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The Worlds Best Companies 2009

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  • 1. The World's Best Companies 2009 Global Champions Top 40 By Esmé E. Deprez, with A.T. Kearney & BusinessWeek staff The past 12 months will be remembered by many investors and executives as some of the most dismal. Yet despite all the doom and gloom, some companies have continued to prosper—such as those on the World's Best Companies/Global Top 40 list compiled for BusinessWeek by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. (The consultancy expanded its annual Global Champions ranking from 25 companies.) Companies from around the world were ranked using sales growth and value creation—the rise of market capitalization after subtracting any increase in capital—over the past five years. The top companies, with approximately $700 billion in sales and a collective market cap of $1 trillion, have generated sales growth of 27% per year for the past five years. Meanwhile, companies in the S&P 500 have generated average annual sales growth of 7% over the past five years. ** CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
  • 2.
    • No. 40 Kao
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $13,247 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 11.16% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 4.04% The Japanese manufacturer of personal care and cleaning products and specialty chemicals has succeeded by focusing on premium cosmetics and personal/household care products. Kao , with 30% of its revenue from international sales, has operations in Asia, Australia, North America, Europe, and South Africa.
  • 3.
    • No. 39 Fresenius
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $17,148 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 14.8% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 1.4% Fresenius is the world's largest provider of kidney dialysis products and services. The German company is seeing demand grow for its dialysis products in emerging markets as more people are able to afford the treatments.
  • 4.
    • No. 38 ExxonMobil
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $425,071 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 12.6% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 4.1% ExxonMobil is the largest global integrated energy company. The U.S. company's key to success is its global presence, disciplined investment decisions, and a focus on the long term.
  • 5.
    • No. 37 Bidvest
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $14,113 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 14.4% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 4.0% Bidvest is a conglomerate with emphasis on food service. The South African company, which has grown thanks to an entrepreneurial spirit and decentralized structure, also has holdings in logistics and retailing. Bidvest has made acquisitions around the world, including Australia and Central Europe, to become a global player.
  • 6.
    • No. 36 Praxair
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $10,796 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 13.1% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 5.6% A global provider of industrial gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, helium, and hydrogen—the largest in North and South America—U.S.-based Praxair has thrived thanks to superior distribution and strong M&A activity.
  • 7.
    • No. 35 ConocoPhillips
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $225,424 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 17.4% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 1.5% ConocoPhillips is an integrated energy company, with units in exploration and refining, as well as petrochemical and platics production and even emerging energy technologies. The Houston company has been active in M&A to build reserves and increase production.
  • 8.
    • No. 34 Anheuser-Busch InBev
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $22,383 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 17.7% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 2.0% Anheuser-Busch InBev , based in Leuven, Belgium, is the world's largest brewer, with a portfolio of approximately 300 brands that include Budweiser, Stella Artois, Beck's, Michelob, and Corona. The acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by Belgian brewer InBev established this global colossus, but an intense focus on brand marketing is a key to its continued success.
  • 9.
    • No. 33 Bilfinger & Berger
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $13,563 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 16.4% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 3.5% Bilfinger & Berger long ago escaped the anemic German construction market to build and manage large projects all over the world. The company has lately benefited from stimulus spending by governments.
  • 10.
    • No. 32 Telefónica
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $80,550 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 18.2% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 2.8% Telefónica is the leading telecommunications operator in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world. The Madrid company has grown thanks to an exceptionally broad diversification of products and services.
  • 11.
    • No. 31 Oracle
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $22,430 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 22.0% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 1.2% Thanks to a string of acquisitions and an integrated suite of software applications, Silicon Valley-based Oracle is world's largest business software company.
  • 12.
    • No. 30 Apache
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $12,390 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 23.4% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 0.1% Apache's business is the exploration, development, and production of natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. One key to the U.S. company's success has been a diversified energy portfolio. The picture above is Apache's Hatton natural gas field in southwestern Saskatchewan.
  • 13.
    • No. 29 Saipem
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $13,423 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 23.5% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 0.1% Saipem provides engineering and project management services to design oil and gas pipelines around the world. The Italian contractor can credit its success to focusing on technologically challenging projects and activities in remote areas. Above is a photo of Saipem's Scarabeo 7 semi-submersible drilling rig docked in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 14.
    • No. 28 Schlumberger
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $27,163 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 24.0% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 0.5% Schlumberger is a global oilfield and information services company. The U.S. company has succeeded by entering new markets and transferring leading-edge technology and knowledge, while maintaining the local culture.
  • 15.
    • No. 27 Li & Fung
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $14,286 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 23.9% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 1.2% Li & Fung is a global export trading company. The Hong Kong-based company operates one of the most agile and efficient supply chains in the world.
