Top private firms' sales rise 9.7 percent
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In 2006, it paid to be private.
Together, the region's 50 biggest firms not subject to Wall Street scrutiny sold $29.8 billion in goods and services last year, up more than $2.6 billion from 2005 -- a 9.7 percent increase.
Leading the privately held pack this year, as in past years, is the region's top grocer, Giant Eagle, its revenues up more than 12 percent to $6.2 billion.
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Several other firms scored whopping revenue increases, from the 49 percent jump at Coraopolis bridge builder American Bridge (No. 23 with $340.2 million) to the 39 percent increase at Downtown law firm Buchanan Ingersoll (No. 28 with $271.3 million) to the 36 percent bump at Medicaid HMO provider Gateway Health Plan (No. 5 with $1.2 billion).
Few sectors were spared in the run-up, from energy to health care to commercial construction to automobiles to consumer goods.
Revenue at Monroeville nuclear energy firm Westinghouse Electric, No. 3 on the list, went up more than 11 percent to $2 billion. At Leed's, an Upper Burrell maker of promotional bags and notebooks, revenue was up more than 19 percent to $275.1 million, good enough for No. 27 on the list. Rising gas prices drove sales up 6 percent at Butler-based utility Phillips Companies after a 22 percent rise in 2005.
Only five firms on this year's list -- Dick Corp., Limbach Facility Services, Snavely Forest products, Hanna Holdings and FSS Airholdings -- had revenues drop in 2006. One significant case was Dick, No. 10 on the list, where results were down 13 percent to $608 million. Five years ago, Dick was a billion-dollar-a-year company.
Those who made their money in the slumping residential real estate industry also did not fare so well. Building products supplier 84 Lumber was still a strong No. 2, with $3.9 billion, but its revenue was unchanged from the year before due to a downturn in home building. And the region's largest residential brokerage, Hanna Holdings Inc., saw its revenues drop about 2 percent, to $189.7 million.
First Published March 20, 2007 12:00 am