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TOP 100 2013: It was a good year for most top area companies, but growth slowed a bit

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Time changes almost everything, and business in Central Pennsylvania is no exception.

This year saw the local business train still chugging into sunlight. Eighty-one of the Top 100 companies posted revenue increases, up slightly from 75 last year, and despite last year's overall revenue surge, fewer companies reported less revenue than last year; the numbers were 24 and 17, respectively.

But the plot got more complex this year. The overall revenue change in the top 100 was a 5.98 percent increase this year, down from a 12.5 percent increase last year. The average for companies posting revenue increases this year was a 9.8 percent hike. For companies that posted revenue decreases — and three top-10 familiars were among them — the average was a fall of 10.5 percent.

Standout success stories also became more rare, with only five companies posting increases of 40 percent or more, compared with 13 last year. None were in the top 10. Seventeen companies posted revenue growth between 20 and 40 percent, and 17 posted revenue growth between 10 and 20 percent.

Dominating the highest growth percentages this year were construction firms, representing three of the top five and nine of the top 15. EGS Construction LLC, which does business as EG Stoltzfus Construction, notched the top spot by building revenues 112.5 percent, followed by R.S. Mowery & Sons Inc. at 90.9 percent and Reynolds Construction Management Inc. at 53.8 percent.

Notable nonconstruction companies with altitudinous growth rates were decor designer and distributor Primitives by Kathy Inc., coming in fourth at 50.2 percent, and Homesale Realty Services Group Inc., coming in fifth at 46.7 percent.

Viewing revenue growth over three years results in an entirely different set of top companies, with the exception of Primitives by Kathy, which leads the group at 334.2 percent, with total revenues this year of $27.6 million. Smilebuilderz LLC ranks second on that measure, at nearly 217 percent and $17.2 million, and Rettew Associates Inc. claims third with 169.8 percent and $62 million.

Growth at the summit of the revenue heap was slower than the list at large this year, with the top 10 companies averaging growth just over 3 percent. But despite that, there were few surprises among the familiar behemoths of business.

Perennial front-runner D&H Distributing Co. Inc. again turned in a best-selling performance, with an increase of 5.9 percent that led it past the $3 billion mark.

Rutter's Holdings Inc. and Shipley Group have been trading second and third places for a while; this year, Rutter's pulled ahead, with 3.9 percent growth to $665 million, and High Companies broke into the next slot with 13.9 percent growth to $542 million. Shipley posted a 10 percent decrease in revenue following last year's growth surge of nearly 20 percent but still stayed in the top four.

Utz Quality Foods Inc. and Vibra Healthcare LLC placed fifth and sixth with growth percentages of 10.2 and 11.2 percent, respectively, and almost identical revenues. Worley & Obetz Inc. saw revenue decrease 12.8 percent to $417 million and dropped a spot to No. 7, but it still snagged the highest three-year growth percentage among the top 10, at 66.4 percent.

Kinsley Construction Inc. also saw a revenue decrease of 14.4 percent to $356 million, which contributed to its being the only top 10 company with a net three-year revenue decrease. But it retained eighth place, and Gannett Fleming Inc. held onto ninth place with 7.3 percent growth to nearly $314 million.

Providing the denouement for the leaders list was the Arthur J. Glatfelter Agency Inc. and subsidiaries, which has been cycling on or near the top 10 for a while. This was an on year, with 5.9 percent growth to $275 million.

Click here to see the 2013 Top 100 list.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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