Announcing Europe’s Top 500 Franchises in 2005

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Top franchise list reflects global diversity, European strangth.

The top 500 franchises in Europe have just been announced by Franchise Europe which compiled the list from over 5,000 franchises operating across the continent that support 300,000 outlets with an estimated total turnover of $200 billion.

Global brands like McDonald's head up the list, but the Franchise Europe Top 500 has a strong European flavour and is dominated by French, Spanish and Italian franchises as well as the big US players. Central and Eastern Europe are now making their mark on the franchise sector, with the Hungarian retail bakery chain, Fornetti, ranking third place, behind the Italian real estate franchise, Tecnocasa, and McDonald's at number one. The full list can be viewed at

Several sectors are leap frogging ahead in franchising. These include health and fitness which has seen two new franchise brands emerge from Switzerland - Keiser Training and New Life. Real estate franchises also blossomed in the last 12 months, reflecting the growth of the property market throughout the region. Two real estate agencies, Italian franchise Tecnocasa and US franchise RE/MAX, are now in the top ten franchises in Europe.

Retail clothing accounts for almost 15% of the top 500 franchises, with Italian brands Calzedonia and Stefanel, French franchise Alan Weiz, and Spanish franchise Mango dominating the sector.

Fast food retains its premier position in franchising. Two of the top ten franchises are the US restaurant chains McDonald’s and Burger King, while Subway is experiencing such strong growth that it is expected to reach the top ten by 2008.

Franchise Europe has become the definitive guide to Europe’s top 500 franchise companies. Manager Cheryl Lee says that it is an indispensable resource on franchising in Europe. "The Franchise Europe Top 500 receives significant web prominence both in Europe and the US. We believe that it will play a major role in raising the profile of franchising in Europe and in promoting the 500 franchises on the list," she commented.

The Franchise Europe Top 500, which is reviewed annually, is based on turnover and he number of units the franchises currently operate in Europe. The 2006 survey will further refine the selection process by using stability and growth variables, including: how long the franchise is in existence, the number of people employed and the number of new franchises developed over the past few years.

Franchise Europe is the brainchild of Franchise Direct (, one of the largest franchise portals in the world, with 250,000 visitors per month.

Franchise Europe’s Top 10 in 2005 are:

1.    McDonald's (USA) - Restaurant

2.    Tecnocasa (Italy) - Real Estate

3.    Fornetti (Hungary) - Bakery

4.    Burger King (USA) - Restaurant

5.    Jean Louis David (France) – Hair Salon

6.    Point S (France) - Auto Service

7.    Foto Quelle (Germany) - Photo Processing

8.    Pro et Cie (France) - Electrical Appliance Retail

9.    RE/MAX (USA) - Real Estate

10.    Glassinter (Spain) - Auto Service

For further information about the Franchise Europe Top 500 (, please contact:

Cheryl Lee


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Cheryl Lee
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