23/04/2009 - 12:22

WA top stocks say keep it simple: report

23/04/2009 - 12:22

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An understanding of core strengths and a simple business model are some of the tips the state's fastest growing companies say have helped them through a turbulent 2008, a new report has found.

An understanding of core strengths and a simple business model are some of the tips the state's fastest growing companies say have helped them through a turbulent 2008, a new report has found.

The Ernst & Young's 2008 On The Move report chronicled the trends behind the fastest growing ASX-listed companies with head offices in Western Australia.

During the year, the report focused on both large and small to mid cap stocks and interviewed nearly 40 chief executives of the state's top listed companies.

Focusing on the December quarter, when the credit freeze crystallised, the report found 10 "hardy" organisations that grew their market capitalisation by more than $25 million during the period.

Topping the list was Iluka Resources, with its market cap jumping 59 per cent during calendar 2008 from $1.1 billion to $1.77 billion.

Other companies in the top 10 included education services provider Navitas, uranium explorer Extract Resources, phosphate company CI Resources and Cape Lambert Iron Ore.

Ernst & Young Australia partner Peter McIver said it was encouraging to see so many companies performing strongly in spite of the difficult economic circumstances.

"We explored with CEOs the factors that made them successful in the face of the downturn," he said.

"In the context of the global economy, many CEOs believed some of the global economic fallout is yet to hit Western Australia.

"However, all had a clear understanding of the dynamic forces shaping their business and the need to manage the change and position their organisations to take advantage of the inevitable up turn."

According to the report, WA's fastest growing companies kept it simple, spread risk across products and geographies, retained excellent people, invested in quality assets and built long-term relationships with key stakeholders.

"The underlying factor that tied these successful companies together was not their industry but their stability in boom times as well as bust," Mr McIver said.

"Ultimately, success was based not on how well these companies ran their operations but how well they adapted to the changing market."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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