling much easier than in most countries.
For long-distance travel in Norway, you will probably use Vy — which is the country’s main train operator and one of thelargest Norwegian companies. From 1996 to 2019, the company was known as Norges Statsbaner (NSB); it has since rebranded into the name that you see today.
Norway has an extensive rail network, which stretches all the way up to Narvik in the Arctic Circle. In addition to its train services, Vy operates many of Norway’s long-distance buses.
Vy is owned by the Norwegian state, and the same is true for Flytoget — the train service that runs between Oslo Gardermoen Airport and the city center without stopping along the way. In addition to Norway, Vy runs the train line running betweenOsloand Gothenburg inSweden.
If you ever move to Norway, you will almost certainly download Vipps. This payment service is one of the mostfamous Norwegian companiesdomestically, and it has over 3.7 million users — pretty impressive when you consider that Norway only has a population of 5.4 million people in total.
The concept of Vipps is pretty simple. If you have a Norwegian bank account and mobile number, you can use the app to make in-store payments and send money to others. On top of that, you can use Vipps to pay for items online.
If you’ve lived in Sweden or Denmark before, you’ll probably be familiar with Swish and Mobile Pay — which are those countries’ respective equivalents. The Netherlands has a similar payment method, too, in the form of Zimpler.
DNB (more on them soon) developed Vipps, but the app isn’t exclusive to their customers. So, if youmove to Norway, you’ll want to strongly consider registering for a free account.
You can send up to 2,000 Norwegian Kroner without needing to undergo additional verification; after that, the app will ask you to confirm your identity and finalize the payment.
Norway is one of the world’s most cashless societies, and you will have no problems paying via card (or Vipps!) in most places. If we talk solely about banks, the largestNorwegian companyis DNB. The bank has been a key part of Norway’s economy since its foundation in 1822, and it has over 11,000 employees across the globe.
In Norway alone, DNB has more than 2.3 million private customers — and a large number of businesses use the service to manage their finances. The bank’s headquarters are in the modern Barcode District, which lines along part of Oslo’s waterfront.
While DNB primarily focuses on the Norwegian market, it also serves customers in other countries. Areas of focus include Denmark, Poland, Finland, andEstonia — plus the other Baltic countries.
DNB offers private customers a wide range of account types, in addition to a broad selection of other financial services that they might want to gain access to.
As you might expect from the country’s location close to the North Sea and its abundance of natural resources domestically, energy is a crucial part of Norway’s economy.
But the Norwegians are also some of the world’s most environmentally-conscious people, and renewable energy is a huge business here. One of the top Norwegian companies in this field is Norsk Hydro.
Norsk Hydro focuses on aluminum, and the Norwegian state owns over 30% of the company. Prior to 2007, the business was an important part of Norway’s oil and gas sector — but those operations have since moved on to another company that we will talk about later in this article.
Headquartered in Oslo, Norsk Hydro generated 28 billion NOK before adjusted earnings before interest, tax, and amortization (EBITDA). In US Dollars, that translates to over $2.8 billion.
Norsk Hydro has an ambitious 2025 plan in which it aims to make its operations more sustainable. The company trades on the Oslo Stock Exchange, with its current price at the time of writing in June 2022 standing at around $6.
While Norway isn’t a big country in terms of population, it’s huge if we look at the land size. If you wanted to travel from Oslo to Tromsø, the flight would take over two hours — with the total distance between the two cities standing at over 1,700 kilometers.
If you want to plan a grand trip around the country, you don’t need to worry; several Norwegian companies operate flights around the country, including Flyr.
Flyr is one of the newest Norwegian airlines, and the company was founded in 2020 — right during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2021, Flyr officially commenced operations with a flight from the Norwegian capital to Tromsø.
The concept for Flyr isn’t too different from Norwegian. Flyr focuses on low-cost flights primarily in Norway but also across other destinations in Europe. Students and young adults can get particularly attractive discounts on flight deals.
Oslo is Flyr’s main airport.
Domestically, you can catch flights to:
Further afield, Flyr operates flights to various European cities — including Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Edinburgh. In June and July 2022, the company will expand its operations to different airports in Greece and Portugal.
Flyr was founded by Erik Braathen, who also served as CEO for Braathens — a separate airline that merged with SAS Norway in 2004.
