A mediocre year at best; a flatline for some at worst
Editor’s Note: This is the 17th year, beginning in 1992, that Guam Business in partnership with Deloitte Touche since 1995 and ASC Trust Corp. more recently since 2006, has published its annual list of the top companies in Guam and Micronesia.
Looking at the numbers provided, 2009 is a less-than-stellar year for as many as 20 of the companies surveyed. Sales dropped 15% on average across the 20 corporations whose current year sales show a decline from the previous year. No one particular industry was unaffected by the lack luster economy. Even the supposed stalwart of the economy –– construction –– experienced a negative to flat growth.
Travel and tourism-related businesses in 2008 were affected first, by the rise in fuel prices; then, the fallout from the international financial and economic spiral which is still hovering over Japan and Korea, two of Guam’s key source markets. As Jerold W. Filush commented in his analysis, “most of the corporations are reporting based on their annual year ending Dec. 31, 2008.” (See “ Cover story –– A look at the numbers” on Page 23). Companies in the visitor-related industry will predictably continue to show lower sales when their 2009 results are tallied. That is because the H1N1 flu epidemic –– the third crisis to dampen the tourism sector –– impacted visitor arrival numbers greatly for the first eight months of this year.
The only hotel entity to go against the negative sales trend is Pacific Islands Club Saipan which had an 8% increase in sales.
In the financial services sector, Bank of Guam and Community First Guam Federal Credit Union posted positive numbers while the other three institutions in the survey reported drops in revenue. This is in contrast to the most recent three surveys dating back to 2006.
Exceptions to the flat trend in this year’s survey are the three oil companies that had gains from the 2008 peak in gasoline prices, the two telecommunications providers which launched their respective new services –– MAX 3G network in the case of Docomo Pacific and 100% digital TV service in the case of GTA TeleGuam –– and a few members of the contracting-construction community.
Despite the economic downturn and increased fuel costs, Continental Micronesia continues to hold the No. 1 ranking since the start of the decade. Likewise, the second position has been occupied by Mobil Oil Guam consistently. The third to fifth places alternate between Shell Guam Inc., Calvo Enterprises Inc. and Triple J Enterprises Inc. from year to year. New names appearing in the top 10 this year are Black Construction Corp., DZSP 21 LLC and GTA TeleGuam. This is the first year the telephone company is participating since it was privatized.
This annual snapshot of Guam’s and neighboring islands’ economies, as with past year’s Top Companies surveys, is intended to be a broad gauge of the area’s economic health. Despite the mediocre state of business, many of the companies surveyed, maintain an optimistic outlook and are looking to a more robust turn of things in 2010. Whether and when the upturn will happen and on what scale remains to be seen in next year’s Top Companies report. If your company was not contacted to be invited to join in this year’s listing, or for some reason was unable to participate, we invite you to contact Guam Business to be included in the 2010 ranking.
Next: Significant accomplishments in 2009 by the top companies in Micronesia
Jump to: 2009, a year to forget; the end of 2009 cannot come soon enough.
Jump to: A look at the numbers
Jump to: 2009 Top Companies List