Australia's improving foreign ownership record

June 19, 2020

Australia has long had a terrible foreign ownership record, but it has improved a little in recent years as this list of about 105 Australian companies generating more than $200m a year offshore demonstrates.

ALS: The old Campbell Brothers was founded in 1986 and now has 13,000 staff in 50 countries across 300 locations for its burgeoning analytical testing, cleaning and chemicals operations which generate more than than $1.2 billion in global revenue.

Alumina: 40% stake in AWAC, the global aluminium, alumina and bauxite joint venture run by Alcoa out of Pittsburg.

Atlas Arteria: The old Macquarie Atlas Roads continues to boom with the French toll-roads in particular having been an absolute boomer for shareholders.

Atlassian: this San Francisco-based company founded by Australians easily qualifies on a revenue basis, but is it Australian having chosen not to float on the ASX?

Amcor: global leader in plastic packaging, more than 90% of which is offshore, although it recently moved its primary listing to London after a major merger.

AMP: just the NZ operations these days after losing more than $5 billion in UK. New Zealand operations generated a $125m after tax profit in 2017.

Ansell: exited the condom business but a giant in medical gloves.

ANZ: one of the biggest companies by revenue in New Zealand but has unwound Mike Smith's Asian expansion. New Zealand operating income hit $653 million in 2017. (see p25 of full year results).

Ardent Leisure: growing US business Main Event generates sales of more than $300 million a year.

Aristocrat: global poker machines sales, especially US and Japan, and now the world's second biggest social games player after recent acquisitions.

Ausdrill: has grown to be the largest contract miner in West Africa and the African division alone is delivering revenues of close to $500 million a year.

Austal: the Perth-based ship builder has revenues of about $700 million with the majority coming from offshore.

Australian Agricultural Co: big beef exporter with annualised revenues of almost $400 million, the majority being exports.

Bapcor: the auto sector company has an expanding New Zealand operation which generates more than $250 million a year in sales.

Beach Energy: following the $1.6 billion Lattice acquisition from Origin, is now easily generating more than $200 million a year exporting oil and gas.

Bega Cheese: revenues of more than $1 billion a year thanks to being a major exporter of dairy products.

Blackmores: total sales headed for $600 million in 2017-18 with almost half from booming offshore business, particularly into China.

BHP: world's biggest global mining company, run out of Melbourne.

Boral: very big US business after spending $US2.6 billion buying Headwaters in 2017, which contributed to a profit down-grade in April 2018.

Bluescope Steel: about half the profits come from offshore, particularly, the US, New Zealand and Asia. See latest results presentation.

Brambles: global chep pallets business which in the latest half generated over $US1 billion in both the US and Europe and $US187m in sales out of Australia.

Breville Group: appliance maker has done very well, particularly in the US and a clear majority of its $616 million in first half revenue came from offshore.

Carsales: a growing international business in Asia, Latin America and Central America.

Corporate Travel Management: revenues grew 15% to $172 million in the latest half with a majority coming from its strong international operations.

Crown: after exiting both the US and Macau, now only have smaller UK operation with about $80m pa in revenue, plus the circa $700m a year in revenue from VIP players in Melbourne and Perth.

medical implants/bionic ear with annual revenues of about $1.2 billion, more than 95% of which comes from offshore. See latest results.

Coca Cola Amatil: US parent does own 30% but listed in Australia with a big Indonesia and PNG operation which generated more than $1 billion of revenue in 2017. Also strong in NZ and Fiji.

Commonwealth Bank: New Zealand and limited Asian operations. P81 of latest half year shows New Zealand generated $1.2 billion in revenue for an after-tax profit of $589 million.

global administration services businesses anchored in share registries. Global revenues of $1.11 billion in latest half with only 12% from Australia and New Zealand. US is largest share with 49%, see p4 of recent presentation.

CSL: international blood products and pharmaceuticals player.

aluminium exports and New Zealand building products operations get over the $200m annual revenue milestone but a much smaller business than it once was given Rinker demerger and sugar exit. See 2017 results.

Domino's Pizza: Both the European and Japanese operations are running at more than $200m pa in revenue.

