News Column

Going the Distance

Page 3 of 3

The lessons of volatility in the export market can be bitter. Denver-based A&N Quality Products, a six-employee sheet metal fabricator, narrowly made our list at No. 48. It produced$4 million in 2005 sales from exporting cell phone stations to Brazil and Mexico in 2005, but that number was halved in 2006 and will be reduced to zero this year.

Remaining Positive
Still, the export panorama for Hispanic companies in the United States is upbeat, especially as the United States works out free, or at least freer, trade agreements with individual nations, such as Colombia, Peru, and Panama. In 2006 alone, exports to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua grew at an 18 percent clip.

Such a sudden tariff reduction in Peru from 13 percent to nothing initially caught Beam Radio Inc.'s Manny Alvarez Jr. off guard. The change opened Peru's market to the company's Motorola radios and an upsurge in sales followed.

And the benefits of free trade asserted themselves for Peru.

"Now, they are charging no duty but they are making it up in increased sales tax revenue," says Mr. Alvarez, whose company is No. 22 on our list.

Beam Radio has also learned about how currency fluctuations can hamper the company's expansion.

In a matter of months, it has seen a European radio system known as Tetra, a more secure alternative to cellular telephony, rise in price by almost 30 percent. It also watched as the sol, Peru's currency, devalued recently by almost 10 percent.

"Our entire business is export," Mr. Alvarez says, "so we had better stay on top of exchange rates."

One particular bright spot for Hispanic exports was computers. Alienware, a Miami-based mainstay on the list until it was bought by Dell Computers last year, has made its mark abroad with introduction of the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, a computer that promises "richer gaming multimedia experiences." The company, which assembles in Ireland, opened a call center in Costa Rica ("across from Intel") that offers customer support in English and, after hours, fills in with languages from Europe when that region's call center closes down.

"There are lots of people who will beat us with their knowledge and savvy," says company President Nelson Gonzalez. "No one, however, will work harder than us."

Top 50 Exporters by State
Florida companies continue to dominate the Exporter list, although there were 4 fewer companies on the list this year (23) than last year from the state. Still, the $3,517.63 billion in exporting revenues from Florida account for 92.06% of the total exporting revenues on the list, thanks in large part to Brightstar. The rest of the list shows some possible new trends, as other states move onto the exporting list that have not been there much in the past, including North and South Carolina, Colorado, and Arizona. There are 15 total states represented this year, as opposed to 10 last year.
State Number of companies Total 2006 export sales ($M)
Florida 23 $3,517.63
Texas 6 $81.30
California 4 $53.25
Illinois 4 $13.11
Virginia 2 $8.60
Georgia 2 $4.40
Wisconsin 1 $100.00
New Jersey 1 $11.28
Oklahoma 1 $5.70
Louisiana 1 $8.40
Arizona 1 $6.44
Maryland 1 $4.00
North Carolina 1 $2.90
South Carolina 1 $2.00
Colorado 1 $2.00
TOTAL 50 $3,821.01
2007 Hispanic Business Inc. Reprinting, copying, or transmitting all or part of this information requires written permission.

Top 50 Exporters by Sector
Wholesale continues to dominate industry-wise, accounting for 92.2% of the total exporting revenues, with $3.52 billion in revenues. Otherwise, the industry breakdown remained remarkably similar to 2006, with just one company less in the automotive industry and one more in wholesale.
Industry Number of companies Total 2006 export sales ($M)
Automotive 3 $16.46
Construction 0 $0.00
Finance 0 $0.00
Manufacturing 13 $171.46
Retail 1 $8.24
Service 5 $49.79
Transportation 5 $50.37
Wholesale 23 $3,524.69
TOTAL 50 $3,821.01
2007 Hispanic Business Inc. Reprinting, copying, or transmitting all or part of this information requires written permission.

>> Download the 2007 Top 50 Exporters List

Source: HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine and, Copyright (c) 2007 All Rights Reserved.

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