Australia’s top 100 manufacturers for 2020 revealed

Caltex Australia has topped the list of Australia’s leading manufacturers for 2020 for the second consecutive year, with this year’s ‘Top 100’ reflective of Australia’s investments in advanced manufacturing, reputation for high-quality production and the depreciation of the dollar.

The list consists of 29 ASX-listed companies and 37 locally owned companies, according to the Advanced Manufacturing Expo’s ‘Top 100 Manufacturers in Australia’ – compiled by IBISWorld.

“The ‘Top 100 Manufacturers’ for 2020 have experienced strong revenue growth in comparison to previous years, namely due to the restructuring of business processes to incorporate automation and an increased focus on boosting productivity,” IBISWorld Australia’s enterprise researcher, Aaron Vaserman, said.

“This also appears to have been spurred by the 2017 Federal Government Advanced Manufacturing Fund that provided grants to small Australian manufacturers to invest in automation, of which the benefits are starting to be realised.

“While at a macroeconomic level, the depreciation of the Australia dollar over the last year has increased demand in Australian exports, supporting revenue growth for manufacturers and increasing global competitiveness.”

Manufacturers on the list have a combined revenue of $319 billion, as Australia’s $413.9 billion manufacturing industry passes the midway point of forecasted 0.5 per cent growth by 2022. The industry is made up of almost 104,000 business and employs over 964,000 Australians.

‘States of Play’:

  • NSW is represented by 49 companies on the list
  • VICis represented by 30 companies on the list
  • QLDis represented by 9 companies on the list
  • WA is represented by 4 companies on the list
  • SAis represented by 4 companies on the list
  • ACTis represented by 1 company on the list
  • NZis represented by 2 companies on the list, along with 1 Auckland-based company

Representation by Leading Industries (Number of Companies):

  1. Food Manufacturing (18)
  2. Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturing (6)
  3. Beverage & Tobacco Product Manufacturing (5)
  4. Non-metallic Mineral Product Manufacturing (5)
  5. Pulp, Paper and Converted Paper Product Manufacturing (4)
  6.  Basic Chemical & Chemical Products Manufacturing (4)
  7.  Medical and Surgical Equipment Manufacturing (4)
  8. Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing (4)

“Previously, Australian manufacturers have had difficulty competing with their Asian counterparts, predominantly due to their much lower cost of labour,” Vaserman said.

“Now, our manufacturers are adapting or have adapted by focusing on highly specialised areas, which is evident in industries from medical product manufacturing to paper product manufacturing, with companies like Visy and Paper Australia experiencing revenue growth despite the wider decline of the Pulp, Paper and Paperboard manufacturing category. In short, Australian manufacturers are taking advantage of opportunities for growth by focusing on the premium areas of the market.”

According to the research group, the companies featured on the list are demonstrative of Australia’s growing competitive advantage over international competitors as a result of advanced manufacturing adoption as well as highlighting the opportunities available to Australian manufacturers that are able to produce highly specialised products across a broad range of industries.

“Numerous factors shape manufacturers’ ability to be successful, however, adopting advanced manufacturing production processes, such as investing in automation or high-tech solutions, is continuing to pay dividends for Australia’s leading manufacturers,” exhibition director of the Advanced Manufacturing Expo, Jono Whyman, said.

“Therefore, it is fitting that Advanced Manufacturing Expo is being launched in 2020, with the expo’s express objective being to provide manufacturing and industrial professionals with an evolution and productivity focused forum, which supports them in maintaining this crucial competitive advantage over international competitors.”

This year’s list of the ‘Top 100 Manufacturers’ also reveals a trend for Australia’s Petroleum and Coal Product manufacturers and Petroleum Refining and Petroleum Fuel manufacturers, who are experiencing growth despite global challenges in recent times.

“Contrastingly, the expected decline of the world price of crude oil over the past year appears to have had limited impact on Australia’s large petroleum refiners and producers, who have performed strongly over the past year,” Vaserman said.

“Caltex, BP Australia and Viva Energy Group have all posted increases in revenue despite a highly volatile market, which is largely attributed to their successful investment in efficiencies, strong domestic demand and global political instability.”

Update: Reed Exhibitions Australia has announced the postponement of the launch of the biennial Advanced Manufacturing Expo Sydney, which was due to run 18-20 November 2020. Instead, they will focus on working with the industry on the 2021 edition of National Manufacturing Week which will be held in Melbourne from 11-14 May 2021.

To view the Top 100 list: https://www.advancedmanufacturingexpo.com.au/