Biotech, data centers and government-funded projects are driving significant revenue growth at some of California’s and the Pacific Northwest’s largest specialty firms despite the impacts of COVID-19 and wildfires.
More than 40 firms participated in ENR California’s and ENR Northwest’s annual Top Specialty Contractors surveys, which rank firms by 2019 regional revenue. The California region includes Hawaii; the Northwest covers Alaska, Oregon and Washington.
San Jose, Calif.-based Rosendin Electric Inc. ranked second on the lists for ENR California and ENR Northwest. For California, the electrical contractor reported 2019 regional revenue of $881.51 million, up 5% from 2018’s $835.43 million. In the Northwest, Rosendin reported 2019 regional revenue of $251.5 million, up 63% from $154.08 million in the prior year.
Michael Holmes, Rosendin vice president of preconstruction, says the firm sees continued strength in the data center market despite the pandemic. “The commercial market has been in a lull, but over the last couple of months, we’re slowly starting to see a rebound,” Holmes says. “A strong emerging market is in biotech—this is one we’re keeping an eye on.”
Apollo Mechanical Contractors, based in Kennewick, Wash., was No. 1 on ENR Northwest’s list, with 2019 regional revenue of $468 million, up 30% from $359.27 million in 2018. Ryan Ratchford, corporate vice president at Apollo, says the firm is seeing an uptick in high-tech and mission-critical projects that never lost momentum over the past year.
“K-12 projects are showing up readily after the passing of bond measures to continue to fund the culture of education that is prevalent in the Northwest,” Ratchford says. “Also, we are excited to see the reemergence of many commercial projects that were postponed or delayed, showing the optimism for getting past the virus in the near future.”
American Technologies Inc., based in Anaheim, Calif., provides restoration, environmental and reconstruction services. ATI reported California 2019 regional revenue of $188.31 million and Northwest 2019 regional revenue of $12.19 million. Jeff Moore, ATI president, says the firm’s portfolio has remained steady with business in the Northwest and California growing “exponentially quicker” than other parts of the country, primarily due to the historic wildfire season.
“We’ve seen a drastic decline in residential construction but a drastic increase in commercial construction, primarily driven by catastrophes, major losses and COVID-19 cleaning opportunities,” says Moore. “Due to the shift in business, revenue is flat, but profits have increased as a result of the commercial business growth.” However, ATI reported a decrease in demand for the commercial sectors most impacted by COVID-19, including hospitality, health care, entertainment and multifamily.
Moore says ATI has a pending contract with a large general contractor in a government-owned health care facility. “We have seen an increase in revenue within the government services sector as there are fewer impacts and concerns on costs relating to the economy and COVID-19,” he says.