Equinor is the most important Norwegian company in the domestic oil and gas sector. Like many of the businesses on this list, the Norwegian state runs its operations — which are headed from its main office in Stavanger.
Until recently, Equinor was known as Statoil — and you might have previously heard of the company under that particular name. In 2018, however, it rebranded to the name that you see today.
The original version of Statoil was founded in 1971 to help Norway control its new-found riches in the North Sea. Stavanger, which is in the southwestern corner of the country, became the main hub for the oil and gas industry — and it has remained like that to this day.
In 2007, Statoil merged with Norsk Hydro’s oil and gas operations — leaving the former to focus on aluminum and renewable energy instead. The company has a huge presence domestically; the parts of the business not owned by the state are owned by public stock investments instead.
For Equinor’s international operations, most of the daily ins and outs are performed from its office in Fornebu. The company has over 21,000 employees across the globe, with a presence in several countries outside of Norway. These include the UK, Germany, Argentina, Singapore, and Belgium.
Gjensidige Forsikring is one of the largest Norwegian companies in the domestic market, and it dates back over two centuries. The company focuses on insurance, and it serves private customers and businesses alike.
Gjensidige offers a wide selection of insurance services, including offerings for properties and cars. You can also use the company for issues related to travel, pets, and more.
Norway is Gjensidige’s main market, and the company has its head office in Oslo. However, you will also find its offerings in various other countries. Customers in Denmark and Sweden can take advantage of what’s on offer, and the same goes for individuals in the three Baltic countries.
The two airline companies mentioned so far have a focus on both Norway and international destinations. Wilderøe serves flights to a selection of airports in Northern Europe, but its primary focus is on the Norwegian market.
The company is one of Norway’s most iconic institutions, and its green and white fleet is instantly recognizable when you land in Oslo.
Wilderøe is one of Norway’s oldest airlines, having originally established itself as a company in 1934. While it’s only the third-biggest airline in Norway, it’s the most important regional airline in the Nordics.
Within Norway, Wilderøe flies to dozens of destinations. You can use the service to get to all of the main cities, including Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim. It also flies to smaller airports, such as Hammerfest, Alta, and Båtsfjord.
Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Wilderøe operates flights to and from Copenhagen, Stockholm (Bromma), and the Faroe Islands — plus a few other airports.
Wilderøe flies to a couple of international destinations, too. Airports include Munich, Hamburg, and Aberdeen. The company has attempted to operate flights from various others but has since opted to withdraw; examples include Edinburgh, Berlin, and Umeå.
As you’re probably beginning to gather by now, Norway has a very well-oiled (both figuratively and literally) tourist machine. Besides its expansive road and rail network, along with the huge number of flights you can catch domestically, you’ll also find several boat and ferry services.
The largest sea travel service for tourists in Norway is Hurtigruten, which focuses largely on passenger ship services. In Norwegian, the name translates roughly to “the fast route”. As of 2021, services are operated by Hurtigruten in conjunction with Havila Kystruten.
Hurtigruten operates several services throughout the year from various ports in Norway. One of the most scenic routes is from Bergen to Stavanger, and if you’re feeling truly adventurous, you can get a cruise all the way up Norway (and back down again) in an epic 12-day experience.
In addition to its main cruise, you’ll find various other voyages. From 2023, Hurtigruten is planning to operate a trip for tourists to Svalbard — along with another to Nordkapp, which is the northernmost point in mainland Europe.
Hurtigruten has been serving the Norwegian seas since 1893 and — like Wilderøe — is one of the country’s most iconic companies.
You might need to squint if you want to look for something cheap in Norway, but mobile plans fall into that category. One of the biggest Norwegian companies in this respect is Telenor Norway. Telenor is the main mobile operator in Norway, and it serves over three million customers in the country.
In addition to mobile network services, Telenor also provides broadband services to several homes throughout Norway. In 2020, the company had more than 3,300 employees helping it serve the Norwegian market alone.
Headquartered in Fornebu, the company generated over 26.3 billion NOK in revenue throughout 2020.
Everything you ever wanted to know about visiting Oslo
Another crucial cornerstone in Norway’s buoyant energy sector is Aker Solutions, which has had several names since originally coming onto the scene over 150 years ago. Several companies have come together to form the business you see today.
