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Take a look at how the biggest companies in Florida and Tampa Bay are driving the economy

What do e-commerce firm Triad Retail Media, document imaging business Dex Imaging, Heritage Insurance Holdings and beverage maker Cott Corp. have in common?

They are among a handful of larger Tampa Bay area-based public and private companies to register sales gains of 30 percent or more last year, making them recent growth leaders in revenues in this region's metropolitan economy. Heritage revenues soared 69 percent last year, though the company has had to tighten its belt since then. Cott, pushing into new turf with coffee and water sales, rebounded from declining consumption in soda products with a 40 percent sales gain in 2015.

The 350 biggest companies based in Florida include multibillion-dollar giants of revenue such as Lakeland's Publix Super Markets, Miami's World Fuel Services and Clearwater's Tech Data Corp. At the smaller end of the 350, firms abound with specialty niches like Clearwater auto lender Nicholas Financial and Tampa perforated metal product maker McNichols Co.

A ranking by revenue of the 350 firms — including the 125 largest public and 225 biggest private companies based in Florida — appeared in the July issue of our sister publication Florida Trend. The numbers show the vast majority of these businesses reported solid if modest sales gains in 2015.

The overall performance of these companies offers a unique peek at the pace of our statewide economy. While the bulk of these companies reported singe-digit gains in revenues last year, it means the Florida economy is on steady ground and is still growing — if not at warp speed.

Here are three quick takeaways based on these statewide rankings.

1. Publix, the No. 1 supermarket chain by market share in Florida, last year became the biggest company by revenues of any company, private or public. Publix passed by the state's former No. 1 company — Miami's World Fuel Services — when the petroleum products distributor suffered from the downturn in the oil market and saw its 2015 revenues drop by 30 percent. World Fuel may bounce back should oil prices stabilize in 2016.

2. Among Florida's top 10 public companies, Tampa Bay lays claim to three (Tech Data, Jabil Circuit and WellCare Health Plans) whose combined revenues topped $58 billion. Among the top 10, that's more than any other metro area in the state. Orlando, in contrast, boasts only three public companies (Darden Restaurants, Tupperware and SeaWorld Entertainment) among the top 50 ranked corporations. Their combined revenues reach only $10.5 billion.

3. Among the 125 largest public companies in the state, just over a quarter of them saw their revenues decline in 2015. One of the hardest hit was the Florida Panhandle and once high-flying real estate developer St. Joe. Company revenues last year fell a stunning 85.3 percent as St. Joe hit a lull in development and finally resolved (with a $2.75 million fine) SEC allegations that it overvalued its land holdings following the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010.

Among the 225 largest private companies, 32 or about 14 percent reported lower revenues last year. One of those was Tampa's J.H. Williams Oil, which saw revenues drop 27.5 percent. Most of Florida's oil-related businesses — even Tampa's Amalie Oil whose Amalie Arena brand adorns the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning — suffered revenue declines last year as petroleum prices fell.


Of these 350 statewide companies tracked by Florida Trend, 64 or 21 percent are headquartered in the Tampa Bay metro area.

Clearwater's Tech Data remains by far the largest public company based on revenues in this metro area, a fact well known for many years to business readers.

Less known is the largest privately owned business by revenues here. It is based not in one of this metro's top three cities, but in Holiday. Southeast Personnel Leasing racked up $2.9 billion in revenues, up 10.6 percent over 2014, via its employee leasing business.

Southeast Personnel could use more recognition. A Forbes list released in the past few days added Seffner-based furniture retailer Rooms To Go to its new rankings of the largest private companies in the country. But Rooms To Go's $2.1 billion in revenues last year ranks second.

This metro area lost two significant public companies this summer, both the targets of acquisitions. TECO Energy, one of Tampa's key hometown companies for more than a century, is now a subsidiary of Emera, a Canadian power company. TECO ranked No. 32 in the state among public companies before its sale. And St. Petersburg's C1 Financial, the parent of C1 Bank, was bought by Arkansas-based Bank of the Ozarks. C1 branches are becoming branded under the Ozarks name. C1 ranked No. 116 on the state list of publicly traded corporations before its sale.

Of the ranked 125 public companies, 19 or about 15 percent were based in Tampa Bay. Of those 19, five saw their revenues drop last year, including tech distributor Tech Data, Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin' Brands, newly spun off Manitowoc Foodservice, call center operator Sykes Enterprises and mortgage firm Walter Investment Management.

