Mining
Credit: iStock

Gold prices rose almost 30 percent in 2020, creating a bonanza for B.C. miners

Mining companies and e-commerce innovators led the way in revenue growth for 2020, which saw them thrive despite—and because of—the pandemic

So who gained—and lost—the biggest percentages of revenue in a year unlike any other?

Winner: Great Panther Mining

Revenue change: 2,947.1%  
Net income: $448,000 (converted from USD)
Net income change: NA

The Vancouver-headquartered mining company tops the list of gainers with a whopping 2,947-percent increase in revenue for 2020. Great Panther, which owns operations in Mexico and Brazil, focuses on gold, silver, lead and zinc. Brazil’s Tucano mine, acquired in 2019, yielded most of its gold production and contributed $300 million, or 85 percent of total revenue.

Winner: Equinox Gold Corp.

Revenue change: 202.4%
Net income: $237.9 million (converted from USD)
Net income change: NA

Equinox had a stellar year, nearly doubling its gold production and revenue. Its acquisition of fellow Vancouver miner Leagold Mining Corp. was a major contributor to growth, bringing in four mines, a development project and an expansion project to the company’s portfolio. Equinox is also on track to buy a 60-percent stake in Ontario’s Hardrock Mine Project. To reach its goal of producing 600,000 gold ounces in 2021, the company plans to grow through exploration and acquisitions. Its long-term target: a million ounces a year.

Cymax

Cymax CEO Rizwan Somji has presided over massive growth

Winner: Cymax Group Technologies

Revenue change: 84.1% 
Net income: NP
Net income change: 1,780%

In the restriction-ridden pandemic world of 2020, revenue surged for e-commerce giant Cymax Group, landing it in the Top 100. Burnaby-based Cymax’s logistics subsidiary, Freight Club, saw a 300-percent jump in sales during the first quarter as COVID-19 forced businesses to pivot to online delivery. Channel Gate, its marketplace arm, reportedly helped its venders grow sevenfold. The company is now looking to expand its leadership team, and spirits seem high, given reports of an initial public offering.

READ MORE: Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021: Rizwan Somji

Article

Furniture retailer Article saw a boost in business thanks to the pandemic

Winner: TradeMango Solutions (Article)

Revenue change: 71.1%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

Another Top 100 newcomer, furniture retailer Article enjoyed a big boost from COVID, too, as people took on refurnishing projects at home. Also working in the Vancouver company’s favour, according to senior VP Cristian Chavez: few supply chain disruptions compared to its rivals. Chavez credited Article’s e-commerce-only model and strong, direct relationships with manufacturers in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam for its agility during the pandemic.

Winner: Eldorado Gold Corp.

Revenue change: 68%
Net income: $130 million (converted from USD)
Net income change: 33.6%

Eldorado Gold’s 33-percent hike in production, combined with rising bullion prices, pushed revenue up almost 70 percent in 2020. On the M&A front, the Vancouver company sold its Vila Nova mine in Brazil for $10 million last October, following that with its $132-million takeover of Quebec’s QMX Gold Corp. in April. Also this spring, Greece’s parliament ratified a deal to allow investment in Eldorado’s mines in that country.

White-Claw
Credit: Courtesy of Mark Anthony Group

Mark Anthony Group has seen its White Claw product bring in a young demographic

Winner: Mark Anthony Group of Companies

Revenue change: 60%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

All that mandatory staying home led to more drinking the blues away, spinning plenty of cash for the maker of White Claw, one of North America’s hottest booze brands. As early as May 2020, hard seltzer retail sales hit US$100 million a week stateside, research firm NielsenIQ reports. Being a leader in the growing category puts Mark Anthony Group in a strong position this year. In response to consumer demand for higher alcohol content, the Vancouver company released its White Claw Surge in time for summer.

READ MORE: Mark Anthony Group bottles lightning—for the second time

Winner: B2Gold Corp.

Revenue change: 56.5%
Net income: $902 million (converted from USD) 
Net income change: 115.2%

More than a million ounces of gold later—setting a record for annual production—B2Gold sits among the top gainers with $2.4-billion revenue in revenue for 2020. Most of that comes from the Vancouver company’s Fekola mine in Mali, which is responsible for more than half of its yearly gold output. A $66-million exploration budget for 2021 shows that B2Gold is looking to aggressively expand operations where it finds opportunities.  

Winner: Polygon Family of Companies

Revenue change: 53.1%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

As Canadian housing prices hit the stratosphere, it isn’t a shock to see Polygon on this list. But not all B.C. developers fared as well as the Vancouver builder in 2020, when COVID cast a brief chill on the property market. Late last year, Polygon broke ground on Silverdale, a planned waterfront community in Mission that will eventually be home to some 40,000 people, doubling the local population.

Winner: Olympic Industries

Revenue change: 36.7%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

When softwood lumber prices doubled in 2020, partly due to off-kilter supply chains, Olympic Industries prospered, pulling in almost $440 million in revenue. For North Vancouver–based Olympic and other B.C. wood suppliers, the home renovation boom also contributed heavily to a solid year.