Downer EDI: growing infrastructure and engineering contracts in south-east Asia, South America and southern Africa plus a large services business in New Zealand after Spotless acquisition. Annualised revenues now running at almost $12 billion and has 56,000 staff. See half year results.

Evolution Mining: booming gold miner with revenues in the latest half of $782 million, although all their mines are in Australia.

Flight Centre: global travel services that generated $1.4 billion in revenue in the latest half, with almost 50% coming from offshore.

Fortescue Metals: the third force in iron ore, making a fortune exporting to the Chinese market. Annual revenues approaching $10 billion.

Galaxy Resources: total revenue was only $125 million in 2017 but with lithium production cranking up at Mt Cattlin, should crack $200 million in offshore revenue this year.

Goodman Group: a genuine global powerhouse in industrial property - see p18 of this presentation with latest half year to see scale of global operations.

Graincorp: transformed into an international agribusiness, with operations in Australia, the US, Canada and the UK, with the acquisition of the United Malt Holdings group, the world's 4th largest commercial malt manufacturer. Total 2017 sales $4.5 billion with malt comprising $1.1 billion.

Harvey Norman: a curious grab bag of international operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Slovenia, Croatia, Ireland and New Zealand.

Incitec Pivot: global explosives chemical and fertiliser business - see latest full year result.

Independence Group:
miner which produces gold, copper, cobalt and zinc for export and have revenues of $355 million in latest half year.

Iluka Resources: major mineral sands exporter and also owns several operations in Sierra Leone. See latest half year result.

Insurance Australia Group: fully out of the UK insurance operations and now 76% of revenue from Australia but generates premium income of more than $2 billion from New Zealand and operates in 5 Asian countries. See latest results.

Iress: 2017 revenues hit $440 million with a majority now coming from offshore markets including, Canada, Africa, Europe and Asia.

James Hardie: not strictly an Australian company with Irish and Dutch connections in recent years but still many Australian shareholders and a large Australian operation. Real value is the booming US business.

Lend Lease: UK property and Bovis construction business in the US.

Link Market Services: undertook some big recent acquisitions in the UK and Europe which make it a very big international player.

Lynas: the Malaysia operations have come good such that revenues jumped 75% to $201 million in the latest half.

Macquarie Group: remains world's biggest infrastructure manager plus has global equity markets footprint. Almost 70% of income now comes from offshore - see latest full year results.

Magellan Financial Group: with $60 billion in funds under management and $195 million in revenues in the latest half, you can argue this is foreign income given the group is primarily and very successfully investing in offshore markets.

Mayne Pharma: annual sales now exceed $500 million with majority coming from US business.

Michell family: Adelaide-based wool and leather giant with revenues of $560m

Mineral Resources: Perth-based miner which was out-bid by Mitsui for AWE. Total sales almost hit $1 billion in latest from iron ore, mining services and expanding lithium business.

Mirvac: reduced but still significant international property assets.

NAB: out of the UK so now down to its major New Zealand business.

Newcrest Mining:
gold exports from Australian projects such as Telfer and Cadia plus its offshore operations at Lihir, Gosowong in Indonesia and Golpu in PNG. See recent representation.

Northern Star Resources: expanding gold miner with revenues of more than $1 billion a year and has just bought into the Kalgoorlie Super Pit. All mines are in Australia so makes this list based on export earnings.

Nufarm: NZ chemicals business, plus recently acquired US and UK operations.

Oilsearch: operations in PNG and holds the AGM up there but basically an Australian company doing well offshore. Also now expanding into Alaska.

Orica: worldwide explosives business.

Orora: demerged out of Amcor and US business along generated sales of $US822 million in the latest half year.

Origin Energy: an Australian energy major with solid exports now flowing from Gladstone LNG investment. See latest results.

OZ Minerals: slimmed right down after $US1.2 billion sale of most operations to MinMetals after the GFC but Prominent Hill copper-gold project still makes the grade and is putting together some other international projects. See recent Macquarie presentation.

Pact Group: a Pratt family spin-off which is now listed and generated $165 million from international sales in latest half year result.

