Australia's Top 100 Manufacturers

Powered by National Manufacturing Week

Australia's Top 100 Manufacturing Companies Revealed

Australia’s ‘Top 100 Manufacturers 2019’ powered by National Manufacturing Week has been announced, with Caltex Australia topping this year’s list of leading Australian manufacturers, followed by Fonterra Co-Op Group, Perth Mint, BP Australia and Viva Energy. The release of this year's 'Top 100 Manufacturers' comes as $383.2 billion industry, which employs over 791,000 Australians, is projected to achieve a growth rate of 1.2% over the next five years to $405.8 billion in 2023-24.*


IBISWorld’s compilation of Australia’s ‘Top 100 Manufacturers’ is based on data gathered through primary research of ASIC-lodged company reports for the previous financial year, submitted by manufacturers operating in Australia.


The leading industry categories of the top manufacturers for 2019 include companies operating within Food Product Manufacturing (17), Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturing (7), Basic Chemical & Chemical Product Manufacturing (5), Beverage & Tobacco Product Manufacturing (5) and Non-metallic Mineral Manufacturing (5). According to Liam Harrison, Senior Industry Analyst at IBISWorld, these leading industries of this year’s ‘Top 100’ are reflective of Australia’s largest contributors to trade and exports:


“It’s certainly no surprise to see the ‘Top 100 Manufacturers’ for 2019 dominated by companies operating within food production and non-metallic mineral production. Australia is renowned for its strong agricultural exports and mining, energy and resources industry. Locally, our strict medical standards and regulations create strong opportunities for pharmaceuticals companies operating in Australia.”


Despite the immense opportunities that exist for Australia’s food product manufacturers, this year’s list demonstrates the challenge that volatility poses for food producers in having continued success. Natural disasters and extreme weather events have had significant impacts on their ability to maintain production or revenue streams, in recent times.


“Food product manufacturers, while the leading group of manufacturers in this year’s ‘Top 100’, also made up a strong proportion of the companies that fell the most or completely dropped off the list. This correlates to the level of exposure that food producers have when Australia suffers periods of natural disaster such as drought or flooding, which we all know have occurred over the past twelve to eighteen months. This problem is often compounded, with most food producers are unwilling or unable to pass these increased costs onto consumers due to their contractual agreements with the major supermarket chains.” Harrison explains.

A preview of the top manufacturers in Australia

Data sourced from IBISWorld:

This year’s ‘Top 100 Manufacturers’ provides insight and guidance for manufacturers looking to develop strategies for long-term success, with investment into vertical integration, automation, including robotics, and the Internet of Things offering the ability to compete with global companies and minimise the impact of current costs of production.


“Vertical integration is a major factor for many of these leading manufacturers in generating revenue or stabilising the impacts of volatility to their manufacturing division. For example, this is evident with companies like Caltex Australia and BP Australia, where not only are they drilling and refining petroleum, but they’re also present at the bowser when consumers need fuel for their vehicles. For the majority of Australia’s manufacturers, the major challenges that exist are the threat of global competitors with well-resourced and integrated supply chains, substantial energy costs and high wage costs. Many manufacturers are having success through automating their operational processes to improve productivity and efficiency or reduce these high wage costs. We are also seeing increased investment or integration of renewable energy solutions into operations, which are designed to drive down the cost of higher prices and mitigate the potential changes to existing energy policy by the next Federal Government.” Harrison reveals.


In forecasting where the largest changes to Australia’s leading manufacturers could occur over the next 12 months, Harrison labelled the ongoing trade uncertainty globally, China’s demand for Australian agricultural produce and commodity prices as having the largest impacts for our manufacturing companies.


“Australia is a large exporter of commodities, with the nation benefiting from coal and iron ore prices staying relatively high year-on-year. Whilst there is a large propensity for volatility amongst Australia food product manufacturers, the demand from China for products such as infant formula does provide opportunities for Australian manufacturers, who are able to capitalise on this demand and expand their international offering. Despite the ongoing uncertainty of global trade partnerships and relations, manufacturers who respond quickly and export their products to new markets will do well if they open up to markets, where tariffs on other nations’ products exist or are introduced.


As first-time presenters of Australia’s ‘Top 100 Manufacturers’, National Manufacturing Week offers a platform for manufacturers to source the latest expert insights, solutions and strategies for manufacturers to create the foundation of continued success. At last year’s National Manufacturing Week, over 35 companies listed in the ‘Top 100 Manufacturers’ were present, either within the conference program, on the exhibition floor or as attendees.


“As a leading event for the manufacturing sector, it seems fitting National Manufacturing Week supports this important report and celebrates the success of these manufacturing companies. Just like these companies, National Manufacturing Week is always striving to evolve and be a true showcase of manufacturing excellence.” Robby Clark, Exhibition Director of National Manufacturing Week, shares.

*Source: IBISWorld 2019.

Research Partner:

Since 1971, IBISWorld has been providing thoroughly researched, reliable and current business information that is considered priceless to many subscribers. Today, IBISWorld employs a team of dedicated expert analysts across North America, the UK, China and Australia who research economic, demographic and government data so you don’t have to. Locally, we can provide your organisation with valuable insights on Australia’s 700+ industries, and its top 2000 companies. We also provide insight and analysis on 200+ industries in New Zealand. Combined with our reports on trends and changes in Australia’s and New Zealand’s key business environment indicators, IBISWorld allows you to make better business decisions now – and into the future.