Wesfarmers and Woolies among Australia’s top 10 companies

Wesfarmers and Woolies have taken two of the top spots in IBISWorld’s 2018 list of Australia’s Top 1000 companies.

Significantly, given the rapidly evolving retail landscape, online shopping businesses were among the biggest movers.

“The firms on IBISWorld’s 2018 Top 1000 list account for $2.22 trillion in revenue,” IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst James Thomson said. “Over 75 per cent of companies on the list reported higher revenue for the year. Over 70 per cent of industry firms were profitable in 2017-18.”

Top ten companies 2019

While total revenue across the 2018 list has risen, losses have been concentrated among a small number of firms. By contrast, higher commodity prices have boosted revenue for BHP and Rio Tinto.

“Wesfarmers is expected to fall down the list in 2018-19 following the demerger of its supermarket branch, Coles,” Mr Thomson said.

2018 rank Company (balance date) Amount ($m) Change (%)
1 Rio Tinto (12/18)              67,353 8.9
2 Wesfarmers (6/18)              67,166 3.0
3 BHP (6/18)              59,715 19.7
4 Woolworths (6/18)              57,201 3.5
5 Commonwealth Bank of Australia (6/18)              42,334 -4.5
6 Westpac Banking Corporation (9/18)              38,209 1.9
7 ANZ Banking Group (9/18)              35,461 6.4
8 NAB (9/18)              34,139 5.9
9 Telstra (6/18)              29,124 2.7
10 QBE Insurance Group (12/18)              22,885 -8.4

New entrants

New entrants to the list came from a variety of Australian industries. These included clothing retailing, online shopping, sports administrative services, accounting software services, and motor vehicle wholesaling.

“Kogan.com generated significant revenue due to an expanded service offering and growth in Kogan Mobile,” Mr Thomson said.

“Accounting software company Xero generated greater revenue on the back of significant subscriber growth.”

2018 rank Company (balance date) Amount ($m) Change (%)
910 Kogan.com (6/18) 412.62 42.3%
936 Cricket Australia (6/18) 399.27 27.6%
960 Hino Australia (3/18) 389.51 21.5%
969 Xero (3/18)* 386.82 36.7%
997 Noni B (7/18) 373.26 17.8%

Stronger performers

Mr Thomson also singled out two particularly strong performers:

  • Aged-care providers
  • Food product and beverage manufacturers.

Aged-care providers

“Changing demographics and Australia’s ageing population have been a key driver of demand for aged-care services,” Mr Thomson said. “As Australians continue to age, over 70 and over 85-year-olds will both increase as a share of the population, which will further boost demand for aged-care services going forward.”

Food product and beverage manufacturers

“a2 Milk Company benefited from growing sales of a2 Platinum infant formula in Australia and China,” Mr Thomson said. “This has been a result of a rising health consciousness and growing incomes in the Asia region … Bega delivered a strong result driven by an increase in the volume of milk processed.”

Weaker performers

Mr Thomson also singled out two weaker performers:

  • Wholesalers
  • Agricultural producers.

Wholesalers

Rising instances of wholesale bypass continue to affect the wholesale division, Mr Thomson says. In fact, the number of wholesalers represented in the top 1000 in 2018 list fell by 10 per cent over the previous year.

Agricultural producers

Mr Thomson said: “Following the harsh drought conditions, Australia’s crop growing industries recorded significant reductions in production volumes in 2017-18. For example, grain and sugar crop production volumes have been heavily affected … This will negatively affect farmers in these industries.”

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