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Profitable Petrobras

Oil companies boost revenues, but also aviation and telecom noted strong gains. Pemex tops the ranking in terms of revenues, but Petrobras makes most money.


Mexican oil giant Pemex is Latin America's largest company, but not the most profitable. That position goes to Brazilian oil company Petrobras, according to the latest ranking of the region's top 500 companies published by AmericaEconomia magazine.

Latin America's top 500 companies boosted their combined revenues last year by 21.5 percent to $1.4 trillion, according to the magazine.

Oil companies played a big part in the growth. Pemex, Petrobras and PDVSA accounted for $230.1 billion. But also other sectors like aviation and telecommunications saw strong growth last year.

With revenues of $86.2 billion, Pemex kept its top position on the ranking. But while revenues grew by 23.4 percent, the oil company managed to rack up losses of $7.1 billion, making it the worst loser in Latin America.

Venezuelan oil company PDVSA came in second place, with revenues of $85.6 billion, an increase of 32.2 percent. But net income fell by 29.4 percent to $4.7 billion.

Petrobras came in third on the ranking in terms of revenues. But with net income of $10.1 billion, an improvement of 50.6 percent from 2004, it became Latin America's most profitable company.

Other noticeable changes:

  • Brazilian airlines GOL and Tam boosted revenues by 38.4 and 37.0 percent, respectively.
  • Airlines Avianca of Colombia and LAN of Chile boosted their revenues by 29.6 and 27.6 percent, respectively.
  • Mexican wireless operator America Movil became the second most profitable private company (behind Brazilian mining giant CVRD).
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