Florida's Biggest Companies
Florida-based national brands
Many Florida-based companies market their goods and services — or maintain operations — throughout the U. S. and across the world. Few, however, establish brands instantly recognizable to big chunks of the population. On the following pages, FLORIDA TREND highlights companies with true national — and in some cases international — name identity.
Manufacturers & Distributors
Revenue: $2.7 billion, Public No. 30
The storage container company still sells most of its products via independent distributors, but today only 14% of its sales are in North America.
Revenue: $1.2 billion, Private No. 37
Founded in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1905 and now headquartered in Sarasota, the fi rm’s meats and cheeses are familiar to anyone who’s shopped at a deli counter.
Revenue: $2.1 billion, Public No. 36
The soda manufacturer’s name isn’t well known, but if you’ve ever bought one of Publix’s or Walmart’s store brands, you’re a Cott consumer.
Revenue: $5.9 billion, Public No. 17
The economic recovery hasn’t been a bonanza for home builders so far, but analysts say Lennar is stronger than most, with innovations including a “next gen” home designed to appeal to families who have long-term guests, young adults still living at home or parents who have moved in. The home includes a complete suite with bedroom, kitchenette and living room.
Revenue: $5.5 billion, Private No. 9
The Fanjuls’ empire, the world’s largest sugar refi ner, sells products under the Domino, C&H, Florida Crystals, Redpath, Jack Frost and Tate & Lyle brands.
Revenue: $150 million, Private No. 187
The company’s insulated drinkware is manufactured in the U.S., in Venice.
Revenue: $237.6 million, Private No. 141
The company’s snuff and cigar lines include the iconic Swisher Sweets brand, which has been around since 1958.
Revenue: $5.1 billion, Public No. 18
The company doesn’t sell brands familiar to consumers, but the U.S. Defense Department and a host of commercial businesses are customers for its communications technologies.
Revenue: $1.3 billion, Public No. 46
Makeup, skin care and fragrances
Revenue: $7.4 billion, Public No. 14
The company markets more than 100 well-known consumer brands, including Ball jars, Oster appliances, Bicycle playing cards, First Alert home safety products and Yankee Candle products.
Perry Ellis International
Revenue: $912.2 million, Public No. 57
In addition to the Perry Ellis brand, the apparel designer, distributor and licensor, based in Miami, also markets brands including Jantzen, C&C California, Cubavera, Original Penguin and Savane.
Fresh Del Monte Produce
Revenue: $3.7 billion, Public No. 23
The Coral Gables company’s fresh and prepared fruits, vegetables, snacks and desserts are marketed worldwide. It was spun off from Del Monte Foods in 1989 and licenses the name.
Revenue: $34.4 million, Public No. 117
In 2013, Singing Machine sold $34.4 million in karaoke equipment, musical equipment and accessories.
Revenue: $29.1 billion, Private No. 2
About 75% of the iconic Florida brand’s stores are still in Florida, but the chain also operates in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina and South Carolina.
Revenue: $17.5 billion, Public No. 4
Founded by Wayne Huizenga, the company, based in Fort Lauderdale, is the nation’s biggest car dealer
Revenue: $11.2 billion, Public No. 8
Digesting its acquisition of OffceMax, the company has announced plans to close 400 stores, a move welcomed by the stock market.
Revenue: $3.3 billion, Public No. 26
The Boca Raton-based home security frm operates in the U.S. and 34 other countries.
Rooms to Go
Revenue: $1.8 billion, Private No. 20
The furniture chain has used celebrity lines from Cindy Crawford and Sofa Vergara to boost its profle. It operates nearly 150 stores throughout the South and in Puerto Rico.
Revenue: $3.4 billion, Public No. 25
The retailer sells online, on TV, in stores and through catalogs. It’s based in St. Petersburg.
Revenue: $2.6 billion, Public No. 32
The women’s clothing retailer is based in Fort Myers. It announced recently it will expand into Canada, with three stores in Toronto.
Revenue: $1.3 billion, Public No. 48
The discount designer clothing store, based in Jacksonville, has been expanding recently. It operates in 29 states, most in the Southeast and Texas
Revenue: $4.6 billion, Public No. 19
The financial services firm has more than 6,200 advisers managing more than $462 billion in client assets. The firm is a supporter of the arts and maintains a museum-quality collection at its St. Petersburg headquarters.
Entertainment & Tourism
Revenue: $612.6 million, Public No. 62
Revenue: $3.0 billion, Private No. 10
NASCAR, owned and operated by the France family, sanctions and governs races. International Speedway, run by the France family, owns and operates 13 racetracks. International Speedway is spending $400 million to renovate Daytona International Speedway and will also build a multimillion-dollar retail complex on 180 acres adjacent to the track.
