This year's ranking of the Top 100, the place where all great Saskatchewan businesses ultimately go, is the most impressive of our 26 editions. Reason being, it is more complete than any previous version, largely because of an editorial decision to provide a pure ranking sans the gross revenue column, which in years gone by precluded many important members of our business community from participating. Nonetheless we, of course, have done our best to rank the firms in order of sales magnitude. And, for those who are curious, many of the companies included in the ranking are public so their financial data is available elsewhere.
The other reason this year's listing is so impressive is that it recaps what probably was the best year Saskatchewan's economy has experienced since the early days of our formation as a province.
A total of 20 new companies have been added to the list as a result of our new approach to the ranking. As always, it consists of firms that contribute significantly to the local marketplace. Furthermore, as a result of new additions appearing in the listing, we can now offer our readers a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of how various companies and sectors of the economy performed in the past year.
A YEAR TO REMEMBER
2008, undoubtedly, will go down in history as Saskatchewan's best year in economic terms. A big contributor to the province's growth and success in the past 24 months is PotashCorp, this year's top-ranked Saskatchewan firm. Its revenues approached $10 billion and vaulted PotashCorp into the stratosphere as the largest company in the nation by market cap for most of the past year. To put it another way, this is one company that is generating roughly the same amount of revenue as the provincial government.
The other perennial contender for the listing's top spot, Federated Co-operatives Limited, was not far behind.
The impact of the potash sector on the economy has been cause for a considerable amount of discussion in the province and nation in the past year. When Mosaic and Canpotex are added to the PotashCorp ranking, the importance of powerful pink potash to Saskatchewan's overall financial well-being is abundantly evident. Just as this key fertilizer ingredient has helped improve diets around the globe, it has also nourished dozens of smaller Saskatchewan firms that built their enterprises as suppliers to the industry. Canpotex is responsible for the off-shore marketings of the three major potash producers--PotashCorp, Mosaic and Agrium--while each of the companies looks after its own North American sales activity.
On a cumulative basis this year's ranking is the highest ever for gross revenues, just one further reflection of Saskatchewan's performance in the last year. Annual sales exceeding $30 million was required to find a place on our 2009 list.
In part this is a result of the new players added to this year's ranking but it is also a direct result of the growth of those firms that form the backbone of the provincial economy. From Crown corporations to auto dealers and service companies, revenues, along with their employment complement, have risen in response to the influx of new people. That, coupled with increased demand for our goods and services, benefits those who deliver them to customers here and abroad.
The Mega Group stands as the province's largest privately held firm while Regina's highly successful Brandt Group, owned by the Semple family, is Saskatchewan's largest family-owned enterprise with Siemens Transportation Group, Redhead Equipment and the Dube family's Concorde Group of...