Of the ranked 225 private companies, 46 or just over 20 percent are based in the Tampa Bay metro market. Yet only three — mobile communications servicer Syniverse, J.H. Williams Oil and McNichols Co., all of Tampa — saw revenues slip last year.

Indeed, in addition to the robust revenue growth of Triad Retail Media and Dex Imaging, several firms reported strong double-digit sales in 2015. They include Clearwater's Arthur Rutenberg Homes (up 23 percent), Tampa's Ferman Automotive Group (22 percent), Tampa construction firm Ripa & Associates (19 percent), Tampa's Health Plan Holdings (18 percent), Tampa's KHS&S Contractors (17 percent) and Riverview transportation manager BlueGrace Logistics (15 percent).

All in all, an encouraging performance by many.

Florida may lag far behind other high population states as a home to corporations of global size. But its diverse base of business still offers a solid economic foundation for Tampa Bay and Florida.

Contact Robert Trigaux at Follow @venturetampabay.

Top 10: Florida's largest public companies

These 10 had combined revenues in 2015 of $179.5 billion.

1. World Fuel Services, Miami

Industry: Petroleum products distribution

Employees: 4,700

Revenue: $30.4 billion

2. Tech Data Corp., Clearwater

Industry: Technology distributor

Employees: 9,000

Revenues: $26.4 billion

3. AutoNation, Fort Lauderdale

Industry: Auto dealerships

Employees: 26,000

Revenues: $20.9 billion

4. Jabil Circuit, St. Petersburg

Industry: Electronics design/


Employees: 161,000

Revenues: $17.9 billion

5. Next Era Energy, Juno Beach

Industry: Energy provider

Employees: 14,300

Revenues: $17.5 billion

6. Carnival, Miami

Industry: Cruise lines

Employees: 120,000

Revenues: $15.7 billion

7. Office Depot, Boca Raton

Industry: Office products

Employees: 49,000

Revenues: $14.5 billion

8. WellCare Health Plans,


Industry: Managed health insurance services

Employees: 6,900

Revenues: $13.9 billion

9. CSX, Jacksonville

Industry: Railroads

Employees: 29,000

Revenues: $11.8 billion

10. Hertz Global Holdings, Naples

Industry: Car rentals

Employees: 30,000

Revenues: $10.5 billion

Top 10: Florida's largest private companies

These 10 had combined revenues in 2015 of $145.2 billion.

1. Publix Super Markets,


Industry: Grocery stores

Employees: 180,000

Revenues: $32.4 billion

2. Sun Capital Partners,

Boca Raton

Industry: Private

investment firm

Employees: 135

Revenues: $26.6 billion

3. H.I.G. Capital

Management, Miami

Industry: Private

investment firm

Employees: 2,501

Revenues: $18.1 billion

4. JM Family Enterprises, Deerfield Beach

Industry: Automotive services

Employees: 4,150

Revenues: $14.5 billion

5. Southern Wines

& Spirits of America*, Miami

Industry: Wine, spirits distributor

Employees: 14,500

Revenues: $12.3 billion

6. Brightstar, Miami

Industry: Wireless device services

Employees: 9,000

Revenues: $12.1 billion

7. Southeastern Grocers,


Industry: Grocery stores

Employees: 66,000

Revenues: $10.2 billion

8. Adventist Health System, Altamonte Springs

Industry: Health care/hospitals

Employees: 77,000

Revenues: $8.4 billion

9. Oasis Outsourcing,

West Palm Beach

Industry: Personnel outsourcing

Employees: 792

Revenues: $6.3 billion

10. Fanjul Corp./Florida

Crystals, West Palm Beach

Industry: Sugar/agriculture, consumer products, energy, real estate

Employees: 18,700

Revenues: $4.3 billion

* Southern Wines is now known as Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits due to July 2016 merger.

