Finance

Australia’s largest private companies revealed

Matthew Elmas /

Strong revenue growth at 7-Eleven and Cotton On have landed both businesses at the pointy end of IBISWorld’s 2018 private company rankings.

The industry research firm released its annual list of Australia’s largest 500 private companies in the Australian Financial Review on Thursday, with Anthony Pratt’s Visy Industries once again taking top gong for the ninth consecutive year.

Among the recurring names were some interesting success stories, including Geelong-based Cotton On Group, which surged from 17th place in 2017 to 10th in this year’s ranking on the back of a 20.4% increase in annual revenue to $2.59 billion.

It has been a busy 12 months for Cotton On, which has revamped much of its e-commerce offer and opened a range of multi-branded mega stores to keep up with fast changing consumer habits.

Convenience giant 7-Eleven was again present in the top five, slipping from second place last year to third in 2018 following a 14.6% increase in revenue to $4.9 billion.

Other notable household names in the top 50 inclue the Fraid family’s Spotlight Group, which saw revenue increase by 5.1% to $1.24 billion, moving the business from 39th to 35th in the rankings.

Independent supermarket chains Ritchies Supa IGA and Drake Supermarkets were also present. Ritchies catapulted to the 41st spot from outside the top 50 last year, having posted a 5.9% increase in revenue to $1.08 billion.

Drake Supermarkets retained its 42nd ranking from last year, despite revenue declining 1.8% to $1.06 billion.

Jason Aravanis, senior industry analyst at IBISWorld, says some retailers on the list had benefited from higher spending, while others had struggled with disruption.

“Retailers exposed to competition from online retailers and international online retailers have continued to suffer, however some retailers have benefitted from higher household spending in some areas of the economy,” he told SmartCompany.

RSEA Group, which sells safety equipment and clothing, saw its revenue jump by 43.5% to $147 million, driven by growth in the transport, construction and healthcare sectors, for example.

IBIS compiled the list through ASIC-lodged reports, primary research and its own assessment of company revenue based on industry research and historic data.

IBISWorld’s top 30 largest Australian private companies in 2018 are:

1. Visy Industries — $6.7 billion, up 3.1%
2. Hancock Prospecting — $5 billion, up 134.5%
3. 7-Eleven Stores — $4.9 billion, up 14.6%
4. CBH Group — $3.7 billion, up 6.7%
5. Meriton — $2.7 billion, up 0.4%
6. BGC — $2.6 billion, up 5.2 per cent
7. Hutchies — $2.6 billion, up 14.7%
8. HCF — $2.6 billion, up 3.5%
9. Teys Australia — $2.5 billion, up 12%
10. Cotton On Group — $2.5 billion, up 20.4%
11. Peregrine Corporation — $2.3 billion, up 12.5%
12. PwC Australia — $2.3 billion, up 10.8%
13. St Vincent’s Health Australia — $2 billion, up 2%
14. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu — $2 billion, up 14.4%
15. PHD Food Services — $1.9 billion, up 2.2%
16. GHD Group — $1.9 billion, up 12%
17. Linfox — $1.8 billion, up 2.2%
18. EY — $1.7 billion, up 9.5%
19. St John of God Health Care — $1.7 billion, up 3.5%
20. HBF — $1.6 billion, up 4.8%
21. KPMG — $1.6 billion, up 9.3%
22. Metricon — $1.5 billion, up 10.1%
23. Manildra Group — $1.5 billion, up 7.1%
24. Australian Unity — $1.5 billion, down 6.3%
25. UnitingCare Queensland — $1.4 billion, down 4.1%
26. Built — $1.4 billion, up 40.5%
27. Peter Warren Automotive Group — $1.4 billion, up 0.8%
28. Consolidated Travel Group — $1.3 billion, up 4.8%
29. Thomas Foods International — $1.3 billion, down 3.7%
30. WorkPac Group — $1.3 billion, up 44.2%

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Matthew Elmas

Matthew is the news editor at SmartCompany.

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