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Top Foreign Firms Thrived Despite Crash, Fortune Says

July 14, 1988|From Reuters

NEW YORK — The top 500 industrial companies outside the United States had a very good year in 1987 despite the October stock market crash, Fortune magazine concluded in a survey released Wednesday.

Sales for the biggest non-American industrial companies rose 20% in 1987, and net income soared 51%.

The biggest earnings came in Europe, where companies benefited from a wave of restructuring and tax cutting, the magazine said in its latest issue.

Japan's major exporting companies bounced back strongly after struggling for two years to keep up margins as the yen rose in value, especially against the dollar.

In releasing its annual ranking of the top 500 industrial companies outside the United States, Fortune again put Royal Dutch/Shell Group, based in Britain and the Netherlands, at the top of the list, which is ranked by sales.

Royal Dutch posted net income of $4.73 billion on sales of $78.3 billion in 1987.

British Petroleum, with net income of $2.28 billion on sales of $45.2 billion, was No. 2.

But Japan again dominated the list, with three companies among the top 10 and 157 among the 500, more than twice as many places as its nearest rival, Britain, which placed 73 companies on the list.

The highest-placed Japanese company was Toyota Motor, with $1.7 billion in profit on $41.5 billion of revenue, ranked No. 3 on the list.

THE WORLD'S GIANTS

The world's top 10 industrial firms are ranked by 1987 sales in U.S. dollars.

Sales Net Income Company Country (billions) (millions) Royal Dutch/Shell Britain/Netherlands $78.3 $4,700 British Petroleum Britain 45.2 2,300 Toyota Motor Japan 41.5 1,700 IRI Italy 41.3 147 Daimler-Benz W. Germany 37.5 970 Volkswagen W. Germany 30.4 242 Hitachi Japan 30.3 617 Fiat Italy 29.6 1,800 Siemens W. Germany 27.5 650 Matsushita Electric Japan 27.3 862

Source: Fortune

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