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4. Dollar General
4. Dollar General
2010 Fortune 500 rank: 195
2009 profit growth: 213.8%
2009 revenue growth: 12.8%

CEO since January 2008: Richard W. Dreiling

Last year, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts raised $444 million taking the discount retailer public, promptly paid down $734 million in debt ($3.4 billion to go!), and announced a 12.8% bump in revenue, to $11.8 billion and profits of $339 million.

Chief executive Rick Dreiling credits new store layouts, thriftiness among higher income consumers and Dollar General's transition "from cheap to inexpensive" - as evidenced by his successful courting of L'Oreal - for the standout year.

NEXT: 5. Visa

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Last updated April 28 2010: 12:37 PM ET
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