Lower gas prices in the latter part of 2008 and tumbling auto sales couldn't keep the oil and motor vehicle sectors from dominating the top 20 positions on this year's IW 1000.
Oil producers Exxon Mobil Corp. and and U.K.-based Royal Dutch Shell PLC and BP PLC held on to the first three spots, respectively, all posting double-digit percentage revenue gains. Chinese oil and gas companies continue their IW 1000 ascent with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (No. 8) and PetroChina Co. Ltd. (No. 11) each gaining four spots. Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. swapped with Chevron Corp., moving up one spot to No. 4. Toyota, which ended its 2008 financial year on March 31, 2008, posted a 4.5% profit gain on revenues of US$29.1 billion. But Toyota's higher ranking could be short-lived after revenue declined 22% in 2009, and the company posted its first-ever annual loss in its most recent fiscal year.
A machinist's strike in the fourth quarter dragged aerospace and defense manufacturer Boeing Co. down nine places to No. 54, one spot above France-based rival EADS NV. "We delivered double-digit margins from our defense business and solid results in production programs and services from our commercial airplanes business," said W. James McNerney, chairman, president and CEO of Boeing, in the company's annual report. "However, the impact of a two-month strike and delays on key development programs outweighed that performance in our year-end numbers." Meanwhile, EADS remains at the same IW 1000 spot it held last year after revenue rose 10.2% to $60.8 billion.
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Companies involved in mining potash also achieved significant gains. Potash is a variety of mined and manufactured compounds used in fertilizers that contain potassium. The chemical is popular in crop production, including biofuels.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. jumped 219 spots to No. 412. The Canadian manufacturer's revenue grew 80.5% in 2008, partly attributed to high grain demand for biofuels and food, according to the company's annual report. Another major potash producer that posted significant gains is Israel Chemicals Ltd. The company, which touts itself as the sixth-largest potash supplier in the world and No. 2 in Europe, rose 209 spots on the IW 1000. The Tel-Aviv, Israel-based company's revenue hit US$6.9 billion, a 68.4% gain over the previous year. The company noted in its annual report that it broke several records during the first three quarters of 2008, but echoed the same lament of many manufacturers worldwide during the final three months.
"As the economic crisis spread in ever-broadening circles, we experienced a significant decline in demand and began to adjust to an industrywide downward pressure on commodity prices," wrote President and CEO Akiva Mozes in the company's annual report. "As a consequence, our financial results for the fourth quarter, though satisfactory, were far below the record levels achieved just months before."
|Revenue Leaders by Nation|
|Country/Province||Number of Companies||Revenue Total (Millions)||Average Company Revenue Growth (%)*|
|*Manufacturers that did not appear on the 2008 IW 1000 list were not included in revenue growth averages.|
|Scaling the 1000|
|Bolstered by its January 2007 purchase of Corus Group PLC, Indian steel maker Tata Steel Ltd. rose 384 spots on the IW 1000, the largest gain by any manufacturer appearing on this year's list. The company's revenue grew during its most recent fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2008, more than 400% to US$27.2 billion. Also showing significant growth were Canadian fertilizer manufacturers Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. U.S. steel producer Steel Dynamics Inc. jumped 246 spots to No. 465 after a strong first nine months in 2008. The company posted a loss in the fourth quarter when steel shipments fell 34% from the third quarter.|
|2008 Rank||2009 Rank||Company||Country||Rank Change|
|524||140||Tata Steel Ltd.||India||+384|
|854||477||Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd.||China||+377|
|711||465||Steel Dynamics Inc.||United States||+246|
|805||570||Inner Mongolian Baotou Steel Union Co. Ltd.||China||+235|
|974||748||Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd.||China||+226|
|631||412||Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.||Canada||+219|
|Companies Falling Fast|
|Quebecor Inc.'s freefall on the IW 1000 might be a little deceiving. In 2008 the Montreal-based media company divested printing company Quebecor World, which also appears on the IW 1000 list and dropped significantly in 2008 after filing for bankruptcy. With Quebecor Inc.'s former subsidiary no longer contributing to sales, revenue fell 60% from the previous year to US$3 billion. Not including the loss of Quebecor, adjusted revenue actually rose nearly 11%, the company said in its year-end report. Meanwhile, Quebecor World expects to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this summer and as of early May was reviewing a buyout proposal from fellow printing company R.R. Donnelly & Sons Co. The year also was rough for Federal Way, Wash.-based paper and building products company Weyerhaeuser Co., which fell 241 spots as the slow housing market contributed to a 51% revenue drop.|
|2008 Rank||2009 Rank||Company||Country||Rank Change|
|567||914||San Miguel Corp.*||Philippines||-347|
|639||944||Invensys PLC||United Kingdom||-305|
|325||594||Infineon Technologies AG||Germany||-269|
|385||648||Hynix Semiconductor Inc.||South Korea||-263|
|235||479||Cadbury PLC||United Kingdom||-244|
|227||468||Weyerhaeuser Co.||United States||-241|
|459||685||Tate & Lyle PLC||United Kingdom||-226|
|591||798||Quebecor World Inc.||Canada||-207|
|*Most recent fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007|