Tough 2008 Shows on List of State's Largest Private Companies

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, May. 25, 2009 12:00 am  

CDI would not rank nearly so highly this year, even if it were on the list. Dillard's annual report, issued on April 1, revealed that CDI had net sales of almost $88 million to external customers in the five months it was owned by Dillard's in fiscal 2008. It also had revenue of $19.1 million for work done on Dillard's retail properties during that period.

Dillard's slashed capital expenditures in 2008 by almost $200 million, "mainly as a result of the construction of fewer stores," the report says. That decrease in capital expenditures presumably had a dramatic impact on CDI's 2008 revenue and on any comparison between 2007 and 2008.

Also sold off the list was American Management Corp. of Conway, a $100 million-plus insurance agency that was sold to First Mercury Financial Corp. of Southfield, Mich., in February 2008.

Peterson Farms Inc. of Decatur, which was No. 62 on last year's list with estimated 2007 revenue of $128 million, is also missing from the list. Its integrated broiler operations were sold last June to Simmons Foods Inc. of Siloam Springs, which subsequently moved from No. 12 to No. 10 on the list with an increase of almost 20 percent in its 2008 revenue.

Two companies are making their final appearances on the list: Affiliated Foods Southwest Inc., which is ranked No. 12 based on $730 million in revenue during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008. On May 5, Affiliated filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and began liquidating assets.

Continental Express remains on the list - at No. 74, with estimated revenue of $90 million last year - by virtue of being Arkansas-owned until December 2008, when its assets were sold to Celadon Group Inc. of Indianapolis

ERC Properties Inc. of Barling and its Fort Smith neighbor, Riverside Furniture Corp., dropped off the list as revenue lagged. Rod Coleman, CEO of ERC, did not reveal 2008 revenue but said the property developer and manager had "cut our revenue and staff down to a minimum."

Riverside, which was No. 73 last year with $99.5 million in 2007 revenue, did not respond to this year's survey but has announced the layoff of more than 300 workers since January.



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