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Publix becomes Florida's top Fortune 500 company

The grocery store chain moved up four spots in this year's rankings.

LAKELAND, Fla — Publix is now the highest-ranked Florida-based company among the Fortune 500.

Florida's top grocery store chain moved up four spots to number 87 in the Fortune 500 2020 rankings. Publix made more than $3 billion in profits in 2019, good enough for Fortune to call it "one of the best-performing companies" in its field.

According to Fortune, Publix increased its sales by 5.6 percent in 2019 while it opened 35 new stores and promised more expansion in 2020. The chain is based in Lakeland and has more than 1,200 stores in seven states, with most of them in Florida.

Fortune has given Publix high honors before. In January, the magazine ranked Publix as the world's most admired food and drug store company. It also ranks as the world's largest employee-owned company, with its 200,000 workers owning shares.

Florida's second-highest ranked Fortune 500 company is also headquartered in the Tampa Bay area. Clearwater-based Tech Data stayed in the top 100 but fell two spots to number 92 overall.

RELATED: Publix expands store hours, gets rid of designated shopping times for seniors

RELATED: Publix buys 1 million pounds of produce, 100K gallons of milk from farmers to give to food banks

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