The Russia 50
The country's largest public companies
By Telis Demos

(FORTUNE Magazine) - When you talk about the world's top exporters, it's time to include Russia, with its $119.6 billion trade surplus, behind only Germany. As this second annual ranking of its 50 largest public companies attests, exports are Russia's fastest-growing sector. State-owned natural gas producer Gazprom is again No. 1; revenues grew 25% in 2004, when Russia became the world's top gas supplier. Russia is also the No. 2 exporter of oil and steel. While Yukos (No. 5 last year and once the country's largest oil company) was dismantled to pay crushing back taxes and fell off the list, revenues at Lukoil (No. 2) grew 52%. And steel conglomerate Evraz Group, which went public in 2005, debuts at No. 8. It also became harder to make the list--the revenue cutoff tripled, to $481 million--since the economy grew 6.5% in 2004 and more companies went public. Many of the 23 newcomers on the list are in telecom, including Russia's biggest mobile operator, MTS (No. 14). Now that's something to talk about.

The Russia 50 list was compiled by the editors of Bolshoi Business, a Russian-language magazine that regularly syndicates FORTUNE content. The list includes only public companies based in Russia that publish audited financial reports, prepared according to internationally accepted accounting standards. Some companies are subsidiaries of others on the list. Companies are ranked by 2004 revenue unless otherwise noted. The figures are all taken from annual reports available on company websites.

Footnotes N.A. Not available. • Not on last year's list. (1)Figures have been converted to U.S. dollars at the rate $1 = 27.75 rubles as of Dec. 31, 2004. (2)Figures are for year ended Dec. 31, 2003, and have been converted at the rate $1 = 29.45 rubles. Top of page