The Russia 50

The country's largest public companies.

By Sheridan Prasso, Fortune

(FORTUNE Magazine) -- The world's unquenchable thirst for oil means that Russian energy resources have been in continual demand - disruptions and disputes involving pipeline deliveries to Europe aside.

Lukoil, (Charts) for the first time, took the top position in our ranking of Russia's 50 largest public companies, displacing Gazprom (Charts). The reason: Higher prices for crude boosted Lukoil's 2005 revenue by 65%, to $56 billion.

Rosneft made its debut on the list at No. 3 after the largest IPO in Russian history, reporting $24 billion in revenue. Developing telecommunications and retail sectors also made for strong returns.

Nine new companies are on the list this year, in industries ranging from autos (GAZ, No. 18) to agriculture (Razgulay Group, No. 43). Higher commodity prices, particularly for steel, gave Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant (No. 25) the strongest boost, moving it up 11 places from the previous year. With metal price declines forecast for 2007, however, it may not remain on a roll.

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 2005 revenue unless otherwise noted. The figures are all taken from annual reports available on company websites. Top of page