Aker Solutions creates various services for the energy sector and has focused in recent years more on sustainable practices. It’s been known as its current name since 2008 when it rebranded from Aker Kværmer — which itself was a merger of Aker Maritime and Kværmer Oil and Gas.
Aker Solutions is owned by Aker Holding.
We haven’t mentioned many startups in this list, but we’re going to buck that trend with Kahoot! — which is perhaps the most famous Norwegian company in this respect.
Kahoot! was one of the early players in the online learning revolution, and it primarily focuses on a gamified experience that makes obtaining new information enjoyable.
Kahoot! has built a strong presence in several settings, including schools, and for home learning. Alongside that, you can also use the service in the workplace and for studying.
Since forming in 2013, Kahoot! has gone global. You can learn new skills in several languages, including English, Norwegian, Dutch, and Italian.
Sportradar has since moved its headquarters to Switzerland, but its journey began in Trondheim. The company was founded in Norway’s third-largest city in 2001, and it focuses primarily on sports data and analytics.
Carsten Koerl, Petter Fornæss, and Tore Steinkjær founded the company, which has since become a huge player in several major sports. The company offers data to the big leagues in the US, and it’s also partnered with the likes of UEFA, Serie A, and the popular sportsbook and daily fantasy sports operator Fanduel.
Sportradar still has an office in Trondheim, and it’s also present in several cities across the globe — including Munich and New York City.
Endelig – nå kan alle våre spotpris-kunder se hva strømprisen er AKKURAT NÅ i #Fjordkraftappen! Du finner den nederst på skjermen. Her finner du både dagens og morgendagens priser, slik at du kan tilpasse strømbruken hvis du ønsker det ⚡️Flere spennende app-nyheter er på vei!
Fjordkraft’s literal translation from Norwegian to English is “Fjord Power”. That pretty much explains what the company does in a nutshell; it provides power to customers in the land of fjords.
Fjordkraft provides power to several homes throughout the country. But that’s not all; considering Norway’s high ownership of electric cars, you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s a key player in chargers for these vehicles.
The company’s origins are in Bergen — the country’s second-largest city — where it still has an office. Fjordkraft also has employees based in Trondheim and Sandefjord; the business has been around since 1996.
Norse Atlantic Airways
Many of the airlines we’ve mentioned on this list have made serious moves in recent years, and the newest startup in this sector is Norse Atlantic Airways. The airline plans to launch in 2022, and it will fill the long-haul gap that was left after Norwegian pulled out of the market.
Norse Atlantic Airways will aim to become the go-to budget airline for flights between Northern Europe and North America. Oslo will be its base airport, and it will fly to the likes of New York City, Miami, and London to begin with.
Norse Atlantic’s planes will have two classes — Economy and Premium.
Considering that Norway’s coastline is only beaten in length by Canada, you won’t find it surprising to hear that seafood is incredibly popular here. Fishing is also a crucial industry for foreign exports, and one of the most important Norwegian companies in this field is Lerøy Seafood.
Lerøy Seafood has served Norway since 1899, and the company has several salmon farms throughout the country. In addition to its homeland, Lerøy also has operations in North America.
Another sustainability-focused company to make the biggest Norwegian companies list is Yara International. Yara focuses on agriculture, and it’s particularly big in the crop nutrition scene.
Yara International operates in several markets across the globe. In addition to Norway, it’s also present in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Further afield, you’ll find the company in the Netherlands, Kenya, Indonesia, and numerous other countries.
Kongsberg isn’t a well-known city in Norway, but you might know of it as the birthplace of iconic musician Morten Harket. It’s also home to several industrial companies, with one of the main ones being Kongsberg Gruppen.
Kongsberg Gruppen has a huge range of offerings for multiple sectors, including defense and aerospace. The company provides systems like autonomous vessels, underwater sound, and technology for pilots.
Norwegian companies and prosperity
Norway’s economy is very mixed, and the biggest Norwegian companies are crucial on both domestic and global scales.
As you can see from this list, one of the reasons Norway is so prosperous is because it doesn’t rely on a single industry. Its economy is one of the most mixed in Europe, with traditional sectors thriving alongside innovative new companies.
Norway is an excellent example of soft power, and its businesses’ influence on the global scene is unprecedented. The country has shown how you can manage natural resources well, and it excels in adopting a long-term approach.
