Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 11:42 UK

Blackberry 'fastest-growing firm'

Blackberry handset
The success of the Blackberry has driven RIM's profits

The maker of the Blackberry mobile phone, Research in Motion (RIM), is the world's fastest-growing company, according to business magazine Fortune.

Canada-based RIM has come top of the magazine's latest annual guide to the 100 fastest-growing businesses.

In second place was US chipmaker Sigma Designs, with Chinese internet business Sohu.com coming in third.

Fortune rates a firm's growth on a combination of its profits, turnover and investment return over three years.

Chinese presence

RIM had not previously featured in the annual growth list, as 2009 is the first year that companies outside of the US have been included.

10 FASTEST GROWING FIRMS
1. RIM
2. Sigma Designs
3. Sohu.com
4. Ebix
5. DG Fast Channel
6. CF Industries
7. Shanda Industries
8. Arena Resources
9. Bruker
10. Potash Corporation
Source: Fortune

Thanks to a big rise in the popularity of its Blackberry handsets, profits at RIM have grown 84% over the past three years, while its revenues have expanded 77%, and it has seen a total return of 45%.

Revenues at Sigma have risen 104% since 2007, thanks to increased sales of Blu-ray disc players, and a deal with computer giant Microsoft.

"Since the Great Depression, some companies just keep growing. And not only in the United States," said Fortune.

Led by Sohu.com, five Chinese firms made it onto the list.

Online computer games website Shanda was in seventh place, with hotel reservation agency Ctrip.com at 38, telecom software firm Asia Info at 40, and China Medical Technologies at 73.

Fortune said Chinese firms were benefiting from the country's continuing strong economic growth in the face of the global recession.

Apple was in 39th place on the list, while Google came 68th.



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