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A look at who on the Top 100 had a good year, who had a bad year–and why


Shoes.com

REVENUE CHANGE: +188.6%
NET INCOME: N/A
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
Even before he sold his eyewear e-commerce company Coastal Contacts to French retailer Essilor for $435 million in 2014, Roger Hardy had jumped into his next deal—merging Vancouver-based startup ShoeMe.ca with Seattle-based OnlineShoes.com. In 2014, at the time of the merger, ShoeMe.ca—founded by Sean Clark, a former Clearly employee—had $30 million in revenue while OnlineShoes.com had $170 million in revenue. One year later, the combined entity has sales of $316 million, and Shoes.com is attracting VC attention—raising $45 million in May 2015 from an undisclosed group of investors. It’s now the second-biggest online footwear retailer (by revenues) in the United States after Amazon and was set to open its first retail location, at Vancouver’s Burrard and Robson intersection, in late August.


Seaspan ULC

REVENUE CHANGE: +17.5%
NET INCOME: N/A
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
Seaspan, the shipbuilding firm owned by the Washington family, can thank the federal government for much of its recent success. The company has received $7.3-billion worth of contracts since 2010 to build non-combat vessels—a project that will keep its North Vancouver shipyards buzzing with activity for the next three decades. To gear up, the yards underwent a $180-million modernization last year and hired three new executives to head up future projects.


Avigilon Corp.

REVENUE CHANGE: +36.1%
NET INCOME: $28.2 million
NET INCOME CHANGE: -19.6%
This year marks the debut of Vancouver-based security camera maker and operator Avigilon Corp. on the Top 100. In its seven years of existence, Avigilon has revolutionized the world of CCTV, introducing high-definition, high-mega-pixel surveillance systems that can capture, record and play back coverage better than their analogue counterpart. The company has gained a sizable foothold in the $18.5-billion global market for video surveillance, with revenues jumping by over a third in fiscal 2015.


OpenRoad Auto Group Ltd.

REVENUE CHANGE: +49.9%
NET INCOME: N/A
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
Founded in 2000, OpenRoad Auto Group runs a chain of Toyota and Volkswagen dealerships in Vancouver, Richmond and Langley—but the real driver of its revenue growth (we can only guess; the company is privately held) must be its high-end offerings: a Rolls-Royce, Porsche, Audi and two BMW dealerships in the Lower Mainland. It doesn’t hurt that Vancouver has among the highest rates of luxury car ownership in North America, according to ICBC.


Anthem Properties

REVENUE CHANGE: +84.4%
NET INCOME: N/A
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
Anthem Properties, a Vancouver-based developer, is reaping the rewards of a big bet on Alberta—and just in time.  With a portfolio of commercial property in B.C., California and Arizona, and an executive team that includes former B.C. transport minister Kevin Falcon, Anthem is the unlikely developer of Calgary’s largest condominium project, Parkside at Waterfront, which was part of Anthem’s $200-million acquisition of Calgary homebuilder United Communities in 2013.

Biggest Revenue Gainers


Nevsun Resources Ltd.

REVENUE CHANGE: -25.6%
NET INCOME: $58.6 million
NET INCOME CHANGE: -67.9%
Nevsun Resources got pummelled on two fronts last year. First, the decline in the price of copper hit its Bisha mine in Eritrea hard: production at the mine, its only one in operation, was down 36 per cent. Then, in June 2015, the United Nations released a report alleging the use of forced labour at Bisha; three former workers filed a suit in B.C.’s Supreme Court last September seeking remedies. The court has yet to decide whether or not it will hear the suit.


Capstone Mining Corp.

REVENUE CHANGE: -25.8%
NET LOSS: $24.7 million
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
When it costs more to extract a commodity than you can sell it for, it’s time for a write-down. In 2015, Capstone Mining, which operates copper mines in the Yukon, Arizona and Mexico, was obliged to write down $201 million in assets—mainly two mines in development, in northern B.C. and Chile—and put its Minto Mine in the Yukon into “care and maintenance” (effectively shutting it down until it becomes economically feasible to start mining again).


Best Buy Canada Ltd.

REVENUE CHANGE: -10.5%
NET INCOME: N/A
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
In March 2015, the Canadian subsidiary of U.S. retailer Best Buy Ltd. announced that, overnight, it was closing 66 locations of its Future Shop brand—a brand started by Vancouver businessman Hassan Khosrowshahi in 1982—and that a further 65 stores would be rebranded as Best Buys. The closures cost the company an estimated $250 million to $350 million, about $200 million of which was to get out of its leases. Overall, Best Buy revenues fell 0.6 per cent in 2015—but Canadian revenues fell 10 per cent, thanks to lower consumer spending and continued competition from e-commerce sites.


CHC Helicopter Corp.

REVENUE CHANGE: -23.5%
NET INCOME: N/A
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
It’s difficult to find a company on the Top 100 that had a worse year than CHC Helicopter. After peaking at a valuation of $1.3 billion in 2014, CHC—which runs a private helicopter fleet that it leases to oil and gas companies—saw its stock price fall precipitously in 2015. In January of this year, CHC was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange for not meeting its market cap requirements—and three months later, its credit rating was slashed to a D (for “default”) by bond rating agency Standard and Poor’s. (On a more tragic note: in April, one of its helicopters crashed along the coast of Norway, killing all 13 passengers on board.)


Finning International Inc.

REVENUE CHANGE: -10.5%
NET LOSS: $161 million
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
Finning, as the world’s largest supplier of Caterpillar equipment, is one of several companies on the Top 100 whose fate is closely connected to Alberta’s oil sands. And over the course of 2015, as the price of oil plunged, so too did the company’s fortunes: revenues from its Canadian operations were down 26 per cent in 2015, and about 600 employees in Western Canada had to be laid off in November 2015. On a more positive note, the company won a contract to provide construction vehicles and transportation for northeastern B.C.’s $8.8-billion Site C hydroelectric project.


Mark Anthony Group

REVENUE CHANGE: -30.0%
NET INCOME: N/A
NET INCOME CHANGE: N/A
Over the past decade, Mark Anthony Group built the Mike’s Hard Lemonade brand into a profit juggernaut, essentially creating a new class of alcoholic beverage (nicknamed “alcopop”) and a reliable revenue stream. Mike’s spurred a series of imitators, including Diageo’s Smirnoff Ice, and also several interested suitors. In November 2015, global beer giant Ab InBev bought the Canadian rights to Mike’s and other brands including Palm Bay, Okanagan Cider and Stanley Park Beers for $350 million. Now Mark Anthony owner Anthony Von Mandl is focused on building his lower-margin wine business, with brands that include Mission Hill, CedarCreek and CheckMate. 
 


Biggest Revenue Losers