JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Johnson City’s Crown Laboratories has joined just a handful of companies that have ever appeared nine straight times in the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.
With 498% revenue growth from 2019 through 2021, Crown came in at #1,305 on this year’s list. The Inc. 5,000 list measures revenue growth for companies’ most recent three years.
CEO Jeff Bedard said the skincare company – best known for its Blue Lizard sunscreen brand – had revenues in the $80 million range three years ago and hit $400 million last year. Crown won a large contract to produce hand sanitizer for a major name brand in 2020 when COVID-19 struck, which boosted its revenues that year.
It has also continued growing through the introduction of its own branded products and through mergers and acquisitions.
“When we started with Inc. 5000, it was roughly $40 million in revenue; this year we’ll do close to $400 million, so if you look at it that way we should be on track to continue to grow and be in the award range,” Bedard said.
The honor, which is based purely on companies’ audited financials, remains “surprising every year and very rewarding,” Bedard said. “You can’t fudge your numbers. These are the real things.
“It just goes to show A, the team that we have in place, and B, the runway we have in growing as a global skincare company.”
Crown, which employs more than 350 people in Johnson City, has expanded its reach from just a couple of countries a decade ago to 39 countries today. That international expansion has combined with acquisitions and organic growth in the domestic market to keep the company on a steady growth trajectory.
“The fact that we were able to do it nine years in a row and not fall off at any time when the economy has had some headwinds just speaks to the quality of our products and our sales organization, commercial teams and everybody that is part of Crown,” he said.
He also said many companies on the list each year are much smaller than Crown is now. “There are a couple of companies that are approaching a billion in revenue, but certainly we’re on the higher side,” Bedard said.
Speaking of that figure, Bedard said Crown’s goal is to reach another big revenue milestone by 2026 which would represent another 150% growth over the next four years.
“Our goal, and I’ve said it all along, by 2026, we’d like to be a billion in revenue. So we’ve got basically this year ’22 through ’26 to go from roughly $400 million to $1 billion. We think we’ve got both an organic and M and A (merger/acquisition) opportunity to bring us to that number so we feel really good about that growth trajectory and I think we’ll accomplish it.”
Crown Labs was the only Northeast Tennessee company featured on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list.