Winner: BC Investment Management Corp.

Revenue change: 35.6%
Net income: NP 
Net income change: NA

Defying most predictions—and perhaps even logic—financial markets gained significantly in 2020, buoying the investment industry’s fortunes. As the province’s public sector money manager, BCI oversees nearly $170 billion across public and private equity, real estate, infrastructure and renewable resources.

Last year, it partnered with subsidiary QuadReal Property Group to manage the latter’s commercial mortgage program and committed $11.5 billion to private market assets. According to its 2021-23 business plan, Victoria-headquartered BCI is focused on diversifying its investment strategies to meet (or beat) client expectations.

Loser: International Petroleum Corp.

Revenue change: –40.8%
Net income: –$104 million (converted from USD)
Net income change: NA

The oil-and-gas explorer and producer had a trying year as the pandemic triggered an oil market collapse during the first half. Despite steady prices later on, Vancouver-based IPC ended 2020 with a US$70-million loss. The year ahead looks just as uncertain, according to a 2020 year-end statement by CEO Mike Nicholson, who’s keeping an eye on vaccination rates, COVID variants and a global recovery.

Loser: Longview Aviation Capital Corp.

Revenue change: –40%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

Longview runs a portfolio of long-term investments in the Canadian aviation industry, so unsurprisingly, 2020 wasn’t the best year for the North Saanich–based outfit. Subsidiary De Havilland Canada delivered 11 aircraft to customers but has since suspended new production, citing a lack of market demand.

Loser: Imperial Parking Corp.

Revenue change: –31.1%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

Staying at home didn’t bode well for Impark, whose operations span 4,000 parking facilities in 400 cities across North America. The Vancouver-based company has contracts with event venues and commercial workspaces, both of which saw low car traffic in 2020. Impark is part of Miami-headquartered Reef Technology, which turns old parking lots into neighbourhood hubs that can generate additional revenue for owners.

Teck Resources
Credit: Teck Resources

Teck Resources had a mixed 2020

Loser: Teck Resources

Revenue change: –25%
Net income: –$944 million
Net income change: NA

The Vancouver-headquartered mining titan had a mixed 2020. Although copper prices rose, the price of both steelmaking coal and blended bitumen (which make up slightly less than half of Teck’s total revenue) fell more than 30 percent, leading to a loss of almost $1 billion for the year. A pickup in steel prices in the fourth quarter and copper’s continued rise should provide some relief in 2021.

READ MORE: Both sides of Teck Resources' split personality are prospering

Winner: Powerex Corp.

Revenue change: –23.4%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

Powerex, the marketing and trading arm of BC Hydro and Power Authority, exports energy across the border to California and Washington state. Given lower power demand in the COVID-stricken U.S., the Vancouver outfit took a revenue hit last year.

Finning
Credit: iStock

Finning is looking for a bounceback year

Loser: Finning International

Revenue change: –20.7%
Net income: $232 million
Net income change: –4.1%

Even with a 21-percent revenue drop, the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer kept the impact to its bottom line to just 4 percent, boosted by recovery in the fourth quarter. Vancouver-based Finning, which sells, rents, and provides service and maintenance for Cat equipment in five countries, was understandably affected by pandemic lockdowns, with its Canadian segment taking the biggest blow. The company expects to bounce back in 2021 but says revenue growth will lag 2019 levels.

Loser: Charlwood Pacific Group

Revenue change: –20%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

Vancouver’s Charlwood Pacific owns the master rights to more than 1,700 franchised outlets in the travel, retail and real estate sectors. The plunge in international travel, plus enforced lockdowns, which took their toll on consumer spending, sapped its revenue in 2020.

Loser: Methanex Corp.

Revenue change: –18.4%
Net income: –$210 million (converted from USD)
Net income Change: NA

The drop in demand for methanol and faltering oil prices affected Methanex in 2020, and despite recoveries for both by the end of the year, the Vancouver company posted a US$125-million loss. President and CEO John Floren expects the methanol market to keep improving this year, though, citing strong fundamentals.

READ MORE: Has chemical manufacturer Methanex turned its ship around?

Loser: GFS British Columbia

Revenue change: –16.7%
Net income: NP
Net income change: NA

Two indoor dining bans, the last of which only lifted recently, hit B.C.’s hospitality industry hard. Delta-based Gordon Food Service—a supplier to 21 private brands and seven speciality companies—felt the heat. Labour shortages and strained supply chains might not make 2021 the easy comeback that some expect it to be.

Loser: Pacific Blue Cross

Revenue change: –14%
Net income: $9.2 million
Net income change: –13.3%

Despite growing its customer base, Pacific Blue Cross suffered when health authorities postponed elective surgeries and procedures in the midst of the pandemic. The Burnaby-based insurer’s net premiums earned fell by more than $60 million last year while general administrative costs remained the same.

NA=not applicable/available
NP=not provided

DISCLAIMER
BCBusiness prepares the Top 100 list using various sources, but it makes no representation regarding the completeness, accuracy or timeliness of any information presented.