Surveyors measure up

Activity in sectors that feed surveying businesses, such as construction and resources, have put a rocket under the industry in recent times. By JASON BAKER of IBISWorld.

By Jason Baker

Surveying industry
The times for surveying services firms have never been so good. Activity in sectors that feed surveying businesses, such as construction and resources, have put a rocket under the industry in recent times.


Robust growth in investments in mineral and energy developments, housing construction and non-residential building construction have seen revenue grow on average 21.9% a year over the five years to 2007-08.

This financial year revenue is expected to grow 78% to $2.95 billion. But this is the peak. IBISWorld predicts the growth will not continue. 

IBISWorld anticipates the industry, which is highly fragmented, to grow at an annual average rate of 1.4% during the five-year outlook period to 2012-13, but this rise will not follow a smooth trajectory.

Following a forecast jump in returns to $2948.8 million in 2007, revenue is projected to contract by 40% in 2008-09. This tightening will be driven by lower investment into mineral and energy infrastructure over the same period, as the focus shifts from exploration to resource production.

It is expected to be offset by the demand for surveying services in the downstream building markets, with the value of new housing and non-residential construction climbing. A slight fall in revenue is still projected over the two years to June 2010.

The value of total non-residential building construction is projected to generate only buoyant demand for surveying services. The demand for new office space will be affected by the slow growth projected in white-collar employment, and the current high levels of office vacancy.

Over the remainder of the outlook period, IBISWorld expects that the industry will be affected by improved demand in the downstream mining and engineering markets, and further cyclical expansion in housing investment.

Subdued growth is expected in the ensuing period, reflecting weaker demand conditions in the downstream mining and energy market, outweighed by the return to synchronised cyclical growth in the downstream building markets.

The two biggest players each only have about 0.5% market share: Hatch Associates and NSW-based Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM). Other players include the European Fugro NV and Brisbane-founded Qasco Surveys Ltd.

Major services and products are cadastral (land ownership and location), construction and specialised surveying, with other segments covering geophysical data acquisition, products and services, and geospatial products and services. Most surveying activity occurs across the eastern seaboard and in WA.


IBISWorld supplies business information databases, including industry reports, company reports and business indicator reports.



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