BY ELIDA BUSTOS
BUENOS AIRES - Brazil won by a wide margin in the latest Multilatina Index from Latin Business Chronicle, which measures the quarterly performance of 25 multilatinas.
Four of the top five companies are held by Brazilian companies Petrobras, Vale, JBS and and Gerdau, and Mexico only interrupts the top group through America Movil, owned by tycoon Carlos Slim.
Petrobras leads with total revenues of $ 34.6 billion, which represented a 7.1 percent increase over the same quarter last year. In second place, and with nearly half of turnover, stands Vale at $16.7 billion and a 15.5 percent increase over the third quarter of 2010. The two companies combined boast more than $50 billion in revenues, which is a high percentage within an index totaling $120.4 billion.
Mexico beats Brazil in the number of companies in the ranking but with lower individual revenues. Mexico accounted for nine companies, led by America Movil (which has the highest turnover at $12.5 billion) while Brazil has eight.
Mexican companies among the top ten revenue also include Cemex, Grupo Alfa and Femsa. However, even their combined revenues of $24.1 billion trailed far behind Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, which saw revenues in excess of $34 billion.
The other countries participating in the ranking of the multinationals are Chile (Cencosud, LAN and CMPC), Argentina (Tenaris and Arcor), Colombia (Nutresa) and Peru (Alicorp).
Of this group of 25 companies, Mexico's Grupo Alfa recorded the highest increase over the previous period: 46 percent. The Brazilian beef producer Marfrig followed with an increase of 32.6 percent, and Embraer, with 30.6 percent.
Meanwhile, Chilean airline LAN grew 29 percent, Argentina’s Tenaris 23.1 percent and Arcor 19.3 percent.
Among the firms with the least variation are Gerdau (0.3 percent), America Movil (0.5 percent), Grupo Televisa (0.7 percent) and Brazil Foods ( 0.8 percent).
There were four companies with declines. They include Brazil's CSN and Natura and Mexico’s Telmex and Grupo Modelo.
Companies that occupy the last two places in the ranking, the Nutresa Group of Colombia and Peru's Alicorp, also recorded strong growth, with 11.9 percent and 15.6 percent respectively.
Of the total index, 22 companies receive the bulk of their revenues from international markets, led by two Brazilian companies -- Embraer and Vale with 84 and 82.2 percent respectively.
An analysis of international revenues multilatinas shows that more than half of those making up the index are exporting powers in the region.
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