3 Singapore-based companies among top earners on this year's Fortune Global 500 list

Oil trader Trafigura Group, agribusiness giant Wilmar International and electronics manufacturer Flextronics Manufacturing were also on the Fortune Global 500 list last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Three Singapore-based companies were among the highest-earning companies globally last year, according to Fortune magazine's annual Global 500 list announced this week.

The three companies - independent oil trader Trafigura Group, agribusiness giant Wilmar International and electronics manufacturer Flextronics Manufacturing - made last year's list as well.

The Fortune Global 500, which is published annually, ranks companies based on operating revenue.

Trafigura, which was founded in 1993 and shifted its headquarters to Singapore in 2015, earned US$180.7 billion (S$247.5 billion) in revenue and made US$849.2 million in profit over the last fiscal year.

The company, which has more than 4,300 employees, jumped 10 places to rank 22 in this year's list on the back of a 32.5 per cent increase in revenue and a 0.2 per cent growth in profits.

Trafigura trades in commodities such as crude oil, gasoline, liquefied natural gas and metals, and more than 50 per cent of its employees here are Singaporeans or Singapore permanent residents.

Food giant Wilmar, which has made the Global 500 list for 11 years, earned US$44.5 billion in revenue and US$1.1 billion in profits last year.

Although its profits were the highest among the Singaporean firms which made the list, it was a 7.5 per cent fall from the previous year as Wilmar slid 10 places to 258 in the list, which was released on Monday (July 22).

One of the world's largest palm oil processors, Wilmar came out tops among Singapore companies in a ranking for human rights disclosure announced earlier this year.

Mr Ho Kiam Kong, Wilmar's chief financial officer, was among the winners at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2019, which honours companies and individuals for their excellence in corporate governance and shareholder communication.

Flextronics, which has around 200,000 employees, fell eight places to rank 474 in this year's ranking.

It made US$26.2 billion in revenue and US$93.4 million in profits for its last fiscal year. Its profits fell 78.2 per cent from the previous year, despite a 3 per cent increase in revenue.

The manufacturing company has made the Global 500 list for 19 years.

According to Nikkei Asian Review's report in 2018, Flextronics is best known for manufacturing Apple computers and Microsoft gaming consoles.

A record 129 companies based in China and Taiwan made this year's Global 500 list, exceeding the number of US-based firms for the first time.

Among the new entrants were Xiaomi Corporation and Gree Electric Appliances.

A total of 121 companies based in the US were listed in this year's rankings, led by retail giant Walmart, which claimed the top spot for the sixth consecutive year.

The companies on this year's list generated a total of US$32.7 trillion in revenue, up 9 per cent from the previous year.

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