We have previously published a list of the most valuable companies in the world. However, it’s surprising that it is very different from the current list of the most profitable companies.
The point is that a company may be valuable and sometimes even overvalued but generate less income than another similar company.
So, we give you the TOP 10 list of such companies. In this article, you’ll learn which of them yielded the highest revenue last year.
We should note that we have analyzed production output data and financial statements of companies as of January 24, 2021.
So, let’s start.
TOP 10 Companies in Terms of Revenues
Industry: Retail business.
Products: Bakery food, beers, frozen uncooked food, meat, pharmaceuticals, seafood, and other goods.
Walmart is at the TOP of the list of the most profitable companies in the world.
Walmart is the largest chain of multiple retail stores offering goods for lower prices than average in the United States and Canada. It was founded by Sam Walton and is headquartered in Bentonville in the Northwestern part of the state of Arkansas.
Interestingly, Walmart has so far not managed to establish a delivery system as effective as that of, for example, Amazon.
However, sometimes the company brings original ideas to life. For example, buyers that agreed to deliver goods to their neighbors who purchased them online were offered a scheme of discounts in 2013.
Despite the first place in the ranking, Walmart has its shortcomings, among which are problems with expansion, competitive battle against Amazon, and frequent criticism from the customers.
However, those are far from being critical, given Walmart’s capitalization level and international influence.
According to many analysts experts, Walmart may only “collapse” only under its “own weight”, due to its giant size. Nobody knows whether the giant with its archaic work process organization can quickly adapt to the rapidly changing market where you need to be ready 24/7 to readjust “your positions” promptly.
Industry: Electrical energy.
State Grid Corporation of China is a Chinese power grid company and the largest one in the world's industry. It takes fifth place in the TOP list of companies with the highest revenue in the world.
State Grid was established in 2002 by decree of the State Council of the People's Republic of China as a by-product of the three-stage reform of the country’s power sector that started in 1986.
The reform split the previous State Power Corporation of China into two grid companies, preserving a state-owned electric power system. Nowadays, State Grid owns and runs five regional grid companies and 24 electric power companies.
The company primarily focuses on the creation and operation of electric grids both within and outside China (for example, in the Philippines and Brazil). The corporation has a monopoly on power transmission and sales in the domestic market.
Industry: Oil refining.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) is one of the most powerful Chinese state-owned companies and one of the most profitable companies in the world. It holds the third place in our TOP ranking.
Sinope was established in July 1998 after the reorganization of the state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, which had been operating since 1983. Sinopec is involved in oil and gas fields exploration and development and also in processing and sale of oil and gas and their derivative products.
Interestingly, Chén Tónghǎi, who had been the president of the company from 2003 to 2007, was sentenced for bribery to the most dreadful punishment – the death penalty in 2009.
And in January 2017, the ex-head of China Sinopec Group Wang Tianpu was sentenced to 15.5-years of liberty deprivation for bribery, too.
China National Petroleum
Industry: Oil refining.
China National Petroleum is the biggest Chinese oil and gas company headquartered in Beijing. The company ranks 4th among the Fortune Global 500 companies that generated the highest revenues.
CNPC was founded on September 17, 1988, based on the business assets from the disbanded Ministry of Petroleum of the People's Republic of China. The primary task of the 100 percent state-owned company is the geological exploration of territories and development onshore and offshore fields of oil and gas.
The company has been doing international business since 1993. Its areas of interest include such countries as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Venezuela, Oman, Peru, Sudan, and Turkmenistan.
Industry: Oil and gas extraction and refining.
Products: Petroleum, natural gas, and other petrochemicals.
Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) is one of the most mysterious companies from this list.
The particular interest is that till 2019 the company was never in the Fortune Global 500 rating, not to mention the top ten.
The thing is that the oil giant has officially issued its financial statements first in March 2019. According to them, the company’s net income reached $111.1 billion in 2018, which is almost twice as much as gained by Apple.
Besides, in December that year, Saudi Aramco listed its shares on the Tadawul stock exchange. So, the company’s market capitalization grew to $1.88 trillion, which makes it the most valuable company in the world.
Today the SA is considered the world’s leader of oil production and reserves.
Another interesting fact: Saudi Aramco was founded in 1933 in Delaware, USA. Till 1944 its name was California-Arabian Standard Oil, and from 1944 to 1988 – the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco).
