17/11/2014 - 16:30

BGC, Hancock top the ranks

17/11/2014 - 16:30

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BGC is still WA’s largest private company, but Hancock Prospecting looms large.

BGC is still WA’s largest private company, but Hancock Prospecting looms large.

Western Australia’s biggest private companies have defied the economic slowdown to report substantial growth during the 2014 financial year, according to data assembled by BNiQ.

Building and construction company BGC (Australia) maintained its ranking as the state’s biggest private revenue earner, but is likely to be overtaken in the next couple of years by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

Led by managing director Sam Buckeridge, BGC boosted revenue by 18 per cent to $3 billion for the year to June 2014.

Its mining and civil arm, BGC Contracting, contributed $1.1 billion, adding to turnover from its core housing construction and building materials businesses.

It was a good year all-round for the state’s major homebuilders, helped by the 20 per cent jump in housing starts to a record 28,966 during 2013-14.

ABN Group, led by chief executive Dale Alcock, lifted annual revenue by 27 per cent to $1.12 billion, while Julian Walter’s JWH Group was up 19 per cent to $364 million.

Another company exposed to the housing market is West Perth-based Australian Finance Group, which is one of Australia’s biggest wholesale mortgage managers.

AFG’s annual report stated that increased competition in the housing finance market led to a 25 per cent lift in its settlement volumes last financial year.

That flowed through to a 19 per cent increase in annual revenue to $394 million, and a similar lift in net profit to $17.9 million.

While BGC remains the state’s biggest company by turnover, its profits have never been revealed (it is covered by ‘grandfathering’ rules).

In contrast, Hancock Prospecting is required to lodge annual returns with ASIC, after losing a legal battle with the corporate regulator.

Ahead of its latest ASIC filing, Hancock has announced that it lifted annual revenue by 31 per cent to $2.63 billion, while its net profit from operations surged 78 per cent to $1.07 billion.

After various accounting adjustments, its statutory profit fell to $88 million.

Hancock’s biggest source of revenue is the Hope Downs joint venture with Rio Tinto, and that will be joined next year by the 70-per cent owned Roy Hill mine.

The company said that, in light of the substantial reduction in the iron ore price, its operating profit was likely to be lower in the 2015 financial year.

Other private companies to achieve a big lift in revenue last financial year included construction contractor and property developer Georgiou, up 54 per cent to $607 million.

Diversified agricultural group Wellard Group also had a good year, up 56 per cent to $487 million.

Wellard’s core business is livestock exports, but it is also one of the country’s top 10 grain growers.

The automotive trade was not so buoyant, judging by turnover figures for John Hughes Group (up 6.2 per cent) and the Di Virgilio family’s DVG Automotive Group (down 3.5 per cent).

Stan Perron’s flagship company Perron Investments had a flat year, with revenue from its property assets and share portfolio dipping to $475 million.

One source of growth for Mr Perron was increased iron ore royalties, from Rio Tinto’s Tom Price and Brockman tenements.

Mining services was a tough space in which to operate, judging by Australia’s two dominant underground mining contractors.

Byrnecut had consolidated group turnover of approximately $875 million in the 2013 calendar year and was forecasting a similar outcome in the current year.

Competitor Barminco reported a 20 per cent decline in turnover to $537 million, and a similar decline in earnings before interest, tax and redundancy payments.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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