The price of oil is down. So too is the Canadian dollar, consumer confidence and economic growth. For the past few months, sentiment about the country’s economy could be represented by a giant arrow, pointing to the floor.
That dreary landscape makes the achievements of the companies on the 2015 PROFIT 500 Ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies all the more remarkable. Over the past five years, the companies on our list saw an average growth of 686%. In the last year alone, they generated $19.8 -billion in revenue, a more than three-fold increase over their contribution to the Canadian economy in 2009.
Perhaps most importantly, the 500 firms created 71,882 new full-time jobs between them—that’s 144 new jobs for each company on the ranking. As analysts fret about the state of the Canadian economy, these businesspeople quietly move forward, signing new deals, expanding into new markets and launching new products. That’s good news for their bottom lines, but also for their communities and the country as a whole.
Our top company for this year, Western Manufacturing, saw 25,719% growth selling equipment to the booming energy sector. As oil prices tumbled, the company focused on creating new products that differentiate it in a shrinking marketplace. It’s the type of innovative and resilient thinking that Canada needs.
By evaluating businesses based on five-year revenue growth, the PROFIT 500 identifies companies that have proven themselves capable of surviving in turbulent economic conditions. These aren’t the hot start-ups that grab the spotlight and then disappear. They’re companies with viable business plans. They’ve proven themselves capable of maintaining relationships with suppliers, employees and customers. Want proof of their durability? WestJet is an alumnus of the PROFIT 500, along with BlackBerry, Spin Master and GardaWorld. Each of those companies has seen its challenges and successes, but their ability to withstand shifts in the market is unquestionable.
We release this year’s PROFIT 500—the 27th annual edition of the ranking—in the midst of an election, with every party leader outlining their strategy to expand the economy. “Growth” is the big promise on the campaign trail. But for the members of our exclusive list, growth isn’t just a promise for the future—it’s the reality for today.