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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UES Makes Debut on Fortune 500

Fortune 500
'05'04 Revenue, $blnProfit, $bln
44Royal Dutch/Shell26918
55General Motors1943
99General Electric15317

Russia's three largest energy firms made it into Fortune magazine's annual list of the world's 500 biggest companies this year, with utility monopoly Unified Energy Systems making the cut for the first time and beleaguered oil major Yukos dropping out entirely.

Natural gas monopoly Gazprom and the country's No. 1 oil producer, LUKoil, stayed over from last year, weighing in at 139th and 178th respectively. UES came in 248th, making it the world's eighth-largest utility.

"Yukos fell off because they never filed their statements, but also because they'd shrunk quite a bit," Fortune's international editor, Robert Friedman, said by telephone from New York. Over the past year, a $28 billion tax case has all but crushed Yukos.

Yukos had been No. 359 last year on the Global 500 list, which ranks companies by their annual revenues.

Gazprom and LUKoil both improved their positions considerably in this year's ranking.

Gazprom rose 28 places from 167th, and LUKoil leapt 81 places from 259th.

Gazprom's revenues jumped by over 27 percent last year to $35.1 billion from $27.5 billion, and LUKoil's rose 49 percent to $28.8 billion from $19.3 billion.

UES had $22.6 billion in revenue last year, the magazine said.

No other CIS or Eastern European companies were listed in the Global 500.

Friedman said high oil prices had boosted oil companies' revenues the world over, and that non-U.S. companies were also helped out by a weak dollar, which inflated their revenues by comparison.

While Russia held steady with three top-500 companies, India and China each gained a new one.

India had five companies on the list -- all of them in the oil business -- while China had 16, in energy, steel, telecoms, banking, chemicals and car manufacturing.

The world's biggest economy, the United States, had 175 companies on the list.

U.S.-based multinational retail giant Wal-Mart took first place again this year, with $287.9 billion in sales in 2004.

But, buoyed by high oil prices, British Petroleum, the world's biggest oil company, came in a close second and within $3 billion of toppling Wal-Mart.

U.S.-based oil major ExxonMobil, No. 3 on Fortune's list, posted a $25.3 billion dollar profit -- more than any company ever listed on a Fortune's Global 500 ranking, Friedman said.

The list shows that 2004 was overall a good year for the world's 500 biggest companies, Friedman said.

On average, those companies' revenues grew 13 percent, and profits grew 27 percent.

The smallest company on the list had a revenue of $12.4 billion -- a 15 percent increase over last year and more than the gross domestic product of Jamaica.

This year's Global 500 list appears in Fortune's July 25 issue.