Tampa Bay's largest public companies

1. Tech Data Corp., Clearwater

State rank: 2

Industry: Technology distributor

Employees: 9,000

Revenues: $26.4 billion

2. Jabil Circuit, St. Petersburg

State rank: 4

Industry: Electronics design/manufacturing

Employees: 161,000

Revenues: $17.9 billion

3. WellCare Health Plans, Tampa

State rank: 8

Industry: Managed health insurance services

Employees: 6,900

Revenues: $13.9 billion

4. Raymond James Financial, St. Petersburg

State rank: 18

Industry: Financial services

Employees: 11,00

Revenues: $5.3 billion

5. Bloomin' Brands, Tampa

State rank: 20

Industry: Restaurants

Employees: 100,000

Revenues: $4.4 billion

6. HSN, St. Petersburg

State rank: 25

Industry: Online shopping

Employees: 6,600

Revenues: $3.7 billion

7. Cott Corp. Tampa

State rank: 30

Industry: Beverages

Employees: 9,500

Revenues: $2.9 billion

8. Masonite International, Tampa

State rank: 40

Industry: Door manufacturer

Employees: 9,500

Revenues: $1.9 billion

9. Manitowoc Foodservice, New Port Richey

State rank: 46

Industry: Food service

Employees: 5,000

Revenues: $1.6 billion

10. Kforce, Tampa

State rank: 50

Industry: Personnel outsourcing

Employees: 2,800

Revenues: $1.3 billion

11. Sykes Enterprises, Tampa

State rank: 51

Industry: Call center services

Employees: 54,550

Revenues: $1.3 billion

12. Walter Investment Management, Tampa

State rank: 52

Industry: Mortgage investment services

Employees: 5,700

Revenues: $1.3 billion

13. Marinemax,


State rank: 69

Industry: Boating retailer

Employees: 1,289

Revenues: $751.4 million

14. Heritage Insurance Holdings, Clearwater

State rank: 82

Industry: Insurance

Employees: 247

Revenues: $394.8 million

15. United Insurance Holdings, St. Petersburg

State rank: 88

Industry: Insurance

Employees: 392

Revenues: $357.6 million

16. HCI Group, Tampa

State rank: 92

Industry: Insurance

Employees: 379

Revenues: $294.4 million

17. Superior Uniform Group, Seminole

State rank: 100

Industry: Clothing manufacturer

Employees: 1,268

Revenues: $210.3 million

18. Health Insurance

Innovations, Tampa

State rank: 112

Industry: Insurance

Employees: 280

Revenues: $104.7 million

19. Nicholas Financial,


State rank: 117

Industry: Consumer financing

Employees: 326

Revenues: $86.8 million

Tampa Bay's largest private companies

1. Southeast Personnel Leasing, Holiday

State rank: 15

Industry: Employee leasing

Employees: 319

Revenues: $2.9 billion

2. Rooms To Go, Seffner

State rank: 22

Industry: Furniture retailer

Employees: 5,500

Revenues: $2.1 billion

3. FrankCrum, Clearwater

State rank: 35

Industry: HR outsourcing

Employees: 214

Revenues: $1.4 billion

4. American Strategic Insurance, St. Petersburg

State rank: 45

Industry: Insurance

Employees: 500

Revenues: $1.2 billion

5. Syniverse, Tampa

State rank: 62

Industry: Mobile communications services

Employees: 2,671

Revenues: $861.5 million

6. Automated Petroleum,


State rank: 65

Industry: Gasoline distributor

Employees: 30

Revenues: $818.7 million

7. Cunningham Lindsey Group, Tampa

State rank: 66

Industry: Insurance claims management

Employees: 5,000

Revenues: $804.3 million

8. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Tampa

State rank: 70

Industry: Fast food restaurants

Employees: 5,000

Revenues: $776.1 million

9. Ferman Automotive Group, Tampa

State rank: 71

Industry: Auto dealerships

Employees: 1,382

Revenues: $771.3 million

10. Morgan Auto Group, Tampa

State rank: 74

Industry: Auto dealerships

Employees: 926

Revenues: $727.6 million

11. Catalina, St. Petersburg

State rank: 75

Industry: Digital marketing services

Employees: 1,350

Revenues: $722.3 million

12. March/Hodge Automotive, Tampa

State rank: 80

Industry: Auto dealerships

Employees: 550

Revenues: $635.3 million

13. Modern Business Associates, St. Petersburg

State rank: 82

Industry: HR outsourcing

Employees: 130

Revenues: $623.2 million

14. Lazydays, Seffner

State rank: 84

Industry: RV sales/service

Employees: 631

Revenues: $606.7 million

15. AVI-SPL, Tampa

State rank: 89

Industry: Audiovisual products/services

