New Delhi: The Fortune Global 500 companies experienced an overall 5 per cent drop in revenues in 2020, the largest since 2016, while their aggregate profits were down 20 per cent, the biggest decline since 2009.
Last year's list contained six airlines; with their revenues down 60 per cent in 2020, not a single one made it to the new list.
The Global 500 shrank a little over the past year. After reaching a record high of $33.3 trillion in the 2020 edition, total revenues for the world's biggest companies fell 4.8 per cent to $31.7 trillion this year.
Fortune said the culprit, of course, was Covid-19, which slammed huge swaths of the global economy as countries went into lockdown mode.
Cumulative sales in both the energy and automotive sectors, for example, fell by more than 10 per cent. And all six of the airlines that appeared in last year's ranking failed to make the cut this year.
Despite the setbacks, the heft of the Global 500 remains formidable: The combined sales of the companies on the list are equal to more than one-third of global GDP, Fortune said.
This is the second year in a row in which mainland China (including Hong Kong) has had more companies on the list than the US.
A decade ago, there were 69 companies on the list that hailed from Greater China; now the numbers have gone up to 143. And of the 107 Global 500 companies that are government-owned, over two-thirds are Chinese.
Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, both of which ranked at No. 1 at least twice in this century, each dropped to their lowest Global 500 rankings yet, at No. 23 and No. 19, respectively.
The list's petroleum refiners saw a 36 per cet decline in revenue. Mexico's Pemex was the biggest money-loser of the year (again) with a $23.7 billion loss in 2020.
Saudi Aramco's two-year reign as "most profitable" company is over, with the crown passing to Apple again.
A year ago, there were 14 female CEOs on the Fortune Global 500 list. Now, the tally is 23, representing a rise of nearly two-thirds.
As for who leads the list, well, no surprise there: It's Walmart again, for the eighth year in a row, Fortune said.