Reports Fantastic 50

A change on the leader board

The top five companies in the Fantastic 50 offer some geographical diversity

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Print this page by Robert Powell
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The terrain has shifted at the top of the Fantastic 50.

The top five companies on the 2015 list of Virginia’s 50 fastest-growing businesses are based in Warrenton, Kilmarnock, Chester, Charlottesville and Ashburn. They are Patriot Group Internaitonal Inc., Marathon TS, New Bell Truck Lines Inc., WillowTree Inc. and Arcogent Inc.

By contrast, last year’s list was led by companies in Arlington, Alexandria, Springfield and Fairfax, a reflection of the long-running dominance of Northern Virginia technology companies and defense contractors.

The geographical diversity of the top five companies, however, doesn’t carry on through the whole list. Northern Virginia companies occupied 30 of the 50 spots, followed by Eastern Virginia with 11, Central Virginia with five, the Fredericksburg area with three, and the Shenandoah Valley with one.

The list is based on companies’ four-year revenue growth, from 2010 to 2013. To be eligible for the Fantastic 50 this year, a company must have had revenue of at least $200,000 in 2010. It also must have made a profit in 2013 and have revenue of less than $100 million in its most recent fiscal year.

This year’s overall revenue growth winner, Patriot Group International Inc., had a four-year growth rate of 3,100 percent. That figure is higher than the 2,723 percent growth rate recorded by the top company of 2014, Arlington-based Millennium Corp. Patriot Group’s revenue performance is the best seen in the Fantastic 50 since Virginia Beach-based Valkyrie Enterprises set a blistering pace of 4,732 in 2012.

Despite Patriot Group’s breakout performance, however, the median growth rate of all 50 companies on this year’s list was 147 percent, continuing a slide from 2011 when the median rate was 354 percent.
The following pages offer details on all companies on the list and profiles of the top winners in each of five industriy categories. In addition to Patriot Group, the winners include:

• Top technology company: Marathon TS, Kilmarnock.
• Top service company: New Bell Truck Lines, Chester
• Top retailer/wholesaler: Morooka USA, Ashland
• Top manufacturer: Devils Backbone Brewing Co., Lexington.

(WillowTree and Arcogent were not Vanguard winners because they also are in the technology category.)

The Fantastic 50 companies were honored with a banquet on April 30 at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles hotel in Chantilly. The program is coordinated by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The accounting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman reviews the financial records of entries to determine the winners. Virginia Business is a Fantastic 50 sponsor.

2015 Fantastic 50

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