What the 10 Most Profitable Australian Companies Have in Common

Having a dull workday? Need something interesting to pass some time? Or maybe you’re planning your own business in your head while pretending to do real work. Well, you might want to steer that idea in the direction of one of these ten companies.

Well, not particularly the same, going up against the big guns isn’t an easy task by any stretch. But it’s worth noting what these profitable businesses all have in common.

First, let’s have a look at what they are. According to an analysis by Phil Ruthven, founder of IBISWorld, these are the top ten most profitable Australian companies ranked by return on shareholder funds (ROSF) over five years to 2015:

  1. Phillip Morris – 189% ROSF, $950 million in revenue
  2. FedEx Australia – 120% ROSF, $229 million in revenue
  3. British American Tobacco – 107% ROSF, $2.07 billion in revenue
  4. Wood Group Australia – 104% ROSF, $561 million in revenue
  5. AIRR – 101% ROSF, $268 million in revenue
  6. Jan De Nul (Australia) – 101% ROSF, $768 million in revenue
  7. GSM Holding Company – 99% ROSF, $528 million in revenue
  8. Urbis – 97% ROSF, $79 million in revenue
  9. Hays Specialist Recruit. – 95% ROSF, $1.5 billion in revenue
  10. Winslow Constructors – 91% ROSF, $331 million in revenue

Now, let’s have a look at which industries the top 100 most profitable Australian companies cover.

The biggest point that Ruthven drew is that the successful companies focus on just one industry, rather than diversifying across many. 95 of the top 100 were in one industry, while the remaining five covered two or more sectors.

To round out the top five similarities, Ruthven says the best enterprises aim to dominate their industry, are forever innovating, outsource non-core activities and don’t own “hard” assets.

So there you have it, multitasking is out, dominating a specific industry will make you millions. Seems simple enough, right?