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Growth a priority for Rising Stars

THE Rising Stars survey is a platform to showcase private enterprises and unlisted public companies in Western Australia that have sustained high rates of growth over the past two financial years ending June 30 2003.

Companies entering the survey were asked to provide details of growth in EBIT (profit before interest and tax), turnover and employment.

They needed to have minimum turnover of $3 million in 2003 and minimum turnover growth of 25 per cent. This ensured that participants were substantial enterprises with sustained growth.

Based on the quantitative data, professional services firm Deloitte and WA Business News identified the top 10 private enterprises in WA – the Rising Stars.

Top of the list was software and information technology company Empired, which achieved phenomenal 10-fold growth in turnover over the survey period. Like the other Rising Stars, it also achieved rapid growth in staffing and profits.

It was followed by two companies at opposite ends of the publicity spectrum – little known biotechnology firm Ozgene and high-profile telecommunications services firm Messages on Hold.

Other ‘stars’ included IT firm Commtech Wireless, mortgage originator Australian Finance Group, agribusiness project manager Rewards Group and construction services firm Blackadder Group. The other Rising Stars were Benchmark Debtor Finance, PIVoD Technologies and telecommunications firm Global Dial.

The Rising Stars had to better other entrants whose growth was high but not high enough to make the top 10.

Most of the runners-up achieved very commendable growth of more than 30 per cent (measured by turnover).

The results highlight the challenge of sustaining rapid growth, especially for ‘mature’ businesses.

Runners-up included: steel fabricator Bestbar; IT and management consultancy AeM Group; Total Catering Solutions; national franchise group Worldwide Online Printing; and motor vehicle dealer John Hughes Group.

The runners-up also included three firms that were Rising Stars in 2003 but whose growth was not high enough to make the list this year – Internet services firm ineedhits.com, printing company Daniels Printing Craftsmen, and equipment financier RentSmart Holdings.

- Mark Beyer

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