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IBISWorld Releases Top 100 Manufacturers List

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by James Caldwell
Mar 18 2020

Business analysts at industry research company, IBISWorld, have revealed the list of Australia’s Top 100 manufacturers for 2019. The list provides a thorough overview of Australia’s manufacturing landscape, highlighting the largest firms, growing and declining sectors, and new businesses to watch in 2020 and beyond.

‘Australia’s largest manufacturers have performed strongly over the past 12 months, with growth in revenue for these companies outstripping results of recent years. The depreciation of the Australian dollar has supported a rise in exports, while strong population growth has boosted demand for manufactured products domestically,’ said IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst, James Caldwell.

‘Additionally, Australia’s manufacturers have attempted to carve out a competitive advantage over overseas competitors, by focusing more on producing highly specialised and premium products’.

Top 10 Manufacturers for 2019


Advanced Manufacturing

This strong growth in revenue for Australia’s largest manufacturers is largely a result of Australia’s increasing focus on highly advanced manufacturing. Australian manufacturers have come under immense pressure from Asian economies with low manufacturing costs over the past 25 years, which led to many analysts declaring the sector to be in terminal decline. Manufacturers in nearby Asian economies hold a significant competitive advantage over their domestic rivals, in terms of substantially lower labour costs.

However, in 2017 the Federal Government announced a $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund, aimed at supporting the development of Australia’s high-tech manufacturing sector. The benefits of this investment are starting to be realised, with the focus on high-tech manufacturing giving Australian manufacturers a key competitive advantage over manufacturers in nearby Asian economies.

‘Australian manufacturers are increasingly able to produce highly specialised products across a range of industries, more competitively than foreign manufacturers,’ said Mr Caldwell.

This growing specialisation is evident across a range of manufacturing industries, from medical product manufacturing to paper product manufacturing. For example, companies like Visy and Paper Australia are experiencing strong revenue growth despite the wider decline of the Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Manufacturing industry. These companies have placed increased focus on producing premium and recycled paper products to support their revenue growth, as they have become uncompetitive in generic paper product manufacturing.

Petroleum Refiners

Another source of strong revenue growth for Australia’s manufacturers has been the performance of Australia’s petroleum producers and refiners. Operators in the Petroleum and Coal Product Manufacturing industry have performed strongly over the past year, despite the expected decline in the world price of crude oil over the period. Of Australia’s 10 largest manufacturers, four are petroleum refiners.

‘Caltex, BP Australia, ExxonMobil and Viva Energy Group have generated strong revenue growth, despite operating in a highly volatile market,’ said Mr Caldwell.

This revenue growth is largely attributable to these companies’ successful investment in operating efficiencies, strong domestic demand and global political instability. Political unrest in the Middle East over the past year has boosted demand for Australian produced petroleum products, contributing to rising revenue for these companies.

Food and Beverage Manufacturers

Australia enjoys a global reputation as a producer of high quality food and beverage products. Australia’s clean environment and stringent food safety regulations, have contributed to increased overseas demand for Australian food and beverage products. This trend has led to revenue growth for the country’s largest food and beverage manufacturers.

‘As Asian economies such as China have industrialised, their populations are increasingly seeking more western food and beverage products, further contributing to increased revenue for Australian manufacturers,’ said Mr Caldwell.

These trends have enormously benefitted operators in the Food Product Manufacturing industry, the Wine Production industry and the Butter and Dairy Product Manufacturing industry. Over the past year, Saputo Dairy Australia has capitalised on the trend of increased overseas demand to grow its revenue by over 220%. This result is indicative of the strong demand for Australian produced food and beverage products in overseas markets.

Future Trends

Australia’s largest manufacturers are expected to perform increasingly well over the next five years, as their focus on the production of highly specialised and high-tech products pays off. Australian companies have managed to develop a key point of competition between themselves and low-cost competitors in neighbouring Asian economies. Continued investment in automation and productivity-enhancing technology is anticipated to enhance this key point of differentiation.

Download the Top 100 Manufacturers List

IBISWorld reports used to develop this release:

For more information, to obtain industry reports, or arrange an interview with an analyst, please contact:
Jason Aravanis
Strategic Media Advisor – IBISWorld Pty Ltd
Tel: 03 9906 3647
Email: mediarelations@ibisworld.com