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Alaska Business Monthly’s 2013 Top 49ers: Blockbusters of Business

Executive Summary


Roll out the red carpet and set out your best business attire; this year’s Blockbusters of Business, Alaska Business Monthly’s Top 49ers, are ready for the stage. These companies are the producers, directors, actors, costumers, and set designers in Alaska’s economy, keeping it alive, fresh, and—key for any blockbuster—making money.

The Top 49ers this year have produced a total gross revenue of $16.07 billion in 2012, a mere $84 million behind 2011’s record figures. Employment figures have gone up, as these businesses employ 71,272 people worldwide and have 25,792 Alaska employees, an increase of 9.9 and 9.7 percent, respectively, from the previous year, demonstrating both Alaska’s reach into a worldwide economy and a dedication to keeping the Alaska community on a firm foundation.

Taking the spotlight is our number one, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, which has been in that position for nineteen straight years. Its gross revenue for 2012 was $2.62 billion, accounting for almost one sixth of the Top 49ers total. They did so with 10,782 worldwide employees, 15 percent of the list total. Of those, 4,525 are Alaskan employees.

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is joined by twenty-two other Native Regional and Village corporations from around the state. These ANCSA corporations safeguard Alaska Native interests not only by promoting healthy economies and stimulating rural and often isolated communities, but by preserving, celebrating, and sharing Alaska Native Culture through nonprofits, scholarship programs, and cultural centers and celebrations.

They participate in every economic sector in Alaska, either directly or through dividends paid to shareholders, and span the gamut of business and industry, from construction to health care to financial services.

In 2012, their gross combined revenue was $11.8 billion. They comprise 73 percent of Top 49er gross revenues, 45 percent of the 49 companies, and 66 percent of Alaska jobs reported here, demonstrating their dedication to Alaska and its peoples.

The next highest contributor to the Alaska 2012 economy was the Transportation industry, bringing in $1.3 billion in gross revenue and every other thing under the sun in terms of actual movement. Our five Top 49ers transportation companies’ 2,898 employees make sure Alaskans have access to anything that can be packed on a pallet and probably most things that can’t.

Coming in next at $736 million are the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate companies. The three companies that qualify for the list this year bring in only approximately 7 percent less than the five qualifying companies of 2012. This sector employs 2,466 worldwide, with 2,060 of those employees in Alaska.

Industrial services have jumped this year from revenue of $70 million in 2011 to $515 million; especially impressive considering that the number of qualifying companies only changed from four in 2012 to five in 2013. Overall the number of jobs provided by this industry increased this year—1,505 compared to 1,286 in 2012.

Utilities follow, employing 660 statewide, and grossing $464 million, 2.9 percent of the Top 49ers total.

The construction industry is represented by three Alaskan-owned companies and represents 2.49 percent of the total gross revenue with $397 million.

Retail and wholesale trade increased from last year, reporting $283 million in revenue, increasing by $33 million. Three companies represent this industry as they did last year. Employee numbers dropped slightly from 607 total last year to 594 this year, 546 of which are Alaska jobs.

The 2013 Top 49ers have five categories containing only one company each: travel, mining, telecommunications, engineering, and manufacturing, with the last two categories being new from last year’s list. Engineering has come and gone in our Top 49ers round-up, but manufacturing is making its debut.

The highest of the five is travel, pulling in $187 million, a slight increase from 2011’s $182 million, and employing a total of 157 employees, 86 of which are in Alaska. Gross revenue for the lone mining company also increased, this year by $4 million, with a total of $112 million. The jobs it provides have jumped, with the number of in-state employees, 195, now totaling more than the previous worldwide number, 149; the new total number of employees is 230. The telecommunications industry’s one representative brought in $96 million, a $4 million decline from the previous year. It also saw a significant drop in jobs, down to 287 from 387, but all of those jobs are still located in Alaska.

The engineering category last had an appearance in 2010, reporting 2009 gross revenue of $54 million. This year, the company is back with $59 million. In 2010 it reported employing 400 worldwide, with 200 positions in Alaska. In three years both numbers have dropped, now 360 and 149, respectively.

Special congratulations go to our brand-new Top 49er’s competitor, Builder’s Choice. It ranks number 45 this year, and is the only representative of a new industry category, manufacturing. Builder’s Choice came in with 2012 gross revenue of $58 million, an increase of $19 million from 2011 reported revenue. It keeps 255 people working, 185 in Alaska.

It’s a stunning lineup of Alaska success stories, our very own selection of celebrity. To all of our Top 49ers, congratulations and we know the show will go on.

This first appeared in the October 2013 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.
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