Reports Fantastic 50

Recession failed to slow Virginia’s fastest-growing companies

Recession failed to slow Virginia’s fastest-growing companies

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Print this page by Robert Powell

So what is it like to be guiding a small company into an economic hurricane? Pretty invigorating, to judge from the financial results of the latest Fantastic 50.

Virginia’s 50 fastest-growing companies were undeterred by the recession that began in December 2007. Instead they appeared to harness the whirlwinds to propel themselves to higher growth rates.

The company at the top of the Fantastic 50, ITA International Inc., grew by 5,778.82 percent from 2005 through 2008, a period that included 13 months of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. That pace was more than double the 2,603.54 percent growth rate of last year’s top company in the Fantastic 50.

But ITA International was not alone in producing dizzying revenue growth. The second company on this year’s list, Morooka USA East, also had a higher rate than last year’s winner. In fact, the median growth rate of the 50 companies on this year’s list, 322.38 percent, was the highest recorded by the Fantastic 50 since 2005. Members of the 2010 class had to have a four-year growth rate of 153.44 percent to make the list, the highest threshold since 2006.

In the following pages, you will be introduced to the five vanguard winners of the 2010 Fantastic 50. They include ITA International (the overall winner); Morooka USA East (retail/wholesale category); Technical and Project Engineering LLC (service companies); BOSH Global Services (technology companies); and MTC Transformers (manufacturing).

Each company tells you something about Virginia’s economy and the direction of the national economy. Three, for example, (ITA, BOSH, and Technical and Project Engineering) are government or defense contractors, a testament to the stabilizing force federal spending has in the commonwealth.

The other two are riding waves of change taking place in the energy industry. Morooka USA East sells track carriers used in the construction of natural-gas pipelines. MTC Transformers, on the other hand, has created a new subsidiary to develop charging systems for electric autos.

BOSH and MTC, by the way, are repeat winners from last year in their vanguard categories.

While many things have changed with this year’s Fantastic 50, others have stayed the same.  As it has for many years, the list is dominated by service and technology companies, with 28 and 19 firms, respectively, in each category. Twenty-two companies are new to the list this year.

The Fantastic 50, now in its 15th year, is coordinated by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The accounting firm Goodman & Co. reviews the financial records of entries to determine the winners.
To be eligible for the Fantastic 50, a company must have revenue of at least $200,000 in 2005, the base year. It must have made a profit in 2008 and have revenue of less than $100 million in its most recent fiscal year. 

Fantastic 50 Chart

Fantastic 50 Profiles:
Highest Revenue Growth:  ITA International LLC
Service: Technical and Project Engineering LLC
Retail/wholesale:  Morooka USA East
Technology: BOSH Global Services
Manufacturing:  MTC Transformers

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