20160608_BIZ_FORTUNEp01

Lenard Norris of Goochland County-based Performance Food Group makes a morning delivery to Bottoms Up Pizza in Richmond in 2016.

With eight Fortune 500 companies — including two additions to the 2016 list — the Richmond area outranks several cities with significantly greater populations.

Markel, a specialty and small-business insurer, and Performance Food Group, a food service distributor, joined six other Richmond-area companies that have been among the top 500 for seven consecutive years.

Richmond-area business leaders believe the addition of the two companies will increase the region’s competitive edge at the national level. The list, released Monday and published since 1955, ranks American companies by revenue for their respective fiscal years.

“Both Markel and Performance Food Group are excellent adds for us,” said Barry Matherly, president and CEO at the Greater Richmond Partnership, an economic development group that represents Richmond and Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties.

“I think the Fortune 500 list is seen as one indicator of an economy’s strength, and to have eight Fortune 500s now on that list says a lot about the strength of our region.”

Matherly said adding Markel and Performance Food Group will serve as great marketing tools for the region. He also said it is notable for a midsize city like Richmond to have eight companies on the list. By comparison, Virginia as a whole has 21 Fortune 500 companies.

This is Markel’s first appearance on the list and Performance Food Group’s eighth.

Henrico-based Markel was ranked No. 476 with a revenue of $5.4 billion, up 4.6 percent from last year.

Goochland County-based Performance Food Group rejoined the list when it went public again last fall after being privately held since May 2008.

It was ranked No. 185 with revenue of $15.3 billion, up 11.6 percent from last year.

Four of the other six Richmond-area companies — excluding Genworth Financial and Dominion Resources — moved up on the list.

Those six companies are:

  • Tobacco powerhouse Altria Group (Henrico), which ranked 149, up from 169 last year.
  • Energy giant Dominion Resources (Richmond) stayed at 243.
  • Used-car retailer CarMax (Goochland), 191, up from 232.
  • Insurer Genworth Financial (Henrico), 306, down from 304.
  • Medical products supplier Owens & Minor (Hanover), 291, up from 309.
  • Richmond-based WestRock, formed by the merger of Richmond’s MeadWestvaco and Georgia’s RockTenn in July, came in at No. 251 after MeadWestvaco was No. 464 on the list in 2015.

Genworth Financial and Dominion Resources saw decreases in revenue. Genworth fell 3.3 percent to $9.2 billion, and Dominion fell 6.1 percent to $11.7 billion.

Altria, Dominion and Owens & Minor are tied for the most all-time appearances among the Richmond-area companies at 22.

Kim Scheeler, CEO of ChamberRVA — the new name for the greater Richmond chamber — also said the additions of Markel and Performance Food Group will enhance the region.

“I’m thrilled to see two such important companies in our region move into the Fortune 500 ranks,” he said. “The number of Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered here speaks volumes about the quality of our region.”

The Richmond region has as many or more Fortune 500 companies than San Diego (4), Philadelphia (5), San Antonio (7) and Phoenix (8), all of which have significantly greater city populations.

McLean-based mortgage finance company Freddie Mac remained the highest-ranked company in Virginia at 42.

Walmart, located in Bentonville, Ark., kept its spot at the top of the list, followed by ExxonMobil in Irving, Texas; Apple in Cupertino, Calif.; Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha, Neb.; and McKesson in San Francisco.

Beyond the Fortune 500, the same Richmond-area firms made a repeat appearance in the top 1,000 from last year: security and protection company Brink’s, 714; tobacco company Universal Corp., 902; and chemical manufacturer NewMarket Corp., 934.

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