By Morgan Legel
Guam Business Magazine presents the Deloitte & Touche ASC Trust list of Top Companies conducting business in Micronesia — including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia — for the 29th year. Companies with more than $1 million in revenues were invited to participate in the annual poll, with 30 companies accepting the invites and sharing their successes and with Guam Business.
A major part of the Top Companies feature — other than proudly presenting successful businesses in Micronesia — is the option for these companies to fill out an online, anonymous economic confidence survey. The results the forward-facing survey gathered depict a snapshot of all 30 companies, bottom lines and finances, staffing trends and expectations for 2022 in comparison to this year.
“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we all knew that the next couple of years would be difficult,” says one executive. “Decisions had to be made and many things considered. Now, 18 months later, I can say that business is not as bad as we had expected it to be.”
While this year’s numbers differ from previous years, with businesses having done the first full year with COVID-19 in the mix, unexpectedly, 50% of top executives indicated their companies had experienced revenue growth from the previous year. However, 30% of executive indicated business had been “about the same” as 2021.
With renewed certainty, 100% of the executives said that 2022 would be a better year, with their bottom lines staying the same or increasing.
“It is difficult to forecast what will be happening next year,” another executive says. “Hopefully, will be better than 2021.”
Even so, many businesses struggled this year, taking advantage of federal and local pandemic assistance loans.
“Federal Government funding into Guam has been the big difference for us,” says one executive. “Thank you, Uncle Sam.”
Some 55% of companies took advantage of this opportunity, with 40% leaning on federal loans and 15% on local government loans; 80% of the companies did say that they relied on their own financials to get through the year, though.
Moving towards the future, all the company executives remained positive for the years to come.
Some 30% of companies expect to delve into new lines and industry in the coming times. Another 30% plan to expand farther, but within the limits of their industry. The other 40% of companies plan to bite into the business they already have, retaining and growing.
When it comes to travel, executives have mixed intentions, either on one side or the other. 85% said 2022 would bring more travel than 2019, while 15% said there would be less.
Overall, the majority of executives agreed that while business had continued throughout the pandemic, it wasn’t always easy.
“2020 and 2021 have been difficult for all,” one executive says. “We have had to adapt to new ways of business and deal with upset customers because of these changes.
“Looking back, almost all changes made are for the better — improved and more automated operations have resulted in more efficient and lean operations all helping maintain decent operating profits.”
One executive says it’s all about the employees that have remained faithful throughout the last few years.
“Local and federal support have made this possible but most important has been the dedication, energy and all-round positive attitudes of our employees and their desire to do what is right and good for the communities we serve.”
Read on to see the full rankings of top companies in the region, responses from company leaders on what they learned from the Coronavirus pandemic, and economic assessments by Joe M. Arnett of Deloitte & Touche LLP and David J. John of ASC Trust LLC.
Guam Business looks forward to again welcoming companies on the list next year from all industries.
|Survey answers for Guam Business Magazine’s Top Companies in Micronesia 2021|
|Compared to last year, my company’s bottom line is…|
|About the same||30%|
|One year from now, I expect my company’s bottom line to be…|
|About the same||20%|