Today, FORTUNE magazine released the FORTUNE Global 500 list, its annual ranking of the world’s largest corporations ranked by revenue. U.S. companies made up the majority of this year’s list with 132, followed by 73 Chinese companies and 68 from Japan. China overtook Japan in terms of the number of companies on the list, with a net gain of 12 from last year. The number of European companies on the list this year is down by double digits— there are a total of 161, which is 11 less than last year, a 6.4% decrease. On the presence of U.S. companies among the Global 500, FORTUNE editors write: “Although the U.S. still hosts the lion’s share of Global 500 corporations, no country has lost more companies during the last decade. There are 132 U.S.–headquartered businesses on this year’s list, down from 197 a decade ago.”
FORTUNE editors report: “Despite financial turmoil in Europe and disasters in Japan, the world’s largest corporations had record profits and revenues in 2011.” FORTUNE Global 500 companies posted record revenues of $29.5 trillion, up 13.2% over 2010. Total profits rose 7%, to $1.6 trillion, roughly equal to the gross domestic product of India.
FORTUNE editors also write, “Corporations around the world continue to be adept at wringing productivity out of their workers. Total employment at the Global 500 grew by just 4.9%, to 60.7 million, but revenue per worker grew at almost twice that rate, climbing to $463,212, up from $428,970 in 2010.”
Royal Dutch Shell regains the #1 spot this year, displacing Wal-Mart out of the top position that it had for two years. Eight of the top 10 companies on the list are in the energy business, followed by commercial banks as the second largest industry on the Global 500 and the auto industry in third place. Apple moved up 56 spots from last year, coming in at #55. Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, General Motors and Mitsubishi are the only other companies to ever top the Global 500.
See the full Global 500 here.