  • 16.
    • No. 26 Tenaris
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $11,476 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 26.4% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 0.6% Tenaris supplies pipes and services to companies around the world in the oil and gas sector. The Luxembourg company also serves engineering companies constructing oil and gas gathering, transportation, and processing facilities.
  • 17.
    • No. 25 Komatsu
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $22,535 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 18.3% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 4.6% Komatsu is the second largest construction equipment manufacturer. Despite the challenges the construction industry has faced recently, the Japanese company has continued to grow thanks to emerging markets such as China.
  • 18.
    • No. 24 Sasol
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $16,599 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 14.4% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 10.8% Sasol is South Africa's largest chemical company, specializing in coal-to-liquid and gas-to-liquid technologies. The company has been able to commercialize these technologies and has built plants in growth markets such as Qatar, Nigeria, and Uzbekistan.
  • 19.
    • No. 23 Kühne & Nagel
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $16.904 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 20.5% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 7.7% Swiss logistics company Kühne & Nagel benefited from the boom in international trade during the past decade. It was hit by the recent slump when trade volumes plummeted, but profit has been pretty stable because of cost-cutting. The company has used the downturn to build market share. Pictured above is a sea freight vessel.
  • 20.
    • No. 22 Petrobras
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $92,246 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 22.7% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 5.5% Petrobras is the largest company headquartered in the Southern Hemisphere, with operations involved in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties. It also has refining and distribution operations, as well as electricity generation, transmission, and distribution units, among other energy activities. The company's growth has been fueled by booming domestic demand, technology exports, and M&A activities. Pictured above is the view of the Petrobras P-51 semi-submersible offshore oil platform under construction at the Brasfelf shipyard south of Rio de Janeiro.
  • 21.
    • No. 21 Mapfre
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $19,827 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 24.3% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 4.2% Mapfre has a broad array of offerings covering nearly all forms of commercial and personal insurance. The Spanish company's growth has been fueled by international expansion.
  • 22.
    • No. 20 Teva Pharmaceutical
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $10,458 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 20.4% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 8.6% Based in Israel, Teva is the largest generic pharmaceuticals manufacturer. The company produces generic drugs faster and in greater quantities than its competition, and it's also the only generic drugmaker with its own branded drug, Copaxone, for treatment of multiple sclerosis. More than 80% of its sales (over $11 billion in 2008) come from the U.S. and Europe. The generics market worldwide is growing much faster than the prescription business as governments and insurers push for the use of less expensive generics. Pictured above is Teva Chairman Eli Hurvitz.
  • 23.
    • No. 19 Occidental Petroleum
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $24,217 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 20.8% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 8.6% Occidental Petroleum is the fourth largest U.S. oil and gas company. A pipeline of projects has helped to fuel organic growth. The Dolphin Gas Project pipeline (pictured above) runs from Al Ain to Fujairah on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates.
  • 24.
    • No. 18 America Movil
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $24,960 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 19.9% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 10.3% Mexico's America Movil is the fourth largest mobile network operator. It has thrived thanks to its expansion across Latin America.
  • 25.
    • No. 17 Amazon.com
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $19,166 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 29.0% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 1.2% Based in Seattle, Amazon.com is a global e-commerce leader. One key to the company's growth has been its commitment to process improvements. More recently, however, Amazon has also found success with its e-book reader, the Kindle.
  • 26.
    • No. 16 CNOOC
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $18,273 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 28.6% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 3.2% China's CNOOC deals in the exploration, development, production, and sale of crude oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products. It has experienced strong growth and has been active in mergers and acquisitions. CNOOC Chairman Fu Chengyu is pictured during a speech to the 10th Asian-Europe Business Forum in Helsinki.
  • 27.
    • No. 15 ABB
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $35,262 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 11.8% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 21.1% Switzerland's ABB provides power and automation technologies to utility and industry customers worldwide.
  • 28.
    • No. 14 Fluor
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $22,326 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 24.2% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 10.3% Giant engineering contractor Fluor offers engineering, procurement, construction management, and project management services worldwide. The U.S. company's broad service portfolio and global reach have helped fuel its growth. Pictured above: Fluor's corporate headquarters.
  • 29.
    • No. 13 World Fuel Services
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $18,509 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 34.5% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 4.0% World Fuel Services markets fuel products and services for the aviation industry. The U.S. company also sells marine and land fuel products and related services.
  • 30.
    • No. 12 Jacobs Engineering
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $11,252 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 25.1% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 14.6% U.S. contractor Jacobs Engineering provides engineering and technical services for government and commercial clients around the world.
  • 31.
