10 Largest Companies In Australia
Table of Content
Continuing our Australian Journey of entrepreneurs, businesses, startups which has included a list of:
We now move to the next chapter: the largest companies in Australia (FYI – we used market capitalization as a criterion for the blog).
In 2021, Australia was rated as the 12th nation with the largest economy.
Going by its GDP (Gross Domestic Product), Australia was rated 18th.
Australia also made it the 20th largest importer of goods and the 25th largest exporter. In June of the same year, the nation’s GDP stood at AUD 1.98 trillion. (Source: Wikipedia)
The force behind Australia’s economy is its significant involvement in exporting commodities. The service sector is another contributor. (Source: US News)
These companies are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX 200). Accordingly, they serve as the benchmark for knowing Australia’s index.
These companies were selected by their market value as of April 2021.
Bear in mind that this list can change due to fluctuations in the stock market.
The currency values are all rated in USD except for places explicitly stated as AUD.
Market Capitalization: $186.1 Billion
Number of Employees: 80,000
Year of Inception: 1885
Company CEO: Mike Henry
Industry: Basic Materials
Even as an old company, BHP Group has kept its place as the largest company in Australia. In 2014, BHP Group’s market value was at $151.4 billion. It has peaked at an exciting rate going by its current asset value. (Source: Statista)
BHP Group is a British-Australian company that is into mining basic materials.
The company takes a comfortable lead position in the most prominent companies in this sector.
As the 79th largest publicly-listed company in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list, BHP has come a long way.
Majorly, BHP trades high stock prices on ASX and London Stock Exchange.
The global giant deals in the processing and exploration of minerals. The basic ones are iron ore, coal, manganese ore, copper, and hydrocarbons.
BHP’s sales value is $46.1 billion with a profit of $6.9 billion. It boasts an asset value of $103.2 billion and a market value of $186.1 billion. (Source: Forbes)
“BHP Group has impressively held its forte even in the most challenging times. It has consistently been featured as one of the largest companies in Australia and the world.”
Market Capitalization: $135.3 Billion
Number of Employees: 47,474
Year of Inception: 1873
Company CEO: Jean-Sebastien Jacques
Like BHP Group, Rio Tinto is also into mining basic materials.
Rio Tinto is an arm extension of Anglo-Australian multinational mining and metals corporation. It is also listed on London Stock Exchange and is one of the significant FTSE index constituents. (Source: Disfold)
Rio Tinto is one of the oldest companies on our list and has evolved over the years. The company extracts minerals like copper, iron ore, aluminum, diamonds, and uranium. It also runs operations in refining iron ore and bauxite.
Rio Tinto’s operations are in Australia and Canada.
By sales value, Rio Tinto stands at $44.5 billion with a profit of $9.7 billion.
It boasts an asset value of $97.4 billion and a market value of $135.3 billion. (Source: Forbes)
Rio Tinto ranks 86th on the list of largest publicly-listed companies in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“It sure isn’t an easy feat to rank number 2 on this list. Rio Tinto has stood its ground in a market that seems to be in its favor.”
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Market Capitalization: $102.7 Billion
Number of Employees: 39,000
Year of Inception: 1911
Company CEO: Matthew Comyn
The third-largest company in Australia is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). And this is going by its market cap, deposits, and terms of assets.
In the 2021 financial year, the company’s assets amounted to AUD 1,091 billion, making it the largest bank in Australia. (Source: Statista)
Commonwealth Bank of Australia also has a presence in the US, the UK, Asia, and New Zealand.
Some of the services CBA provides are in the area of investment and insurance. Others are funds management, brokerage and superannuation services.
By sales value, Commonwealth Bank of Australia stands at $22.4 billion with a profit of $5.7 billion. It boasts a considerable asset value of $816.2 billion and a market value of $120.7 billion. (Source: Forbes)
CPA ranks as the 78th largest publicly-listed company in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“Commonwealth Bank of Australia has a solid domestic presence in Australia with a large customer base. It also has the most access points and distribution network in the nation.”
Market Capitalization: $94.7 Billion
Number of Employees: 27,000
Year of Inception: 1994
Company CEO: Paul Roger Perreault
Industry: Drugs and Biotechnology
Initially established in 1916, the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories started trading ASX in 1994 as CSL. (Source: CSL)
CSL is a biotechnology company involved in the research and development of medicines.
