Royal Dutch Shell plc vaulted into the No. 1 spot for global companies in the world based on revenues, moving up from the No. 2 spot a year, according to Fortune magazine's Global 500 list.
ExxonMobil Corp. is No. 2, followed by last year's leader, Wal-Mart. Eight of the top 10 are energy companies with Toyota (No. 10) the only other non energy company in the group, the magazine reported Monday.
BP plc and China's Sinopec Group round out the top five, followed in order by China National Petroleum, China's government-owned power provider State Grid, Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips. Energy companies in the top 20 are Total SA (11), OAO Gazprom (15) and Eni SpA (17).
"Three billion new people will join the global middle class in the next two decades," the magazine noted. "The resulting consumption boom will drive natural resource prices higher, opening space for companies that learn to use resources more efficiently."
After energy companies, commercial banks are the second largest group of global industries, followed by the auto industry.
U.S. companies make up the largest contingent on this year's list with 132, followed by China (73) and Japan (68). Last year Japan was second. U.S. dominance hides a long-term decline, noted the magazine.
"Although the U.S. still holds the lion's share of Global 500 corporations, no country has lost more companies during the last decade." There were 197 U.S.-based businesses on the Global 500 10 years ago.
Shell boasted a 28.1% increase in revenue in 2011, which ended Wal-Mart's two-year reign on the top of the list. Shell in 2011 had more than $484 billion in revenues and $30.9 billion in profits, a 53.6% increase from 2010. The European-based oil major in 1Q2012 increased earnings year/year by 11%.
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