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CALIFORNIA

State Leads U.S. in Large Latino Firms

Economy: 113 companies were second in earnings to Florida's businesses, with $2.2 billion in revenue.

June 06, 1997|VICKI TORRES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

More than one-fifth of the United States' 500 biggest Latino-owned companies are based in California, more than any other state, Hispanic Business magazine reported Thursday.

But the 113 companies were second in earnings to Florida's firms, with $2.2 billion in revenue, compared with $5 billion for Florida's 110 companies.

The results, similar to years past, reflect the fact that California's Latino population has a higher percentage of new immigrants. Florida's largely Cuban immigrant population, by contrast, is more established, wealthier and more educated.

The 500 companies had combined revenue of $16.3 billion, a 16.3% increase over 1995's 500 list.

This increase came despite anti-affirmative action sentiment nationwide that changed the picture for some of the 500 companies. About 71% of them claim official minority vendor status. Their federal contracting revenue fell 7.7%, and their municipal contracts declined by 23.9%. State contracting increased by 12%, however.

Seventy-one companies had revenue exceeding $50 million, but only seven of them are California companies. They included TELACU Industries Inc., a 29-year-old economic development and financial services company in Los Angeles, which reported revenue of $100 million.

Most of the revenue growth came from companies in the telecommunications, automotive and banking and investment industries.

The shrinking defense budget knocked some companies off the list. For example, Santa Ana-based Infotec Development, 24th on the list last year, fell off after merging with Pacer Systems Inc., a British company.

The third state on the list was Texas, with 68 companies and $1.7 billion in earnings, followed by New Mexico's 23 companies with $411 million and New York's 20 companies with $803 million.

Virginia ranked sixth with 20 companies earning $442 million, followed by Colorado's 18 companies with $1.06 billion, Illinois with 17 companies and $207 million in revenue and Michigan's 14 companies with $1.15 billion.

The largest company was Burt Automotive Network, based in Englewood, Colo., a 58-year-old automotive sales and service company with 849 employees.

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