CSL also manufactures and markets various products like vaccines and blood plasma derivatives. Others include cell culture reagents and antivenom.
Apart from Australia, CSL also carries out operations in the US, UK, China, and Switzerland.
The two primary segments the company operates through are CSL Behring and Seqirus.
CSL Behring provides plasma therapies for issues related to immunodeficiency. It also tackles neurological and bleeding disorders.
Seqirus, on the other hand, produces and distributes influenza vaccines and non-plasma biotherapeutic products. (Source: Yahoo Finance)
By sales value, CSL stands at $9.9 billion with a profit of $2.6 billion. It boasts an asset value of $17.7 billion and a market value of $94.7 billion. (Source: Forbes)
CSL ranks as the 496th largest publicly-listed company in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“CSL has been playing a vital role in the medicine line. Because of the company, many people have gotten a new lease of life.”
Westpac Banking Corp
Market Capitalization: $71.8 Billion
Number of Employees: 36,849
Year of Inception: 1817
Company CEO: Peter Francis King
Westpac Banking Corp may not be the most extensive banking company in Australia, but it is the oldest amongst its peers.
Westpac first started as the Bank of New South Wales.
Then in 1982, it changed to Westpac Banking Corp after acquiring the Commercial Bank of Australia. (Source: Westpac)
Located in Sydney, Australia, Westpac also offers banking and financial services in New Zealand. Others include the Pacific region, Asia, and internationally.
Westpac operates through 4 divisions: Business, Consumer, Westpac New Zealand, and Westpac Institutional Bank. (Source: Yahoo Finance)
Westpac, in 2008, merged with St. George Bank Limited, which resulted in a bigger multi-brand group.
Then in 2011, the Bank of Melbourne was started – through the operating division of Westpac and St. George.
By sales value, Westpac Banking Corp stands at $21.9 billion with a profit of $1.5 billion.
Westpac also has a huge asset value of $654.6 billion and a market value of $71.8 billion. (Source: Forbes)
Westpac Banking Corp ranks as the 157th largest publicly-listed company in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“For a bank that has been around for ages, Westpac Banking Corp is definitely not doing badly. It has shown that consistency and focus can take any company very far.”
National Australia Bank
Market Capitalization: $68.1 Billion
Number of Employees: 34,944
Year of Inception: 1858
Company CEO: Maxwell McEwan
Coming in as Australia’s third-largest bank is the National Australia Bank (NAB).
NAB is also regarded as the most prominent business bank in the country.
National Australia Bank is a multinational bank that offers personal and direct banking.
Additionally, NAB offers NAB banking, wholesale banking, and NZ banking services.
Aside from Australia, NAB has a presence in New Zealand, the UK, and some Asian countries.
Initially, in 1982, NAB, which was National Australasia Limited, entered into a merger with the Commercial Banking Company in Sydney.
Both companies then formed the National Commercial Banking Corporation of Australia Limited. It was from there that they now changed the name to NAB. (Source: Companies History)
By sales value, NAB stands at $18.4 billion with a profit of $1.7 billion. It boasts an impressive asset value of $621.3 billion and a market value of $68.1 billion. (Source: Forbes)
CSL ranks the 168th in the list of largest publicly-listed companies in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“CSL may be one of the largest banks, especially when it comes to business banks. However, they pay close attention to every level of business to help their customers leverage on their businesses.”
ANZ Banking Group Limited
Market Capitalization: $63.4 Billion
Number of Employees: 38,579
Year of Inception: 1835
Company CEO: Shayne Cary Elliott
The banking sector takes the lead when it comes to the largest companies in Australia.
Occupying the 7th position on our list is the ANZ (Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited).
Like other banks on this list, ANZ started operations in the 1800s.
It is a multinational bank that operates in New Zealand and Australia. It also offers services in 44 global markets. (Source: ANZ)
In August 2021, ANZ launched sustainability-linked derivatives. The product range involves forwards, swaps, and cross-currency swaps.
ANZ services also include foreign exchange options, interest rates, among others.
ANZ plans to fund and facilitate business solutions for its customers by 2025. It has mapped out $50 billion for this.
