Six Swedish firms in Fortune 500

Six Swedish companies have made it onto the annual list of the world's 500 most successful businesses published by Fortune magazine. The highest-ranked Swedish firm is Volvo, while Electrolux brings up the yellow-and-blue rear.

Oil companies and vehicle manufacturers dominate the Fortune 500 list, which is based on last year’s turnover. Nevertheless, it is the American grocery chain Wal-Mart that tops the list. With a turnover of 351,139 million dollars in 2006 the store sneaks in ahead of Exxon Mobil (347,254 million dollars) and Royal Dutch Shell (318,845 million dollars).

BP, General Motors and Chevron follow the top three and Daimler Chrysler, Conoco Philips and Total make up the top ten.

Not until place 185 does the first Swedish company, Volvo , make an appearance on the list. The vehicle maker had a turnover of just over 35 billion dollars in 2006, putting it 99 places ahead of Ericsson (24.1 billion dollars) which rose from rank 319 to 284.

State-owned power company Vattenfall rose from place 374 last year to 355 with a turnover of 19.8 billion dollars. Nordea Bank climbed 30 places to 430 on the list. Building giant Skanska , however, slipped from 400 last year to 433 this year with a turnover of 17.0 billion dollars.

The fastest-falling Swedish company was Electrolux . The white goods manufacturer slumped from 371 on last year’s list to 453 this year with a turnover of 16.4 billion dollars.

There were a number of other companies with strong Swedish ties on the list, including Astra Zeneca (252), ABB (273) and Stora Enso (393).