Cover Story : World’s Best Companies
The seventh annual survey of the World’s Best Companies profiles the global leaders and the top regional players.


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For most of the world’s top compa-nies this has been a remarkable year. Revenues have been rising strongly and, for many, profits have been rising even faster. As we see in this report, the world’s greatest companies have weathered the downturn and emerged stronger and more dominant than ever.

With rising oil prices threatening to choke off global economic growth, however, we might look back on mid-2003 to mid-2004 as a golden year. Of course, one of the most accurate measures of a successful company is how it fares when times are hard. We may find out sooner than we’d like.

As always, the winners were cho-sen using a mix of criteria includ-ing revenue and profit growth, market cap and share price growth, corporate responsibility, product innovation, global expan-sion and corporate accountability.
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