Wal-Mart again Fortune's king of the hill

For the fourth consecutive year, Wal-Mart Stores held the top spot in Fortune magazine's 2005 ranking of the 500 largest publicly traded United States companies. The Bentonville AR-based retail giant's 2004 sales totaled more than $288.2 billion, or about 11% higher than in 2003.

In other news, Wal-Mart de Mexico SA (Walmex) plans to add stores in 200 Mexican cities to sustain revenue growth, said Eduardo Solorzano, chief executive of the Wal-Mart unit, which is Latin America's largest retailer.

Walmex operates stores in most of Mexico's big cities and can keep growing by expanding into towns where it has no stores, Solorzano said. With 696 stores in Mexico, the firm increased sales 11% in 2004 to 139.9 billion pesos (US $12.5 billion).

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