The five most profitable industries in Australia

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By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

3 July 2017

Administrative and support services have topped the list as Australia's most profitable industry, coming in above the mining, trade and hospitality sectors.

In the five-year period leading up to 2014, administrative and support services in Australia saw more than a 15% return on shareholder funds after tax (ROSF), according to research by IBIS World.

The figures are part of a report that measures the growth of the country's largest 2,000 companies every two years. Businesses with a negative reported ROSF performance are removed from the data in order to carry out a weighted analysis of the top-performing industries and determine sectoral trends.

Mining was identified as the second most profitable industry with a 14.6% ROSF, though the data is affected by junior companies having much lower returns. The retail trade and hospitality sectors also saw post-tax rates of ROSF that exceeded 10%, well above the national average of 6.3%. 

Administrative and support services also came top in a further analysis of the top 100 companies included in the research. In this breakdown, businesses in the sector reported an average ROSF of over 80%.

Infographic: Australian industry profits


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  • Australia

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