Sep 23 2020
IBISWorld, Australia’s largest industry research company, has named the Top 500 private companies for 2019-20. Published in the Australian Financial Review, the list provides a glimpse into the changing dynamics of the Australian economy and its effect on each industry. According to IBISWorld, the Top 500 Private Companies generated $246.6 billion in revenue in 2019-20, an increase of 5.4% from 2018-19.
Close to 62% of the companies on the list recorded revenue growth for the year, down from 78.2% in 2018-19. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly disrupted economic activity in the final quarter of 2019-20, weighed on the performance of many companies on the Top 500. Thirty new companies entered the Top 500 list in 2019-20, highlighting the ongoing disruption of industries by new entrants.
Best performing companies
ASI Solutions posted the largest revenue growth over the past year, with a stunning 73.9% increase launching it into the Top 500 for the first time. The company operates in the Computer System Design Services industry, which increased revenue by 3.9% in 2019-20. ASI Solutions has 115 employees. ASI finalised two major acquisitions during the year, Forward IT and BEarena.
‘Forward IT is one of the major providers of ICT services to the Federal Government, winning $7.5 million in contracts in 2018-19. ASI’s acquisition in October 2019 is likely to enhance the company’s ability to secure lucrative work in Canberra. The BEarena acquisition has expanded ASI’s presence in New Zealand, with the company operating offices in both Auckland and Wellington,’ said IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst Jason Aravanis.
Administrative service provider, Probe Group recorded significant revenue growth in 2019-20, growing by 66.2%. Joss Group, a diversified building construction and facility management service provider, also grew by 61.3%. Both companies are previous members of the list, with Probe Group surging by 121 spots to reach 212, and Joss Group surging by 95 spots to reach 140.
‘Probe Group acquired two companies in 2019-20, MicroSourcing and Beepo, which are set to expand its operations in the Philippines. Joss Group has benefited from larger contracts in the Commercial Cleaning Services industry, with minimal disruption from COVID-19. The company exhibited an increase in revenue due to additional maintenance contracts, as well as a $20 million increase in cleaning work as a result of the pandemic,’, said Mr Aravanis.
Vaughan Constructions operates in the Commercial and Industrial Building Construction industry, and has reported a surge in revenue in 2019-20. Vaughan employs 125 staff and has been engaged in the development of projects for Woolworths, DHL, Kaufland, and other major enterprises. In February 2020, Vaughan appointed Deloitte to identify new capital partners to underpin the expansion of its $700 million construction and development portfolio.
New Aim has continued to move up the Top 500, as its online retail business shows no sign of slowing. New Aim is a diversified retailer providing everything from mattresses to children’s toys, primarily through virtual storefronts on eBay and Catch. Revenue across the Online Shopping industry grew by 11.1% in 2019-20, to total $29.4 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a surge in online retail, due to consumers increasingly shifting shopping activity online, including for necessities such as groceries.
Worst performing companies
Just Cuts posted the largest revenue decline in the 2020 Top 500 Private Companies list. The performance of Just Cuts is indicative of the overall Hairdressing and Beauty Services industry, which experienced a revenue contraction of 14.4% in 2019-20. Just Cuts was required to close all of its salons during the month of April, which significantly reduced turnover for the year. To remain viable during the COVID-19 pandemic, Just Cuts has had to introduce new safety precautions, including spaced-out work stations, face masks, patronage limits and regular hand sanitization.
‘Just Cuts, like many hairdressing and beauty service providers, has been particularly threatened by the COVID-19 outbreak due to the inherent close proximity between clients and employees. Ongoing restrictions in Victoria continue to hinder the Hairdressing and Beauty Services industry,’ said Mr Aravanis.
Another company that saw a significant revenue decline was cleaning service provider Menzies Group. Menzies Group was hindered by the loss of a major contract during the year, leading it to fall 110 spots down the Top 500 list, to rank 391. The Commercial Cleaning Services industry posted a revenue decline of 7.4% in 2019-20.
‘The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on demand for commercial cleaning in 2019-20, as many major clients shuttered their offices during the transition to working from home. However, essential services such as supermarkets, food and hospitals and other medical services, have greatly increased demand for cleaning services,’ said Mr Aravanis.
Forever New has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, exhibiting a 23.8% decline in revenue in 2019-20, as well as a 12.1% decline in employment. The Clothing Retailing industry exhibited a revenue decline of 8.5% in 2019-20, and an 8.8% decline in employment.
‘Forever New was particularly hard hit due to the end-use of its products, which primarily lean toward event-wear and work-wear. Demand for these products plummeted in the wake of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions,’ said Mr Aravanis.
Eric Insurance posted a 23.4% decline in revenue and a 14.5% decrease in employment in 2019-20. This aligns with the struggling General Insurance industry, which exhibited a revenue contraction of 1.9% in 2019-20.
AI Topper (469), which derives revenue from selling processed hides, recorded a revenue fall of 22.6% in 2019-20, following a 21% decline in 2018-19. This decline was due to a combination of falling demand for their products in export markets, along with a drop in prices received. Revenue for the wider Leather and Leather Substitute Product Manufacturing industry decreased by 0.9% in 2019-20.
IBISWorld reports used to develop this release:
- Computer System Design Services in Australia
- Commercial and Industrial Building Construction in Australia
- Online Shopping in Australia
- Hairdressing and Beauty Services in Australia
- Commercial Cleaning Services in Australia
- Clothing Retailing in Australia
- General Insurance in Australia
- Leather and Leather Substitute Product Manufacturing in Australia
For more information, to obtain industry reports, or arrange an interview with an analyst, please contact:
Strategic Media Advisor – IBISWorld Pty Ltd
Tel: 03 9906 3647