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SA's top 100 companies: changing of the guard gathers pace

Business

The South Australian Business Index of the state’s top 100 companies – revealed today – shows a continued changing of the guard in the local economy, with several sectors rising fast to draw closer to the contracting but still dominant energy sector.

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Today, we can also reveal the rising stars of corporate SA – and some of the sectors represented may come as a surprise.

The Top 100 – which can be viewed here – is still dominated by energy companies, notably the state’s long-standing number-one company, Santos.

However, new awards to represent fast-growing companies (scroll down to see the winners), shows the potential of a range of other, less dominant, sectors.

Overall, energy companies represent nearly a quarter of the market capitalisation of the top 100, with financial services not far behind, at just over 17%.

Next is building and construction (14.77%), fast-rising health care (9.46%), and food and beverage (6.94%), which is surprisingly just ahead of metals and mining (6.79%).

This year’s index has ranked companies in a more sophisticated fashion than the initial index in 2015, which was based purely on total revenue.

New Index partner, Taylor Collison, has built the Index based on market capitalisation.

Taylor Collison director Scott Dolling says that the list is dominated by energy, financial, and building and construction companies – with these sectors commanding more than half the index, by value.

However, several other sectors are rising fast.

“In terms of the fastest-growing sectors by revenue, clear highlights were health care, information technology and agriculture,” Dolling says. “Pleasingly, building and construction also featured strongly.

“In terms of contraction, unsurprisingly energy-related companies were dealt the hardest blow, with metals and mining also experiencing contraction post the completion of the mining boom.”

He also argues that the list shows the depth of SA business – at least at the pointy end.

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Industries weighted by value. Graph by Taylor Collison

“Half of the companies had revenues of more than $100 million and the majority of the Index featured companies with above $15 million in revenue, demonstrating the depth of South Australia leading companies.”

This year’s Index includes new awards, to recognise fast-growing and up-and-coming companies:

Fastest-growing companies

The top four fastest-growing companies, ranked in terms of revenue, included two tourism ventures.

The winner, Sealink Travel Group, is well-known to South Australians for operating the Kangaroo Island ferry service, but it also has operations across Australia including in tourism hotspots such as Sydney and Queensland. It had a particularly strong year in 2015-16.

Honourable mentions went to McMahon Services, an industrial, construction and environmental services provider; Discovery Holiday Parks, which runs 60 holiday parks around Australia, and Mayne Pharma Limited, a rapidly expanding pharmaceutical company based in Salisbury.

Rising stars

The rising star award – for the company that moved the most number of places up the Index this year – went to a manufacturing company, Ellex Lasers. Based in Adelaide’s CBD, Ellex designs, manufactures and markets equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of eye problems.

Honourable mentions went to Australian Outdoor Living, which sells products such as swimming pools, decking and blinds, Academy Services, a commercial cleaning, waste and recycling, and hygiene services company, and Cooper Energy,  an oil and gas company.

Best new entrant

The best new entrant award, for the highest-ranked newcomer to the Index, went to Data Action Pty Ltd, which provides software and services to the financial sector.

Honourable mentions went to GPA Engineering, which implements industrial projects for a range of industries; Doherty Trade Services, a multi-trade services company providing maintenance, repairs and upgrades to its clients, and Duxton Water Ltd, an Adelaide Hills-based company that invests in water entitlements.

 

 

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