Costco repeats as capital's top revenue-generating company

Costco store
Costco Canada is once again the largest Ottawa-based company by revenue, according to the latest FP500 list. File photo

A big-box retail behemoth has once again topped all Ottawa-based companies on a list of Canada’s largest corporations by revenue, while the city’s largest software firm continues to climb the rankings.

Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd., which is headquartered in Nepean, was the top Ottawa-based firm on the 2022 edition of the FP500, a ranking of the country’s largest companies by revenue published recently by the Financial Post Magazine. The annual list includes publicly traded firms, private companies, Crown corporations and subsidiaries of foreign corporations. 

Costco’s Canadian subsidiary, which also led all Ottawa-based firms last year, posted revenues of $34.6 billion (all figures in Canadian dollars) in 2021, up 14.7 per cent from a year earlier. The membership-based retailer fell two spots to No. 15 in the new rankings, 14 positions behind overall leader Brookfield Asset Management of Toronto, which recorded revenues of $104.5 billion.

This year’s list includes 15 companies based in the National Capital Region. Not surprisingly for a town where the government is king, nearly half of those organizations – seven – are Crown corporations.

Last year’s biggest locally based revenue gainer, e-commerce powerhouse Shopify, lost that title to the Royal Canadian Mint, which saw its revenues soar 73.9 per cent to $2.5 billion – good for No. 174 on the list, up from No. 251 the previous year.

The Ottawa-headquartered software firm – which also saw its reign as Canada’s most valuable publicly traded company end in early January when it was surpassed by previous title-holder RBC – still had a 2021 most companies could only envy, posting revenues of $5.78 billion, up 47 per cent year-over-year.

Other local firms that posted impressive growth in 2021 included Gatineau-based Converge Technology Solutions, whose revenues jumped 61 per cent to $1.53 billion, and Smiths Falls-based cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp., which moved up 59 spots to No. 440 in the rankings with revenues of $546.6 million, a year-over-year gain of 37 per cent.

The pot powerhouse, which announced earlier this year it planned to lay off more than 200 workers in a bid to rein in costs, also finished second on FP’s list of the year’s biggest money-losers after posting a whopping $1.7-billion loss in fiscal 2021. 

Only Air Canada – which racked up losses of $3.6 billion as COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc with the airline industry – finished the year deeper in the red.

Here is the complete list of local companies in the latest FP500, along with their overall ranking and 2021 revenues:

15. Costco Canada ($34.6 billion, up 14.7%)
56. Canada Post ($9.3 billion, up 4.7%)
63. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. ($8.0 billion, down 0.7%)
91. Shopify ($5.8 billion, up 47.2%)
144. Bank of Canada ($3.4 billion, up 47.9%)
174. Royal Canadian Mint ($2.5 billion, up 73.9%)
213. Export Development Canada ($1.9 billion, down 16.8%)
249. Converge Technology Solutions ($1.5 billion, up 61%)
271. Hydro Ottawa ($1.3 billion, up 8%)
352. Nav Canada ($870 million, down 13%)
361. Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. ($829.1 million, up 10%)
377. Telesat ($758.2 million, down 7.6%)
440. Canopy Growth ($546.6 million, up 37.1%)
451. Calian Group ($518.4 million, up 19.9%)
457. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. ($503.9 million, down 0.1%)