Employees: 1,400

Revenues: $564 million

16. Atkins North America, Tampa

State rank: 92

Industry: Design/engineering/project management

Employees: 2,735

Revenues: $551.2 million

17. Triad Retail Media, St. Petersburg

State rank: 102

Industry: E-commerce media programs

Employees: 650

Revenues: $502.3 million

18. Gulfeagle Supply, Tampa

State rank: 104

Industry: Roofing supply/distribution

Employees: 800

Revenues: $494 million

19. Bankers Financial, St. Petersburg

State rank: 110

Industry: Insurance/financial services

Employees: 673

Revenues: $438 million

20. PSCU, St. Petersburg

State rank: 113

Industry: Credit union services

Employees: 1,800

Revenues: $434.7 million

21. HealthPlan Holdings, Tampa

State rank: 120

Industry: Insurance/managed care services

Employees: 3,500

Revenues: $390 million

22. Tampa Bay Fisheries, Dover

State rank: 123

Industry: Seafood processor

Employees: 500

Revenues: $379.3 million

23. Ovations Food Services, Lutz

State rank: 131

Industry: Food service

Employees: 1,300

Revenues: $350.2 million

24. Hit Promotional Products, Largo

State rank: 145

Industry: Advertising

Employees: 1,956

Revenues: $302 million

25. KHS&S Contractors, Tampa

State rank: 147

Industry: Construction

Employees: 1,100

Revenues: $297.1 million

26. Gardner-Gibson, Tampa

State rank: 149

Industry: Protective coatings manufacturer

Employees: 430

Revenues: $285.8 million

27. Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Clearwater

State rank: 153

Industry: Residential construction franchise

Employees: 102

Revenues: $272.5 million

28. J.H. Williams Oil, Tampa

State rank: 155

Industry: Petroleum products marketing

Employees: 30

Revenues: $268.5 million

29. Power Design,

St. Petersburg

State rank: 157

Industry: Electrical contracting

Employees: 949

Revenues: $266 million

30. America II Electronics, St. Petersburg

State rank: 163

Industry: Electronics distributor

Employees: 600

Revenues: $260 million

31. Carlton Fields, Tampa

State rank: 184

Industry: Law firm

Employees: 708

Revenues: $224.3 million

32. Florida Medical Clinic, Zephyrhills

State rank: 187

Industry: Health care services

Employees: 1,500

Revenues: $219 million

33. Laser Spine Institute, Tampa

State rank: 190

Industry: Spine surgery centers

Employees: 1,100

Revenues: $216.9 million

34. Great Bay Distributors, Largo

State rank: 192

Industry: Beer distributor

Employees: 345

Revenues: $215.5 million

35. Amscot Financial, Tampa

State rank: 197

Industry: Financial services

Employees: 1,850

Revenues: $209.4 million

36. Amalie Oil, Tampa

State rank: 200

Industry: Motor oil/industrial lubricants

Employees: 250

Revenues: $202.3 million

37. Ripa & Associates, Tampa

State rank: 201

Industry: Construction

Employees: 600

Revenues: $202 million

38. DEX Imaging, Tampa

State rank: 203

Industry: Document imaging sales/service

Employees: 800

Revenues: $200 million

39. Vology, Oldsmar

State rank: 211

Industry: IT infrastructure services

Employees: 425

Revenues: $187 million

40. J. Kokolakis Contracting, Tarpon Springs

State rank: 213

Industry: Commercial


Employees: 126

Revenues: $182 million

41. Caspers McDonald's

Restaurants, Tampa

State rank: 215

Industry: Restaurant franchise

Employees: 904

Revenues: $177 million

42. BlueGrace Logistics,


State rank: 221

Industry: Transportation


Employees: 162

Revenues: $168.2 million

43. Pepin Distributing, Tampa

State rank: 223

Industry: Beer wholesaler

Employees: 320

Revenues: $165 million

44. SCC Soft Computer,


State rank: 224

Industry: Laboratory information systems

Employees: 1,300

Revenues: $161.4 million

45. McNichols Co., Tampa

State rank: 225

Industry: Metals service centers

Employees: 320

Revenues: $160.7 million

Source: Florida Trend, July 2016.

Editor's note: Syniverse was originally listed as a public company. It is privately owned. This list reflects that change.

Take a look at how the biggest companies in Florida and Tampa Bay are driving the economy 07/22/16 [Last modified: Friday, July 22, 2016 6:49pm]
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