Planet Hollywood International
Revenue: $281 million Private No. 129
The Orlando-based chain operates restaurants stores and a resort casino.
Revenue: $15.5 billion, Public No. 5
Carnival owns 101 cruise liners under the brands Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn in North America; and AIDA Cruises, Costa, Cunard, Ibero Cruises and P&O Cruises in Europe, Australia and Asia. It also owns and operates 11 hotels or lodges and approximately 300 motorcoaches and 20 glass-domed railcars.
Revenue: $1.5 billion, Public No. 44
SeaWorld operates 11 theme parks in the U.S.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
Revenue: $8.0 billion, Public No. 13
Royal Caribbean owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises, CDF Croisieres de France and TUI Cruises. The company is fighting efforts by soccer star David Beckham to build a 25,000-seat waterfront soccer stadium at the southwest corner of PortMiami. The site — one of four possible locations for the new stadium — is Beckham's t op choice, but the cruise giant and an array of other shipping interests say that building the stadium at that location would harm the city's plans to capitalize on the expansion of the Panama Canal. According to the Miami Herald, Royal Caribbean has also cited traffic concerns and its own plans to develop the land that Beckham and his investors want to lease.
Transportation & Logistics
Revenue: $10.8 billion, Public No. 9
The newest arrival on Florida's corporate scene enters TREND'S Top 350 as one of the state's top 10 publicly traded companies. The car rental company, which acquired the Dollar Thrifty car rental group in 2012, is building a $50-million headquarters complex in Estero, near Fort Myers, and will relocate 700 jobs.
Revenue: $12.0 billion, Public No. 7
The railroadhas capitalized on the oil boom in Canada and the upper Midwest, becoming the East Coast leader in transporting crude oil to refineries along the Gulf Coast.
Revenue: $6.4 billion, Public No. 15
The company, most familiar for its truck feet, helps companies managing everything from the acquisition of raw materials to the delivery of finished products.
Revenue: $1.7 billion, Public No. 40
Spirit Airlines, the low-cost carrier based out of Miramar, continues to successfully market a travel proposition for travelers willing to trade creature comforts for cheap fares. The carrier is the most profitable U.S. airline in terms of operating margin (16. 2%) and return on capital (26%), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Spirit generated three times more complaints than any other airline last year, according to a report issued by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. The airline responds that its complaint rate amounts to about 10 unhappy passengers per 100,000 transported.
Revenue: $4.1 billion, Public No. 21
Tampa-based Bloomin' owns and operates 1,500 restaurants in 48 states and 21 countries. Its brands include Outback Steakhouse, Carrabbas Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar and Roy's. The company in March announced it planned to sell 18 million shares for $24.50 in a secondary offering.
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants
Revenue: $721.3 million, Private No. 57
The Tampa fast-food chain went private in 2006. Checkers, founded in Mobile, Ala., in 1986, merged with Rally's, formerly owned by CKE Restaurants, in 1999. There are 782 Checkers and Rally's in the U.S. The company was purchased by private equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners in March.
Revenue: $8.6 billion, Public No. 12
Orlando-based Darden Restaurants sold its 705-restaurant Red Lobster chain for $2.1 billion in May over the objections of some shareholders. Starboard Value, a hedge fund investor group that owns more than 5% of Darden stock, had suggested splitting the company into thirds by spinning off Red Lobster and Olive Garden, both underperforming, into a separate company, lumping fast-growing concepts like Capital Grille and Yard House together as a separate division and converting the company into a real estate investment trust. A Teamsters fund and a pension fund have also sued Darden over recent changes the company made to its bylaws. The company also owns LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V's Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille.
Revenue: $1.1 billion, Public No. 52
The Miami-based hamburger chain, majority-owned by private equity fund 3G Capital, operates 7,384 franchise restaurants and 52 company restaurants in the U.S. and Canada; 3,450 franchise restaurants in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; 1,550 franchise restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean; and 1,231 franchise restaurants in the Asia Pacific. It also franchises and operates restaurants under the Hungry Jack's brand in Australia.
Ruth's Hospitality Group
Revenue: $406.6 million, Public No. 71
The Winter Park-based company owns, operates and franchises Ruth's Chris Steak House, Mitchell's Fish Market, Mitchell's Steakhouse and Cameron's Steakhouse. The company reported a first-quarter profit of $8.9 million on revenue of $109.7 million
Revenue: $364.4 million, Private No. 107
The Miami-based company was founded by Rocky Aoki in 1964. It owns 64 teppanyaki restaurants and the 25-location Ra sushi chain. The company also has a majority stake in the sevenrestaurant Haru chain in New York and Boston. Earlier this year, the company named former Bloomin' Brands executive Steve Shlemon president and CEO.