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Editorial & Column
Top 400: A New Milestone
By FRANCISCO JAVIER CIMADEVILLA
November 6, 2003
Its party time at CARIBBEAN BUSINESS.
This week we reach a new milestone in our 30-year career of leadership in business journalism as we proudly present to our readers Puerto Ricos Top 400 Locally Owned Companies.
For 16 years, the list of Puerto Ricos largest locally owned companies has become not only a staple of CBs annual publication calendar but a must-have reference and research tool for anyone interested in or involved with the islands business community.
Since its inception in 1988, the purpose of THE LIST has been to highlight Puerto Ricos largest locally owned companies. In the process, it has become a chronicle of the growth and expansion of Puerto Ricos locally owned businesses and the local entrepreneurship within our economy.
In the beginning, we adoptedand have maintained sincea cutoff of $10 million in revenue. And so, it was that that first year we were hard-pressed to find 100 companies that would qualify. The original CARIBBEAN BUSINESS Top 100 later became the Top 200 and eventually the Top 300, which we have published for the past seven years.
And now, just like Puerto Ricos business sector and economy, our list has grown, this year to include 400 companies, all with revenue of $10 million or more and all 51% or more locally owned.
The Top 400 is a significant group that represents a cross section of every industry on the island. Together they generated $25 billion in total revenue in 2002, an amount equivalent to one-third of the islands gross domestic product in fiscal year 2002. Combined, these 400 largest locally owned companies employ 134,541 workers, about 10% of Puerto Ricos total employed work force and about 15% of all the jobs in the private sector.
As it was for almost every business in Puerto Rico, 2002 was a tough year for our Top 400. Close to half of the companies on the list saw their revenue shrink or remain flatan improvement over 2001, when an even greater number on our list saw their revenue decrease.
Still, despite a slumping economy, 65 companies in our Top 400 saw their revenue jump by 20% or more, with the financial industry leading the way thanks to the prevailing low-interest-rate environment that has boosted bank revenue both here and on the U.S. mainland.
While banks and insurance companies make up just 7% of the companies on the list, they chalk up 31% of the total revenue generated in 2002, or $7.76 billionwith almost two-thirds of that amount generated by the eight banks on the list.
But as a true reflection of the islands economy, it is the retail & wholesale commerce sectors that dominate the Top 400 both in number of companies147, or 37% of the totaland in sales, which total $8.24 billion.
Will we ever see a CARIBBEAN BUSINESS Top 500? Will Puerto Ricos business sector and economy continue to grow such that we will see more and more locally owned companies go from small to midsize and beyond? Of course, we will.
And youll read about it only in CARIBBEAN BUSINESS.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.