concert properties
Credit: Courtesy of Concert Properties

Concert Properties' Burquitlam development sis next to rapid transit. The City of Coquitlam will foot half the bill

From real estate shortfalls to sandwich gains, here are some the companies on our list that saw the biggest revenue swings in 2018

Smiley faceConcert Properties

Revenue Change: 329.4%
Net Income: $237.9 millioin
Net Income Change: 147.3%

The largest developer of rental housing in Western Canada had a busy 2018. At home, it bought an eight-storey building currently occupied by the Canada Revenue Agency in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats neighbourhood, not far from Concert Properties’ own headquarters. The company also scooped up a massive Toronto development site at Bloor and Sherbourne streets. And it worked with cities like Victoria and Coquitlam to develop entire blocks. In Coquitlam, the local government is paying for half the deal, which will see more than 2,700 residential units close to the Burquitlam SkyTrain station. The almost-finished Victoria project, launched in 2014, will come in at 113 homes.

Smiley faceGreat Canadian Gaming Corp.

Revenue Change: 98.8%
Net Income: $239.8 million
Net Income Change: 179.8

The Coquitlam-based casino owner’s B.C.-related revenue dipped slightly in 2018, to $355 million. But Great Canadian Gaming more than made up for that loss with gains at its Ontario operations, which raked in $731 million, dwarfing 2017’s $124 million. The company’s Ontario branch accounted for 60 percent of its 2018 revenue, way up from 20 percent the previous year. (B.C. shrank from 58 percent to 29.) That was mostly thanks to a couple of huge deals, including the purchase of seven gambling facilities in the Greater Toronto Area, plus the opening of a casino in Peterborough.

B2Gold
Credit: Courtesy of B2Gold Corp.

B@Gold's Fekola Mine in Mali beat expectations

Smiley faceB2Gold Corp.

Revenue Change: 91.4%
Net Income: $58.46 million (converted from USD)
Net Income Change: -26.9%

On the whole, gold had a tumultuous 2018, starting out strong and dropping hard before a modest recovery. But that fluctuation didn’t stop Vancouver-based B2Gold from having a big year, producing 51 percent more of the precious metal than it did in 2017. The firm’s Fekola Mine in southwest Mali outpaced expectations in its first full year of operation, while the Masbate Mine in the Philippines achieved record annual production.

Smiley facePremium Brands Holdings Corp.

Revenue Change: 37.6%
Net Income: $98 million
Net Income Change: 21.7%

Nearly 10 years ago, food manufacturing and distribution specialist Premium Brands Holdings acquired SK Food Group, which supplies Starbucks with its breakfast sandwiches and wraps. As a result, the Richmond-based outfit enjoyed massive growth. In 2018, publicly traded Premium Brands, which owns names like Freybe Gourmet Foods and Grimm’s Fine Foods, again set its sights on gobbling up other businesses, acquiring 12. Those purchases cost $753 million, but the company estimates that, prorated over the year, they would have brought in $960 million. At one point in 2018, its stock price reached a five-year high.

Smiley faceSuper Save Group

Revenue Change: 33.9%
Net Income: NP
Net Income Change: NA

Mobster movies have taught us to raise an eyebrow when a waste management operation gets a huge influx of revenue, but Super Save Group came by the increase honestly. The privately held Surrey-based company’s good fortune appears to be tied to the province-wide construction boom. After all, the business also rents out portable toilets, garbage bins and fences. Oh, and high gas prices probably didn’t hurt Super Save’s propane sales, either.

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Winners chart

Sad facePolygon Family of Companies

Revenue Change: –43.9%
Net Income: NA
Net Income Change: NA

For last year’s top revenue gainer on our list (with a whopping 138-percent increase), something had to give. Though Vancouver-based real estate developer Polygon is privately owned, it seems obvious that government efforts to curb housing prices have taken hold. The third-biggest revenue loser, down 41.8 percent, fellow property developer the BC Housing Management Commission, suffered a similar fate—it was the No. 2 gainer last year.

istock
Credit: iStock

WorkSafeBC was long the subject of NDP gripes against the former Liberal government, but it's unclear how much has changed since the switch

Sad faceWorkSafeBC

Revenue Change: –39.5%
Net Income: $16 million
Net Income Change: -98.9%

Before it took over government in 2017, the NDP spent years railing against the way Christy Clark’s BC Liberal administration treated WorkSafeBC. It’s not clear if the workplace insurer has made any radical changes since the provincial election, but in fiscal 2018 the agency suffered a revenue dive linked to investment income. Markets delivered a modest 2.1-percent increase for WorkSafeBC, which is solely funded by employer premiums and returns from those premiums. By contrast, investment income grew 10.5 percent for the 2017 fiscal year.

Chris Medlund
Credit: Chris Medlund

The George F. Ledcor sank in the Fraser River carrying 600 litres of diesel fuel

Sad faceLedcor Group of Companies

Revenue Change: –12%
Net Income: NP
Net Income Change: NA

For the second year in a row, Ledcor Group lands in the losers’ column. In 2017, the problem was uncertainty surrounding Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which the Vancouver-headquartered conglomerate was contracted to work on. This time, it’s a victim of the real estate crunch and new taxes. Though primarily a construction business, Ledcor also has its fingers in the forestry, mining and transportation industries, among others. The last one grabbed headlines this year, when one of its tugboats sank in the Fraser River with 600 litres of diesel fuel.

Sad faceSSR Mining

Revenue Change: –6.5%
Net Income: –$40.17 million
Net Income Change: NA

Vancouver-based SSR enjoyed a decent year when it came to stock price, but overall revenue dipped in fiscal 2018, mostly because the miner produced more gold than it sold in an uncertain market. Another setback: lower production at the Chinchillas Mine in Argentina, a silver, lead and zinc operation where the company has a 75-percent stake. In particular, silver mining plunged to almost half its 2017 output.

Sad faceGoldcorp

Revenue Change: –11.6%
Net Income: $5.38 million
Net Income Change: 529.1%

The US$10-billion acquisition of Vancouver-based Goldcorp by Colorado’s Newmont Mining Corp., which closed this April, grabbed headlines. Equally eye-popping  was Goldcorp losing close to US$4 billion last year due to non-cash impairment—which it said represents the difference between the book value of its shareholders’ equity and the Newmont offer. Revenue fell by about US$400 million.

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