The initiatives will help people access financial well-being, affordable housing, and sustain the environment. (Source: AB+F)
By sales value, ANZ stands at $20.3 billion with a profit of $2.4 billion.
ANZ also boasts of an outstanding asset value of $747.1 billion and a market value of $63.4 billion. (Source: Forbes)
ANZ ranks as the 141st largest publicly-listed companies in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“ANZ may be in the banking business, but it is well known for its philanthropy. It has supported a lot of initiatives that keep changing lives.”
Market Capitalization: $49.6Billion
Number of Employees: 14,000
Year of Inception: 2003
Company CEO: Elizabeth Anne Gaines
Fortescue, also known as Fortescue Metals Group Limited, is an Australian company that mines iron ore.
The company owns and runs a supply chain and fully integrated infrastructure.
In short, FMG is popularly referred to – is into the production, exploration, processing, development, and selling of iron ore.
Fortescue has its towage infrastructure with a heavy-haul railway that covers up to 620 kilometers of track. (Source: Financial Times)
As a significant benefactor, Fortescue has enjoyed a massive run-up in iron ore prices in the past year. And this has been reflected in their earnings and revenues.
Not only that, but it also piqued investors’ interest. While other sectors and companies are being affected by Covid-19, Fortescue has continued to wax strong. It has not defaulted in paying its payouts. (Source: IG)
By sales value, Fortescue stands at $15.5 billion with a profit of $6.3 billion. It boasts an asset value of $24.5 billion and a market value of $49.6 billion. (Source: Forbes)
Fortescue ranks as the 347th largest publicly-listed company in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“We can’t help but notice that Fortescue has not failed in making its payouts. This shows that they are here for the long haul.”
Market Capitalization: $48.8Billion
Number of Employees: 107,000
Year of Inception: 1914
Company CEO: Robert Scott
Industry: Food Markets
And we finally have a food company making it to the list of largest companies in Australia. Wesfarmers started as Western Australian farmers’ cooperatives.
Wesfarmers operates in the outdoor living and home improvements.
It runs this via its Bunnings stores that deal in general merchandise and apparel handled by its 289 Target stores and 231 Kmart stores.
Plus, Wesfarmers supplies are handled via its 167 Officeworks stores. (Source: Yahoo Finance)
Additionally, Wesfarmers has an industrial department that sells energy products and safety products.
Others include fertilizers and safety products.
The company boasts of being one of the largest employers in Australia.
With a shareholder base of 484,000, the boast is well deserved :). (Source: Wesfarmers)
By sales value, Wesfarmers stands at $22.9 billion with a profit of $1.3 billion.
It boasts an asset value of $19.7 billion and a market value of $48.8 billion. (Source: Forbes)
Wesfarmers ranks as the 435th largest publicly-listed companies in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“Occupying a position in the top 10 largest companies in Australia as a food market company proves that Wesfarmers is doing something different from the norm.”
Market Capitalization: $41.8Billion
Number of Employees: 15,849
Year of Inception: 1985
Company CEO: Shemara Wikramanayake
Industry: Diversified Financials
Macquarie Group is the company with the least market value on our list. However, it sure is the most prominent investment banking firm in Australia.
Dubbed as the “millionaire’s factory,” Macquarie Group has been able to hold a good number of shareholders. Even with a rising market value, the company has recently witnessed declining profits. (Source: IG)
The company started with three staff under the name Hill Samuel Australia in 1969.
It obtained a banking licence and changed to Macquarie Bank Limited. Since then, Macquarie has become a global business with operations in more than 32 markets.
It was in 1996 that it got listed on ASX. Macquarie Bank has made a good number of acquisitions. (Source: Macquarie)
By sales value, Macquarie Group stands at $9.8 billion with a profit of $1.5 billion. It boasts an asset value of $165.4 billion and a market value of $41.8 billion. (Source: Forbes)
Wesfarmers ranks as the 307th largest publicly-listed company in the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list.
“Macquarie may be experiencing some decline in profit, but, looking back at how it started, it’s obvious that we haven’t heard the last of this company.”
These ten largest companies in Australia have contributed to the nation’s economy.
Along with other companies, they are the reason Australia has been standing tall among other nations.
This list may change due to market fluctuations. Nevertheless, it will serve as a good investment guide for people looking to invest in ASX.