If you want to move to Norway, you’ll find plenty of work available — though you might need to learn Norwegian first.
But Sweden is another country with a thriving economy, and you might find that’s a better fit. To find out which is best, check out the key differences between living in both countries.
Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.
As of January 2023, Norsk Sykepleierforbund ranked first with over 150,000 employees. The company employs health care personnel all across the country. Medtronic Norge AS ranked second with 90,000 employees, followed by Cbre AS.What companies is Norway known for? ›
- Equinor ASA € 76.81B 4.74% ...
- Equinor Energy AS € 38.02B 2.35% ...
- Axis-shield AS € 36.39B 2.25% ...
- Bnp Paribas S.a. Norway Branch € 20.93B 1.29% ...
- Norsk Hydro ASA € 15.07B 0.93% ...
- Yara International ASA € 14.03B 0.87%
Oil, gas, seafood, and products from energy-intensive industry are among our main export commodities. Our sea areas are six times the size of our land area, and our ocean-based industries account for almost 40 % of our total value creation, and 70 % of our exports.What are the most valuable Norwegian companies? ›
In 2022, Equinor ranked highest among all Norwegian brands based on the brand value. The energy company was worth nearly 79 billion Norwegian kroner. The second most valuable brand in Norway was the telecommunications provider Telenor, with roughly 45.4 billion Norwegian kroner.What are the 6 biggest companies? ›
- #1 Walmart Inc. (WMT)
- #2 China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNP)
- #3 Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)
- #4 PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PTR)
- #5 Apple Inc. (AAPL)
- #6 CVS Health Corp. (CVS)
- #7 Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS. A)
- #8 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK. A)
Companies' values are often measured by market capitalization, or the value of all of the shares in the market. As of 2022, Apple, Saudi Aramco, and Microsoft hold the top three positions, each with market caps in excess of $2 trillion.What is the 3 richest company in the world? ›
|Rank||Company||Assets ($ Bil.)|
Companies like GE Health- care, FMC, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Alcoa are highly capital intensive and have employed large investment volumes in operational activities in Norway. FMC Biopolymer is a US-owned company, running operations in two locations in Norway.Why do Norwegians earn so much? ›
Norway puts its oil revenues into the Government Pension Fund, the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. In simple terms, the Government Pension Fund, or oil fund, is a giant savings pot that makes its money by investing in more than 9,000 companies all over the globe.Can Americans work in Norway? ›
However, all nationals of EU/EEA countries who want to stay for longer than three months must register with the police. Nationals of non-EU/EEA countries who want to work in Norway or to stay for longer than 90 days need a residence permit.
OSLO (Reuters) - Everyone in Norway became a theoretical crown millionaire on Wednesday in a milestone for the world's biggest sovereign wealth fund that has ballooned thanks to high oil and gas prices.Do Norwegians use condoms? ›
Condoms and hormonal contraception are the two main methods of contraception used in Norway. Across all birth cohorts, 40–50% of the respondents reported using condoms during their first sexual intercourse.What is the largest Norwegian companies market cap? ›
As of the end of December 2022, the highest market capitalization of any domestic company listed on the Euronext Oslo was for Equinor, which reached 106 billion euros. DNB bank came second with approximately 28.6 billion euros, followed by Aker BP with a market capitalization of 18.2 billion euros.What are the 5 largest industries? ›
- Hospitals in the US. $1.426.9B.
- Health & Medical Insurance in the US. ...
- Commercial Banking in the US. ...
- Drug, Cosmetic & Toiletry Wholesaling in the US. ...
- New Car Dealers in the US. ...
- Life Insurance & Annuities in the US. ...
- Pharmaceuticals Wholesaling in the US. ...
- Public Schools in the US.
Norway has caught the fame for being one of the richest countries in the world. In terms of GDP per capita we ranked number 4 in 2020 (see the list here). When it comes to having the largest Sovereign Wealth Fund in the world we rank number 1! This fund amounted to 1.275 Billion USD in 2020.What is the major income in Norway? ›
Norway is one of the world's most prosperous countries, and the production of oil and gas accounts for 20 percent of its economy. Other important sectors include hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. State revenues from petroleum are deposited in the world's largest sovereign wealth fund.What is the most Norwegian city in America? ›
While the Twin Cities are home to the most Norwegian Americans today, Duluth was the capital of Scandinavian immigration for many decades. By 1900, approximately 7,500 Norwegian immigrants and their children called Duluth their home.What are the five most valuable companies? ›
- Apple (United States) BI. ...
- Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) (Saudi Arabia) Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) ...
- Microsoft (United States) BI. ...
- Alphabet (United States) Alphabet. ...
- Amazon (United States) Amazon. ...
- Tesla (United States) BI. ...
- Berkshire Hathaway (United States) ...
- United Health Group (United States)
Using World Bank data, Norway appears to be very rich: GDP per capita in nominal terms was about $90,000 in 2021. Compare that with $70,000 in the US, which is a very rich country itself. Sounds extremely wealthy! Of course, by that same statistic, average income in Ireland is $100,000.Who is the No 1 company in world? ›
|Rank||Name||Revenue USD millions|
|4||China National Petroleum||$326,008|
- Walmart - $576B. Industry: Retail. ...
- Amazon - $485.9B. Industry: eCommerce retail and digital content. ...
- State Grid Corporation - $460.6B. Industry: Power utilities. ...
- Sinopec Group - $433.7B. ...
- PetroChina Company Limited - $419.8B. ...
- CNPC - $414.9B. ...
- Apple - $387.5B. ...
- Berkshire Hathaway - $353.2B.
With 600 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, Walmart topped the ranking of the hundred largest companies globally, followed by the Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco.What is a $2 company? ›
1. What is a $2 Company. 1.1 The so-called $2 company refers to a proprietary company with an issued share capital of $2, consisting of two $1 shares. The collective liability of shareholders in such a company is limited to $2.What is the world's oldest company? ›
The oldest business in the world is a company in Japan called Kongō Gumi, which has been in operation since 578. It is the oldest company on the list by far, predating the second-oldest by more than 200 years.Which country has the most millionaires? ›
Switzerland was the country with the highest rate of millionaires worldwide in 2021, with 16.4percent of the adult population owning assets worth more than one million U.S. dollars. Luxembourg followed right behind with 16.2 percent of the population being millionaires, with Iceland in third.Who is the richest family in the world? ›
At $224.5 billion, the Waltons are the richest family in the world thanks to their massive stake in Walmart, the world's largest company by revenue. The fourth generation of the Mars family, the second-richest clan after the Waltons, currently runs the eponymously named Mars candy company.What is the richest US company? ›
|1||The Beach Homes Team of Long & Foster||Real Estate|
|2||Amazon||Retail and Cloud Computing|
Not only is it a very safe country in general, but once you're a resident in here it feels like you're really taken care of. Health care and education is free, and even unskilled work pays well, so as long as you're willing to put in the hard work to learn the language you should be able to have a good life here.How hard is it for an American to live in Norway? ›
It is not as hard as one might think. In fact, it is quite easy to move to Norway, if you have a valid reason for settling in the country, such as a job or school to attend to. You will quickly discover why moving here is popular among expats.Why is Norway important to the US? ›
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and Norway have a dynamic economic partnership that is creating jobs, driving the development of safe and secure energy sources, and fostering innovation.
Not even Canada or Britain exceeds the United States in quality of life. However, Norway, an oil-rich country situated in the Scandinavian Peninsula, undeniably outstrips the American standard of living.Why do Norwegians live so long? ›
Norway has a great life expectancy (82 years on average), thanks to the active Norwegian lifestyle, the diet that's full of Omega−3 fatty acids (all that salmon is definitely good for you) and of course, a robust healthcare system that's funded by the public.What brands own Norwegian? ›
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NCLH) is a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. With a combined fleet of 28 ships with approximately 59,150 berths, these brands offer itineraries to more than 490 destinations worldwide.What is the most Norwegian town in America? ›
Minneapolis has the largest concentration of Norwegian descendants outside Norway, at 42,469.Does Norwegian own Holland America? ›
Cruise Lines Owned by Carnival Corporation & PLC.
Carnival Corp. of course owns the famous Carnival Cruise Line, but they also own luxury brands like Princess and Holland America.
|Ship||Vision of the Seas|
Viking is not a company owned by Russia. It is owned by Torstein Hagen, who is Norwegian, while the company has its corporate headquarters in Basel, Switzerland and its marketing headquarters in LA, California.