Latin Business Chronicle’s annual ranking of the regions largest 500 non-financial companies by sales.
If one wanted to, one could summarize the non-financial corporate landscape of Latin America in just a few sentences. On one hand, the region’s 500 largest companies together sold $2.671 trillion last year – an amount a bit larger than Brazil’s GDP, or in other words, equivalent to the combined sales of the 14 largest companies in the world. Sales of the region’s largest companies grew 8.1 percent in 2012 – an amount 2.6 times the rate of growth of the region’s economies (a regional average of 3.1 percent).
These numbers are very telling. On one hand, they show that the region’s non-financial companies are growing at an enviable pace: at this rate, they will double their yearly revenue in eight years. On the other hand, they show that although international commodity prices were down in 2012, business growth held strong with strong domestic demand.
This is quite evident if you look at the results of the ranking by sector. Those industries traditionally associated with the commodity cycle grew very little or declined. Energy – which includes oil – was up 7 percent, mining was down 3.4 percent, and steel was also down 2.2 percent. This contrasts with the tremendous growth seen in industries traditionally associated with domestic demand. Retail was up 21.1 percent, beverages up 19.8 percent, technology and communications up 17.8 percent, and food up 12 percent. On …
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