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Published 24 October 2012 12:38, Updated 01 November 2012 00:51
Power: From just 5 per cent of companies, mining delivered 18 per cent of revenue Photo: Bloomberg News
Forget all the fuss about what a tough market it is, the nation’s 1 million-plus companies reported revenue just shy of double-digit growth last financial year, with all sectors except retail expanding.
Dun & Bradstreet’s Company360 Corporate State of the Nation report examines the 2011-12 financial results for companies earning more than $1 million a year and reveals an average revenue growth rate of 9.2 per cent, a huge uplift on the 2010-11 average of 2.8 per cent.
The analysis was conducted on the financial statements of companies lodging up until June 30 this year, the most up-to-date company results available, before the next round of statements are lodged in November.
The mining sector contributed 18 per cent to total revenue in 2011-12, despite making up only 5 per cent of the total number of companies.
Average mining revenue reached $1 billion during 2011-12, rising from 8.73 per cent in 2010-11 to 21 per cent. While, BHP and Rio Tinto largely pushed up the sector’s results, it was smaller miners that did the best, with 24 per cent increase in revenue during 2011-12.
Treasurer Wayne Swan may be worried about “the storm clouds which are hanging over the global economy” and lingering impacts of the financial crisis but compared with other developed economies, Australian companies have come out of financial crisis alive and well, Dun & Bradstreet’s chief executive, Gareth Jones, says.
The figures are “positive news at a time when continued global economic uncertainty is weighing on local businesses”, he says.
“Despite turbulent conditions in Europe and downside risks in emerging markets over the past two years, Australian firms across all industries have managed to deliver revenue growth,” he says.
Not surprisingly mining remained the strongest performing industry on a state-by-state basis. Western Australia, home to 39 per cent of the nation’s mining companies, accounted for the most significant revenue growth in 2011-12. It saw a lift of 38 per cent in 2011-12, after rising 11 per cent in 2010-11.
Conversely, the Queensland mining sector recorded a slowdown in revenue growth, from 8 per cent to 6 per cent, because of the floods of late 2010 and early 2011.
While mining is a big part of the economy, Dun & Bradstreet chief Gareth Jones says corporate Australia remains largely driven by services, finance and infrastructure companies.
The report found infrastructure – which includes telecommunications, logistics and transport companies, and utilities – was one of the best-performing sectors, with growth of 10.9 per cent (up from 1.4 per cent).
The services industry, which is the largest by number of companies (33 per cent) and contributes 11.8 per cent of all revenue, had average growth of 3.9 per cent, improving on last financial year’s dismal 0.3 per cent lift.
The finance, insurance and real estate sector, the largest industry by revenue and one of the country’s largest employers, achieved 11.91 per cent growth, up from 4.6 per cent.
The agriculture sector, which makes up a fairly small proportion (1.5 per cent) of the companies included in the report, also reported strong average growth in 2011-12.
Firms grew at 24.1 per cent in 2011-12, helped along by good rainfall after several years of drought, reversing the 9 per cent decline in the prior financial year.
Retail was flat at just 3.2 per cent growth.