By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey's leading petroleum company TUPRAS topped Fortune magazine’s top 500 Turkish companies list in terms of net sales, it was announced on Tuesday.
TUPRAS revenues were 88.5 billion Turkish liras ($18.36 billion) in 2018, up 64.1% versus the previous year, the magazine said on its website.
Energy Exchange Istanbul (EXIST) was the second company in the list with its 63.8 billion ($13.23 billion) net sales, which increased by 55% year-on-year in 2018.
Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines ranked third by the magazine. Its net sales were 62.8 billion Turkish liras ($13 billion), up by 58% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Total net sales of 500 companies in the list rose by 31.84% to 1.59 trillion Turkish liras (some $330 billion) year-on-year in 2018, while the net profit of these companies decreased 16.63% to 54 billion Turkish liras ($11.2 billion), the magazine noted.
"Fortune 500 companies' financing expenses rose by 125.79% to 139.2 billion Turkish liras ($28.9 billion)," it said.
Meanwhile, 500 companies’ exports jumped by 57% on a basis of the Turkish lira, while their exports soared by 19% on the U.S. dollar basis, 450 billion Turkish liras and $93.5 billion, respectively.
Exports' share in the 500 companies total sales reached 28.33% in 2018, up from 23.78% in 2017.
The most exporting company was Turkish Airlines, with its 54.8 billion exports ($11.36 billion) in 2018.
Automotive company Ford ($5.66 billion), major appliances producer Arcelik ($3.6 billion), construction company Ronesans Insaat ($3.3 billion) and another automotive manufacturer Tofas ($3 billion) followed the carrier.
The first 10 companies' net sales constituted 30.1% of total net sales of 500 firms in 2018, while this figure was 27.2% in 2017.
279 firms' net sales among 500 companies reached nearly 1 billion Turkish lira ($207 million) each as of the end of the last year, and net sales of 29 companies each exceeded 10 billion Turkish liras ($2.07 billion).
While the last company's net sales climbed over 500 million Turkish liras ($103.7 million), 119 firms declared loss in 2018.
Among 500 companies, 271 firms were active in the manufacturing sector, 118 in commerce, 85 in services and 26 in construction.
Total employment of these companies was 1.24 million, while Turkey's total employment was 28.7 million, as of the end of the last year.
500 companies' share in Turkey's GDP was 38% in 2017, it reached 42.9% in 2018.
Fortune 500 list, of which 12th edition was released on Tuesday, covers manufacturing, commerce, services and construction sectors.
The average U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate was 4.82 during 2018, according to Turkey's Central Bank data.