The company with the highest profits in the world today is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China with revenues of $89 billion.
Despite its net income from continuous operations currently at $43 billion, profits at the Chinese bank can be dramatically affected by government policy.
Add to this that its diversified bank products are shown to have 'very high' ratings in business risk exposure analysis, and its place in the No.1 spot isn't necessarily guaranteed for the long-term.
Second is the US tech firm Apple, where business financial records show net income from continous operations at $37 billion and revenues at $171 billion.
This is all the more impressive given that financial records for Apple show it was making in the region of $276 million a year, 10 years ago - with the extraordinary growth since thanks to the iPhone.
The number three spot goes to the Russian oil and gas behemoth Gazprom, which has revenues of $156.6 billion. The majority state-owned energy company claims ownership of the biggest natural gas reserves in the world and 170,000 kilometers of pipelines to distribute it with.
Another Chinese financial institution follows in fourth place: the China Construction Bank (CCB), with annual income of $35 billion and revenues of $76.9 billion. It is the second Chinese bank out of four that make up half of the eight most profitable businesses in the world.
Chinese banks are dominating banks in the US, with CCB showing a return on equity of over 21 per cent, in contrast to Wells Fargo, the US's most profitable bank, and its equity return of 14 per cent.
The US integrated oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil took fifth place with revenues of $394 billion, with oil production being its main earner. It trails only Apple in being the US's most profitable firm.
South Korea's Samsung Electronics follows with revenues of $217 billion - easily the country's most successful company - and the largest smartphone maker in the world.
One phone in every four sold this year were Samsung's, but it also continues to produce monitors, digital cameras and washing machines under its network of complex cross-holdings.
The Agricultural Bank of China follows, in seventh place, with net income from continous operations at $27 billion and revenue of $68.2 billion.
This bank held the record for largest IPO ever, when it raised more than $19 billion in 2010, before Alibaba's flotation this year. However, its future stability could be affected by previous purchases of huge amounts of bad debt.
In eight place is the more than one-century-old Bank of China with revenues of $63.3 billion. Previously the country's central bank, the now state-owned commercial bank is two-thirds owned by the Chinese government.
Towards the end of the top 10, but still in third position as the third most profitable energy company in the world, the British company BP takes ninth place.
With revenues of $380 billion, it saw a gain of $13 billion by selling its 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP last year, to Rosneft.
In 10th place is Microsoft, with net income from continous operations of $22.1 billion and revenues of $86.8 billion.
The US systems software company makes most of its money from its commercial business segments, accounting for $58 billion of its revenue - but the future may hold a move towards phones, tablets and cloud computing.
Worldbox Business Intelligence CEO Adrian Ashurst says the current environment should be considered when valuing the future success of some of these companies.
He comments: "The world continues to change. As stated, the Commercial Bank of China is affected by Government policies, Apple is being affected by changes in the environment and challenges from new Chinese manufacturers with lower-priced products, which caused Apple CEO Tim Cook to visit China recently, and therefore, I would expect to see declines in such companies earnings, in the future.
"Microsoft on the other hand is turning around with its cloud services contributing strongly to last quarter earnings, while Gazprom is being affected heavily by sanctions".
The best of the rest:
11. Wells Fargo & Company with net income from cont. operations: $22 billion - Revenue: $82 billion
United States, Industry: Diversified banks
12. Chevron Corporation with net income from cont. operations: $21 billion - Revenue: $212 billion
United States, Industry: Integrated oil and gas
13. PetroChina Co. Ltd. with net income from cont. operations: $21 billion - Revenue: $373 billion
China, Industry: Integrated oil and gas
14. China Mobile Limited with net income from cont. operations: $20 billion - Revenue: $104 billion
Hong Kong SAR, Industry: Wireless telecommunication services
15. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. with net income from cont. operations: $20 billion - Revenue: $182 billion
United States, Industry: Multi-sector holdings
16. AT&T Inc. with net income from cont. operations: $18 billion - Revenue: $129 billion
United States, Industry: Integrated telecommunication services
17. Toyota Motor Corp. with net income from cont. operations: $18 billion - Revenue: $295 billion
Japan, Industry: Automobile manufacturers
18. Vodafone Group plc with net income from cont. operations: $18 billion - Revenue: $64 billion
United Kingdom, Industry: Wireless telecommunication services
19. JPMorgan Chase & Co. with net income from cont. operations: $17 billion - Revenue: $69 billion
United States, Industry: Diversified banks
20. Rosneft with net income from cont. operations: $17 billion - Revenue: $138 billion
Russia, Industry: Integrated oil and gas