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IBISWorld reveals Australia’s Top 1000 Companies for 2019

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by IBISWorld
Mar 30 2020

Business analysts at industry research company, IBISWorld, have revealed the list of Australia’s Top 1000 companies for 2019. The list provides a thorough overview of Australia’s corporate landscape, highlighting the largest firms, growing and declining sectors, and new businesses to watch in 2020 and beyond.

The firms on IBISWorld’s 2019 Top 1000 list account for $2.34 trillion in revenue. Over 75% of companies on the list reported higher revenue for the year, while over 70% of industry firms were profitable in 2018-19.

Top 10 Companies 2019

Across the Top 10, only three companies grew or fell by more than 5.0%. For example, Rio Tinto’s revenue declined by 7.6% in 2019. Glencore, which made the largest revenue gain among the group, completed multiple acquisitions and invested large capital into its joint operations. Similarly, Woolworths entered into numerous partnerships over the last financial year. Notably, Coles’ demerger from Wesfarmers and listing on the ASX allowed the company to place within the top rankers on this year’s list. On the other hand, Wesfarmers, which ranked second last year, fell to tenth place this year. Overall, apart from Coles replacing QBE Insurance Group and Glencore replacing Telstra, this year’s Top 10 companies are the same from last year’s list. 

Five Newcomers

Several firms have debuted on the 2019 Top 1000 list from a range of industries, notably the Insurance and Superannuation Funds and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction industries. Multiple firms from the construction services sector have also made their debut on this year’s list.

Hollard Insurance Company’s revenue growth was predominately based around their business lines and portfolios, while Winslow Constructors’ large revenue increase is attributed to their $1.8 billion contract with the Victorian Government. Decmil’s increase was credited to numerous large contracts attained during 2019, while SRG Global entered into a merger with Global Construction Services Limited, which subsequently expanded both companies’ revenue streams. Cedar Woods increased its product settlements and completed a higher proportion of apartment and townhouse constructions, which were valued more than their land lots in prior years and were the backbone behind the company’s growth.

Strong Performers

Food Product and Beverage Manufacturers

Rising household disposable income has contributed to the growing demand for food products and beverages and boosted industry revenue. For example, operators such as Saputo Dairy and The a2 Milk Company have reported relatively strong growth in 2018-19.

Saputo Dairy reported a 220.8% increase in revenue in 2018-19. Saputo’s acquisition of well-established industry player Murray Goulburn, which included the Devondale, Liddells, and Murray Goulburn Ingredients brands, strengthened its position in the Australian market, and also supported its performance in 2019.

The A2 Milk Company’s revenue growth was driven by share gains in China and Australia together with a 161% growth in US milk revenue. Health-conscious consumers are becoming more aware of food safety and product origins. Coupled with rising disposable incomes, there has been an increased demand for high-quality health and wellness products, particularly in Asia.

Medical and Other Healthcare Services Providers

Most operators in the Medical and Other Healthcare Services sector enjoyed a positive change in revenue.


Australia’s ageing population together with rising private health insurance coverage has generated high demand for medical and health services over the past five years. Individuals aged 65 and older use healthcare services more often than younger people and appear to have greater coverage of private health insurance. Additionally, the Federal Government boosted Medicare funding by $6 billion to $25 billion in 2018-19. All of these factors have strengthened demand for most health services and benefited industry operators.

In particular, newcomer I-MED Network has outperformed the wider industry with strong revenue growth of 193.3% in 2018-19, driven by the purchase of Insight Clinical Imaging in 2017-18. This acquisition expanded the group’s market presence in Western Australia.

Sonic Healthcare also reported positive revenue growth of 11.6% to $6.2 billion in 2018-19. Sonic’s growth was largely attributed to a number of acquisitions in the past year. One of the most significant purchases was the acquisition of Aurora Diagnostics in January 2019; the company is the leading anatomical pathology provider in the United States. Sonic also acquired Pathologie Trier in July 2018 and further expanded its operations in Germany. Following these acquisitions, Sonic enhanced its presence in the anatomical pathology markets in the United States and Germany.

Weaker performers

Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction Providers

The Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction industry has been negatively impacted by reduced capital expenditure on mineral and energy developments over the past five years, with several firms experiencing significant revenue declines in 2018-19.

Civmec’s revenue fell by 30.6% to $493.2 million in 2018-19. The company’s poor performance was because many significant construction projects, which were reaching completion, had incurred existing and forecast cost overruns. However, revenue is expected to recover and increase as the company expects to finalise projects within budget and time constraints in 2019-20.

Clough Group also reported poor results, with revenue declining by 23.5% in 2018-19. This result was due to delayed starts of many major construction projects in Australia and weak market conditions in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts Wholesaling

Falling consumer demand for new cars and rising retail fuel costs negatively affected revenue for the Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle New Parts Wholesaling industries in 2018-19. Particularly, Jaguar Land Rover Australia and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia (FCA Australia) reported relatively poor performance for the year.

Jaguar Land Rover Australia generated $859.5 million in revenue over 2018-19, a decrease of 25.1% from the previous year. Jaguar Land Rover’s disappointing results were adversely impacted by market uncertainty and declining production volume, leading to slowing sales of motor vehicles.

FCA Australia also reported a revenue decline of 7.1% in 2018-19, to $599.4 million. The company’s revenue decline was mainly due to falling consumer demand for industry products.  

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak is expected to threaten industry performance in 2019-20 with slow sales, suspended production and factory closures. The Federal Government’s social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 is expected to negatively impact industry operators as customers will be less likely to visit showrooms.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impacts

Tertiary education providers experienced moderate growth in 2019. Monash University overtook University of Melbourne on the Top 1000 list, posting 13.6% revenue growth, while RMIT reported 10.2% growth. High international student enrolment numbers have supported revenue growth at both these tertiary institutions, with Monash and RMIT reporting 21.0% and 18.0% revenue growth respectively from international students. COVID-19 will heavily impact universities as the government’s travel bans negatively affect international enrolment rates. To mitigate this issue and contain the spread of COVID-19 among its students, universities are improving their online learning capabilities.

Basic Materials Wholesalers are also expected to face pressure during the COVID-19 outbreak. Downturns in international trade will significantly impact the subdivision, with over 50% of the market coming from foreign buyers. The reduced demand from China during their lockdown has already affected wool and cereal wholesalers, as China accounts for two-thirds and 49% of the respective industries’ exports. These effects will only be compounded as other countries enact their own lockdown measures, exacerbating shipping and logistics disruptions.

The Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector is expected to be less impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of their operations can already be carried out remotely, enabling their employees to work from home. Additionally, providers of IT and Cloud-based solutions in the sector are likely to see more demand as businesses seek to equip their workers with the capabilities to work from home. Scientific research services are also expected to see increased funding from both the public and private sector to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Engineering consulting firms performed particularly well on the list this year. However operators are expected to face more risk than other professional services providers as they contend with reduced foreign investment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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For more information, to obtain a copy of the Top 1000, or arrange an interview with an analyst, please contact:
Jason Aravanis
Strategic Media Advisor – IBISWorld Pty Ltd
Tel: 03 9906 3647
Email: jason.aravanis@ibisworld.com