NEW YORK (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. retained the eighth position on U.S. business magazine Fortune’s list of the world’s 500 largest companies for calendar 2003.

Toyota, the largest company in Japan in terms of revenues, remained the world’s eighth-largest company, with revenues of $153,111 million in the Fortune Global 500 rankings, Fortune said Monday.

In fiscal 2003 through March 31, Toyota scored a group net profit of 1.16 trillion yen, becoming the first Japanese company with a profit exceeding 1 trillion yen.

In the Fortune rankings, U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. retained the top spot, with $263.009 billion, followed by Britain’s BP PLC with $232.571 billion and Exxon Mobile Corp. of the United States with $222.883 billion. BP ranked fifth and Exxon third in 2002.

General Motors Corp., which ranked second the previous year, dropped to fifth place with $195.324 billion.

NTT Corp. remained in 16th place with revenues of $98.229 billion.

Among Japanese firms, NTT was followed by Hitachi Ltd. with $76.423 billion, the 23rd largest in the world, up from 26th in the previous year, and Honda Motor Co. with $72.264 billion, 25th, up from 28th.

Mitsubishi Corp. dropped from 10th to 389th with $14.116 billion, while Mitsui & Co. fell from 11th to 177th with $26.385 billion. The trading houses’ revenues were assessed lower under new accounting standards introduced in the reporting year, Fortune said.

In 2003, 82 Japanese companies appeared in the Fortune 500 rankings, down from 88 in the previous year.

Meanwhile, the number of Chinese firms listed in the rankings rose from 11 to 15.

Combined revenues of the 500 firms rose 8 percent to about $14.873 trillion, while their combined net profit jumped 5.5 times to about $731.2 billion, a record high since Fortune began publishing the list under the current calculation method in 1995.

The strong showing reflected improved earnings by U.S. companies due to large-scale tax cuts and expanding personal spending amid ultra-low interest rates.

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