Wesfarmers, Woolworths named among Australia’s top companies

Wesfarmers HQWoolworths and Wesfarmers have been named on IBISWorld’s list of Australia’s Top 1000 companies for 2018. Australian retailer giant Wesfarmers took the 2nd spot in 2018, when Coles was still under its wing, while Woolworths came in 4th position.

The firms on IBISWorld’s 2018 Top 1000 list account for $2.22 trillion in revenue. Over 75 per cent of companies on the list reported higher revenue for the year, while over 70 per cent of industry firms were profitable in 2017-18.

“Wesfarmers is expected to fall down the list in 2018-19 following the demerger of its supermarket branch, Coles,” said James Thomson, senior industry analyst at IBISWorld.

In the food industry there was a mixed growth in 2017-18, but IBISWorld analysts pointed to strong growth from dairy companies including a2 Milk Company and Bega Cheese. The a2 Milk Company (#506) and Bega Cheese (#312) have benefited from changing consumer preferences and rising health consciousness, according to the research company.

The a2 Milk Company posted revenue growth of 68.1 per cent in 20, driven by the increased sales of its a2 Platinum milk  formula in Australia and China. While Bega Cheese’ profit was driven by the increase in the volume of milk processed and after acquiring Vegemite.

“a2 Milk Company benefited from growing sales of a2 Platinum infant formula in Australia and China. This has been a result of a rising health consciousness and growing incomes in the Asia region, which contributed to revenue growth of 68.1 per cent on the previous year,” said Thomson.

“Bega delivered a strong result driven by an increase in the volume of milk processed. Bega’s purchase of the Mondelēz Grocery Business in 2016-17, which included the Vegemite brand, also supported the company’s performance in 2018.”

Australia drought problem affected agribusinesses with IBISWorld analysts reporting grain, sugar and beef cattle farmers were among the hardest hit.

“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 by drought conditions and this will negatively affect farmers in these industries. Lower production volumes have also had a negative impact on operators along the supply chain,” said Thomson.

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