australia's top 10 profit-makers

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    1. NEW LIST: AUSTRALIA'S TOP 10 PROFIT-MAKERS

    With Foster's taking a $105 million hit on its CUB beer division, dragging down today's bottom line profit for 2002-03 to $463 million, Woolworths has emerged as the tenth most profitable listed Australian company after the Big Four banks, Telstra, BHP-Billiton, News Corp and Woodside Petroleum.

    And if you now classify Rio Tinto as being a UK company, Woolies have almost made it into the top 10 for all-time profits with this week's $609 million record for 2002-03.

    You've never seen this anywhere before but here is the league ladder of highest ever profits announced by our largest listed companies. There are only 14 who've cracked $500 million in a year which is our cut-off:

    The Record Profit Rankings from companies that have cracked $500 million in a year:
    1. Telstra $4.06bn (2000-01)
    2. NAB: $3.38bn (2002)
    3. CBA: $2.66bn (2001-02)
    4. BHP-Billiton: $2.53bn (2001-02)
    5. Westpac: $2.19bn (2002)
    6. ANZ: $2.17bn (2002)
    7. News Corp: $1.97bn (1999-00)
    8. AMP: $1.15bn (2000)
    9. Woodside Petroleum: $967m (2000)
    10. WMC: $765 m (2000)
    11. Woolworths: $609m (2002-03)
    12. Foster's $561m (2001-02)
    13. CSR: $553 million (2001-02)
    14. Qantas: $517m (1999-00)

    BHP-Billiton are tipped to record a record $2.8 billion profit on Friday so they will leap from fourth to third in the all-time rankings whilst Telstra's full-year result on Thursday will slump to about $3 billion thanks to the $1 billion in write-offs in Hong Kong.

    If you include Rio Tinto on the list, they would come in at fourth thanks to the $2.6 billion the London-based company made in 2000.

    The other empire which should figure in these calculations is Westfield but because it is structured in three different vehicles it falls between the cracks.

    Westfield Holdings, Westfield Trust and Westfield America Trust made more than $1 billion between them in 2002 and this will top $1.5 billion in calendar 2003 when all the figures are on the table.

    However, none of the individual companies are yet to report an annual profit exceeding $500 million so they don't yet make the list.

    AMP, CSR and WMC will probably never again make more than $500 million in a year after breaking themselves in two and Macquarie Infrastructure Group is poised to enter the big league after its first half profit last year came in at $492.3 million. The record full year result is imminent.

    cut n paste Crikey
 
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