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The Private 150: From Strength to Strength

Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound.

Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound

By Region
 Central  6
 Portland Metro 105 
 Southern 11 
 Willamette Valley 28 
By Oregon Employees
More than 1,000 10
501-1,000 18
251-500 23
101-250 51
51-100 30
50 or fewer 18

The financial recovery was on full show in the overall revenue growth of companies in this year’s Private 150 list. Hiring is also on the upswing as employment levels in the state’s private sector increased.

Total revenue for this year’s Private 150 grew 4% from last year to $38.3 billion. Earnings growth from companies reporting annual revenue for both this year and last was even stronger, increasing 7%. Average annual revenue of the Private 150 is $252 million, a 3% bump on last year.

Companies with the strongest year-over-year growth include health care (20%), auto retailers (17%) and food processors (11%). Other sectors showing modest gains are retail (4%) and professional services, including legal (4%).

Oregon’s growing reputation as a tech- sector hub is also evident in the revenue growth of software and IT companies reporting earnings for the list. Revenues for the sector grew 19% year over year. A recent study by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis ranks Portland at No. 14 for the concentration of tech jobs in a sampling of metro areas. The city is still well below other cities such as San Jose, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

The surge in technology outpaced growth in Oregon’s more traditional industries of manufacturing, construction and forest products. Manufacturing revenues, which include high-tech manufacturing, grew 10% year over year. Construction was mostly flat with a 0.2% growth rate, while the forest products sector gained 8%.

Not all industries represented in the roster saw revenue growth. Overall annual earnings declined for real estate and fuel distribution sectors. Earnings for both industries declined 7% year over year.

Employment in the private sector is also on the upswing. This year’s Private 150 provided 49,734 jobs, a 7% uptick on last year. This compares to a drop in job levels in last year’s list, where the number of staffers employed at Private 150 companies in 2014 declined 3.4% on the prior year. The number of employed in the state as a whole increased 2% between April 2014 and April 2015, according to figures from the State of Oregon Employment Department.

JELD-WEN remains at No. 1 in the list, where it has been since 1996. The iconic Southern Oregon maker of doors and windows moved its North American headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2012. Moda Health inched up to No. 3 from the No. 4 spot last year, moving Hoffman Construction down one position to No. 4. Knowledge Universe, No. 6, announced in July that it had brought on Swiss-based Partners Group as a new owner. Roseburg Forest Products climbed one spot to No. 8, knocking ESCO Corporation, a metal manufacturer, to No. 9.


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Kim Moore

Kim Moore is the editor for Oregon Business magazine.

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