    • No. 11 Reliance Industries
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $34,055 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 30.3% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 10.3% Indian chemicals manufacturer Reliance Industries has found success by vertically integrating its supply chain and diversifying its portfolio. Reliance Chairman Mukesh D. Ambani (pictured above) also is relying on petrochemicals and gas production to help drive future growth.
  • 32.
    • No. 10 BHP Billiton
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $63,140 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 29.5% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 13.5% BHP Billiton is the world's largest diversified mining company, with exploration and production projects spanning the globe. The Australian company's focus on quality, low cost, and sustainable development has helped it weather the global economic crisis. In the photo above, coal trucks pass each other at BHP Billiton's Mt. Arthur coal mine in Muswellbrook, Australia.
  • 33.
    • No. 9 Inditex
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $13,969 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 25.0% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 18.6% Inditex is a multinational clothing retailer with eight brands to serve multiple customer segments. The company has outperformed its peers by having a continuous cycle of textile design and marketing, as well as efficient distribution of new clothing lines via a tightly integrated supply chain. The Spanish retailer has 4,430 stores across a variety of outlets, the biggest of which is Zara. It continues to expand—most recently in Asia—while other retailers retrench.
  • 34.
    • No. 8 Monsanto
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $11,365 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 20.1% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 23.7% Monsanto is a leader in the development of genetically engineered seeds and growth hormones. The U.S. company uses continuous R&D to keep successful products in its pipeline. Pictured are Monsanto's "low-lin" soybeans, which produce a soy oil that could help reduce trans fats in many foods.
  • 35.
    • No. 7 MTN
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $11,090 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 30.8% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 17.6% South African mobile service provider MTN took a chance on the continent and proved that bringing mobile service to emerging markets such as Nigeria, Syria, Iran, Ghana, and Cameroon, among other countries, could have dramatic economic effects.
  • 36.
    • No. 6 GDF Suez
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $94,420 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 39.9% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 16.7% Created by the 2008 tieup of Gaz de France and French utility group Suez, GDF Suez is now one of Europe's biggest energy groups. The company has spun off non-core water and waste-management activities. Excluding effects of the merger, sales growth over the past five years has ranged from 4% to 15% annually.
  • 37.
    • No. 5 Hyundai Heavy Industries
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $21,820 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 17.4% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 42.6% Hyundai Heavy Industries is the world's largest shipbuilding company. Its sales soared in recent years thanks to a shipbuilding boom, which lasted until the global economy sank into crisis last year. Hyundai Heavy, the biggest beneficiary of the shipbuilding boom, has diversified its business to offshore structures, marine engines, large-scale transformers and generators, construction equipment, and power plants. Last year, shipbuilding accounted for only 45% of the Korean company's revenues.
  • 38.
    • No. 4 Doosan Heavy Industries
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $15,269 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 34.2% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 25.8% Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction is a flagship company of Doosan Group, one of the major family-controlled conglomerates in Korea called chaebol . Its primary focus has been the construction of power plants, but recently it has expanded to nuclear power plants and desalination plants, which has served Doosan particularly well during the economic crisis. Its growth has been fueled by the 2005 purchase of a controlling stake in Daewoo Heavy Industries & Machinery, a construction equipment maker that was renamed Doosan Infracore. The company is feeling a financial pinch because it relied heavily on borrowing for the $4.9 billion takeover of Bobcat in 2007, the largest acquisition of a foreign company in Korea's corporate history. Pictured above: Kyle Busch of the Doosan Infracore Toyota Team celebrates after winning the Nascar Nationwide Series race at the Hermanos Rodriguez speedway in Mexico City in 2008.
  • 39.
    • No. 3 Apple
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $32,479 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 40.7% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 24.2% In the world of computers and consumer electronics, there is no company more synonymous with innovation than Apple . Credit the stewardship of CEO Steve Jobs for reviving the company's Mac computer line, creating the now iconic line of iPod digital music players, and pushing into the crowded cell-phone market with the popular iPhone. Now rivals are scrambling to catch another Apple innovation, the iPhone App Store.
  • 40.
    • No. 2 Google
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $21,796 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 61.7% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 8.6% Google first found success with its search engine. Now the towering leader in search, the Mountain View (Calif.) company has aggressively expanded its offerings to e-mail and instant messaging, Web browsing, social networking, and most recently an operating system.
  • 41.
    • No. 1 Nintendo
    • 2008 Annual Sales (millions): $16,802 Sales CAGR (2004-2008): 35.7% Value CAGR (2004-2008): 38.1% The leader in the video game industry, Nintendo has sold millions of gaming systems around the world, including the popular Wii system, which has proven to be a true disrupter of the entertainment industry. With visionary leadership and a three-tiered product development process that brings together top management, development staff, and marketing and administrative teams, the Japanese game maker been able to create new hardware without sticking to conventional notions in the video game industry.