2006 Fastest-Growing 100® Companies. Five-year revenue growth for companies on the Hispanic Business 100 Fastest-Growing Companies® list jumped more than 35 percentage points between 2005 and 2006, recording higher productivity rates as measured by number of employees.
Companies on the 2006 list reported a 334 percent growth from 2001 to 2005 compared with 299 percent for the 100 companies on the 2005 directory. The list continues to be dominated by Florida with 28 companies, followed by Texas (18), California (12), and Virginia (11). With their 2006 performance, Florida companies now dominate the Hispanic Business 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list as well as the Hispanic Business 500® and the Top 50 Exporters lists. Alabama took Georgia's place as the state with the fifth-largest number of Hispanic-owned companies tying with New Mexico, with four companies each.
Although Florida has the greatest number of companies on the list and the largest revenue growth (385 percent) of any state, Texas recorded the highest growth in employment (284 percent) and the second-highest revenue growth rate (352 percent). California, despite having six fewer companies on the list than Texas, recorded 2005 revenues of around $2 billion compared with just more than $1 billion for Texas companies.
TerraHealth, Inc. reported 8,339 percent growth from 2001, when the San Antonio-based company started business, to 2005, making it the No. 1 company on the list based on five-year sales growth. The health care and military support company increased sales from $180,000 to $15 million in five years and increased its workforce from eight to 355 employees.
LatiNode, Inc., of Miami – twice-ranked the No. 1 company in 2004 and 2005 – showed how difficult it is to stay atop the fastest-growing list, dropping from the No. 1 spot last year with a five-year growth rate of 124,782 percent to No. 8 on this year's list with a growth rate of 2,139 percent. Even with the drop, the VoIP long-distance telecommunications company reported notable performance growth in gross sales, climbing from $42.6 million in 2004 to $71.4 million in 2005.
The company behind LatiNode – Urbieta Oil, Inc., of Medley, Florida – reported a five-year growth rate of 2,047 percent, increasing gross sales from $17 million in 2001 to $365 million in 2005.
Edwin Flores, CEO of Urbieta Oil, attributes much of the growth to two factors: acquisition of a major competitor and the increase in fuel prices. Urbieta Oil, founded in 1971 by Ignacio Urbieta, Sr., purchased Westar Oil in 2005, a move that added 26 service stations to the 33 it already owned and increased the number of stations it supplies by 50, placing the total at more than 100 in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
Although fuel price increases over the five-year period may explain some of the company's increase in gross sales, Mr. Flores says the company has tripled its sales volume of fuel sold since 2003 and currently sells slightly fewer than 15 million gallons of fuel per month. The Westar acquisition accounts for five million of that figure.
Mr. Flores says that, contrary to conventional wisdom, wholesalers like Urbieta Oil don't make more money when fuel prices climb because consumers begin shopping for cheaper fuel, creating a competitive pricing cycle that squeezes margins.
Clinton L. Vegas, president and owner of Ferriday, Louisiana –based Delta Fuel Co., Inc., agreed. Delta Fuel ranks No. 72 on the 2006 list with a five-year growth rate of 207 percent. Delta Fuel, which has recorded a 20 percent annual growth rate in each of the past eight years, supplies petroleum products to agricultural customers in northeast Louisiana.
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