Premier Investments: annual sales now pushing $1.3 billion with Smiggle alone above $200 million after aggressive offshore expansion.

Qantas: international partnership with Emirates has been a boomer.

top 10 global insurance player but a shame about the poor returns over the past decade.

Ramsay Healthcare: revenues from enormous French business now pushing $3 billion and also large operation in the UK.

REA Group: a great success story with growing international operations in Asia, the US and Europe.

Reece: unveiled $1.9 billion acquisition of US plumbing firm Morsco which has annual sales of $US1.7 billion.

Resmed: booming sleep disorder products company with global sales exceeding $1 billion and a market cap of $18.5 billion.

Santos: oil and gas major with rapidly growing LNG exports out of Gladstone.

Scentre Group: to the extent that it hosts a growing number of global brands in its stores, plus with 5 NZ centres worth $1.3 billion, it can arguably make this list.

Seek: one of the great Australian success stories, particularly in China. International revenues hit $340 million in the latest half year result.

Seven Group Holdings: recently exited Westrac China but with growing oil and gas business will overall generate more than $200m offshore this year.

Sims Group: UK and US metal recycling although CEO is now based in New York.

Sonic Healthcare:
burgeoning US and European pathology business. Latest half year shows laboratory revenues of $982m in Europe, $540m in the US and $679m in Australia.

Soul Patts/Brickworks/New Hope: The Millner family's conglomerates easily generates more than $200 million offshore when you consider coal exports and TPG's expansion into the Singapore mobiles market.

South32: demerged out of BHP and has big export earnings from Australia plus a large portfolio of operations in South Africa.

St Barbara Mines: successful gold miner which generated revenue of $330 million in the latest half.

Suncorp: New Zealand insurance operations which generated $703m of premium income in the latest half (see p4) and an after tax profit of $61m.

Tabcorp: after the merger with Tatts, will qualify courtesy of UK business.

Tassal: Tasmanian salmon giant headed for $600 million in annualised revenue with a growing export share.

Telstra: has wound back much of its offshore operations but the division called "global connectivity" generated sales of $704m in the latest half year. See p14 of this presentation.

Teys Family: a meat processing business which the Packer family used to half own which turned over more than $1 billion a year.

Transurban: owns tollroads in the US and Canada.

Treasury Wines Estate: the demerged Foster's wine business which is still one of the largest premium wine companies in the world. Latest half year saw sales of $1.3 billion with more than 70% offshore.

Visy: the world's biggest privately owned paper and packaging company with a huge US operation that sees Anthony Pratt's wealth valued at $12 billion.

Vocus Communications: tried and failed to sell its NZ business recently but as long as it owns it, foreign revenues will exceed $200 million.

Webjet: big recent European acquisition and latest half year revenues had already hit $360 million.

Wesfarmers: disastrous UK Bunnings expansion plus on-going coal exports, although has been exiting that business.

Westpac: like most of the big four, major offshore operation is now the New Zealand division, which is big. In 2017 it had operating income of $NZ2.2 billion and delivered after tax cash earnings of $NZ970m (see p60 of full year results.)

Whitehaven Coal: almost went broke when coal prices crashed but stuck to its guns and sales hit $1.15 billion the latest half, plus they recently bought Winchester deposit off Rio Tinto.

Woodside Petroleum: Shell's exit has facilitated the Perth-based oil and gas company joining this list with 2017 sales revenue of $US3.62 billion, which will grow with recent Scarborough acquisition.

Woolworths: New Zealand operations which have annual sales of about $NZ6 billion.

Worley Parsons: genuinely global engineering and project management company - see p32 of latest half year for geographic breakdown of $2.3 billion in global revenues.

Former Australian listed companies that generated more than $200 million a year offshore at one point


Ampol Exploration:




Dulux: bought by Nippon Paint in 2019.

Macquarie Airports: used to be one of the largest global airport companies but has slimmed right back just to its Sydney operation now.

Paperlinx: renamed Spicers and New Zealand and Asian operation generated sales worth $88 million so no longer in the $200m revenue club after exiting European operations.


Rip Curl: sold to Kathmandu for $300 million in 2019.

Toll Holdings: bought by Japan Post in 2015.