Show me the money

Atlantic Canada’s fastest-growing companies, produced exclusively by Atlantic Business Magazine in partnership with PROFIT

To paraphrase Ken Rowe, executive chairman of IMP Group International Inc. and Atlantic Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year for 2005: if you can’t be the leader, you’d better be a damn good second because there’s no money in third tier business. Because let’s face it, when you’re talking business, the bottom line is… well, the bottom line. It’s a game of margins and they who get out in front first are often the biggest winners.

There are more than a million companies in Canada. Being named one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the country, by revenue, puts you in very elite company, indeed. That’s what it means to be named to the PROFIT 500—the largest and most extensively-researched recognition program for Canadian money makers.

The following pages identify Atlantic Canada’s frontrunners in the race to the bank as determined by PROFIT researchers, along with the winners’ rates of revenue growth from 2009-2014, and insider information on how they did it.


#9: Safety First – SFC Ltd.
Industry: Industrial services
Founded: 1993
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 36%
Revenue 2014 (range): $5-9.9 million
James MacDonald (44) & Ed Hennessey (44), Co-owners
Dartmouth, N.S.
275 employees

How they did it: “Safety First’s explanation for growth is simply discipline matched with an unparalleled work ethic. Additionally, focusing on team building and having an open-mindedness to try anything has also played a key role in our growth.”

#8: Eastern Siding and Window World
Industry: Construction
Founded: 1990
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 53%
Revenue 2014 (range): $2-4.9 million
National rank on Profit 500: 492
Glen Spurgeon, Owner/Director (58)
Mount Pearl, N.L.
45 employees

How they did it: “The local market has had a major impact on revenue growth but we have also made many changes over the last few years. We have constructed our own building and now stock a large majority of our products. We have implemented tighter control on job sites in regards to product and labor. We have also retained our best staff who have a common goal in providing unparalleled service.”

#7: SSI Audio
Industry: Information technology
Founded: 1989
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 137%
Revenue 2014 (range): $2-4.9 million
National rank on Profit 500: 351
Ben Gogan, Vice President (39)
Moncton, N.B.
33 employees

How they did it: “Customer service and professional products.”

#6: Stonewater Homes
Industry: Construction
Founded: 2006
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 202%
Revenue 2014 (range): $5-9.9 million
National rank on Profit 500: 285
Ryan McNeil, President (37)
Fall River, N.S.
6 employees

How they did it: “Our revenue growth can be attributed to our continued and diligent efforts to provide our customers with the best value and unmatched levels of customer service. Our company continues to grow both in size and in geographical area coverage.”

#5: Mercers Best Built Structures
Industry: Construction
Founded: 2008
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 271%
Revenue 2014 (range): $2-4.9 million
National rank on Profit 500: 219
Jeremy Mercer, CEO (41)
Porters Lake, N.S.
9 employees

How they did it: “Creating systems and processes from the beginning has enabled Mercers to grow to what we are today.”

#4: Premiere Mortgage Centre
Industry: Financial services
Founded: 2006
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 359%
Revenue 2014 (range): $5-9.9 million
National rank on Profit 500: 169
Don MacVicar, President (47)
Dartmouth, N.S.
70 employees

How they did it: “There is a strong demand for professional mortgage brokerage services. We have built a team of 75 agents over four provinces. Our success is based on creating a strong foundation for our sales agents to be successful. We have attracted the best agents in the business, allowing us to achieve aggressive growth.”

#3: Bluedrop Performance Learning (TSX-V:BPL)
Industry: Information technology
Founded: 2004
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 403%
Revenue 2014 (range): $10-19.9 million
National rank on Profit 500: 157
Emad Rizkalla, CEO (46)
St. John’s, N.L.
151 employees

How they did it: “Fundamentally, we give clients what they need. We identified an un-addressed gap in the market and developed innovative approaches to tackle those gaps. Of course we are very strong in hiring great people who share our values and our commitment to our clients. In the end, we believe companies that succeed are those who identify real pain in the market, target it and keep their promises.”

#2: STI Technologies
Industry: Manufacturing
Founded: 2001
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 452%
Revenue 2014 (range): $20-49.9 million
National rank on Profit 500: 142
Tim Gillis, Chief Executive OŠcer (45)
Halifax, N.S.
63 employees

How they did it: In light of the pending ‘patent cliff’ (being an unprecedented number of blockbuster drugs slated to lose patent protection), STI put in place a strategy to challenge the industry and effectively extend the life of a drug to well beyond loss of patent. We invented our ‘Patient Choice’ solution to allow pharma to continue to market their drugs post-LoE by paying the difference between the generic price and the brand, effectively as a supplementary drug benefit. STI has since deployed its Patient Choice solution in volume with impressive growth results for the compa ny. The culmination of this is our innoviCares single-card patient choice solution that was launched to the market in 2013.”

#1: Talon Energy Services
Industry: Industrial services
Founded: 2003
Revenue growth 2009-2014: 665%
Revenue 2014 (range): $50-99.9 million
National rank on Profit 500: 106
Terry King, President (45)
St. John’s, NL
320 employees

How they did it: “Our core business evolved into providing not only personnel services, but also supporting clients in the engineering, fabrication, construction, commissioning and start-up, and maintenance fields. Our focus on construction and fabrication has led us to obtain some large scale projects here in Newfoundland and Alberta.”

1 Comment to “Show me the money”

  1. Congraulations to Terry and Staff

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