According to the Forbes Global 2000 published Thursday, Saudi state oil company Saudi Aramco is once again the world's most profitable company as oil prices recovered in the second year of the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, prices for fossil energy have soared even more following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, meaning that oil and gas companies around the world will likely the even more profitable in 2022.
Saudi Aramco had already been touted as the most profitable company in the world before going public in late 2019, previous to which Apple had been the world's most profitable business endeavor.
Apple, ahead of Microsoft, led the ranking again in 2020, as the company benefited majorly from people working and socializing online during the early stages of the pandemic. For the current 2021 ranking, Apple and Microsoft were relegated back to the top 2 and 5 spots.
Since profits are known only for publicly listed companies or those planning to become listed on a stock exchange, the earnings of a large number of companies around the world, especially state companies, remain unknown and are not included on the list.