Basically, the company foundation was initiated by American Standard Oil of California, which had received the concession from the Saudi Arabian government. Later, other companies like Texas Oil Co (Texaco), Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon), and Socony Vacuum (now Mobil) also became the shareholders of Aramco.
Today the company belongs to the Saudi Arabian government. The headquarter is in Dhahran.
Royal Dutch Shell
Industry: Oil and gas extraction and refining, chemical production.
The British-Dutch oil and gas company ranks third in the Fortune Global 500 in terms of revenues. It is headquartered in The Hague (Netherlands).
The group of companies was established in 1907 through the merger of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and The “Shell” Transport and Trading Company Ltd. The union became necessary to be able to compete with the American company Standard Oil in the world market.
The company does exploration and extraction of oil and gas in more than 80 countries. Shell owns, fully or partially, more than 30 oil refineries. The company also owns the largest network of fuel filling stations (more than 43,000) around the world. Besides, a large number of chemical plants belong to the company. Its areas of interest also include the production of solar cells and the development of other alternative energy sources.
Industry: automobile manufacturing.
Toyota is a Japanese company founded in 1924 by Sakichi Toyoda. It is interesting that he didn’t even engage in manufacturing automobiles, but produced weaving looms. His son, Kiichiro Toyoda, took an interest in car manufacture and established a division for producing automobiles with the funds received from selling a patent on an intelligent production machine.
Annual sales of automobiles reached $272 bln. in 2019. At one moment, car sales in Japan declined significantly, which is a testimony to the company’s activity in the global market.
The headquarters is located in Toyota, Aichi, Japan.
Industry: extraction, processing of oil and gas.
At the beginning of the 21st century, BP began to pay special attention to alternative energy and the reduction of emissions, namely CO2, into the atmosphere.
BP initiated the “Clean City” campaigns throughout Europe, launched a program for the sale of greenhouse gas emission allowances, and expanded the production of solar energy.
The company created a subdivision for alternative energy, which aimed to expand BP's capabilities in the generation of solar, wind, hydrogen, and gas energy.
The Volkswagen Group is a German automobile concern that includes 48 automakers from 15 European countries and 6 countries in America, Asia, and Africa.
The concern produces more than 26,600 cars daily while selling and providing after-sale services in more than 150 countries of the world.
Among divisions of the concern, there are such well-known automobile brands as Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Škoda, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Scania AB, MAN AG, Ducati, Porsche, and ItalDesign Giugiaro.
The Volkswagen Group is one of the largest shareholders of Suzuki Motor Corporation. The headquarter of the company is in Wolfsburg, Germany, where the AutoMuseum Volkswagen is located.
Industry: Oil and gas industry.
Exxon Mobil is one of the world's largest oil and gas companies, whose shares are freely traded on the open securities market.
The company operates production facilities, promotes products worldwide, and explores oil and natural gas on six continents.
This company is among leaders in the oil and gas industry in almost all areas of energy and petrochemistry.
#11 – #50 most profitable companies
Here you can see the remaining top 50 of the highest-revenue (profitable) companies in a shorter format:
|12||Berkshire Hathaway||$247,837 million|
|14||UnitedHealth Group||$226,247 million|
|15||Samsung Electronics||$221,579 million|
|19||CVS Health||$194,579 million|
|21||China State Construction Engineering||$181,524 million|
|22||Trafigura Group||$180,774 million|
|23||Hon Hai Precision Industry||$175,617 million|
|24||EXOR Group||$175,009 million|
|26||Industrial & Commercial Bank of China||$168,979 million|
|29||Ping An Insurance||$163,597 million|
|30||Ford Motor||$160,338 million|
|31||China Construction Bank||$151,110 million|
|32||General Motors||$147,049 million|
|34||Honda Motor||$143,302 million|
|35||Costco Wholesale||$141,576 million|
|36||Agricultural Bank of China||$139,523 million|
|38||Cardinal Health||$136,809 million|
|39||SAIC Motor||$136,392 million|
|40||Walgreens Boots Alliance||$131,537 million|
|41||JPMorgan Chase & Co.||$131,412 million|
|43||Verizon Communications||$130,863 million|
|44||Bank of China||$127,714 million|
|48||General Electric||$120,268 million|
|49||Fannie Mae||$120,101 million|