Australia's improving foreign ownership record

December 8, 2022

Australia has long had a terrible foreign ownership record, but it has improved a little in recent years as this list of 100 Australian companies generating more than $200m a year offshore demonstrates. However, there are more than 300 foreign companies generating more than $200 million a year out of Australia so we have a long way to go.

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.

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 the 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).

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

Atlas Arteria:
The old Macquarie Atlas Roads continues to prosper 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?

Aurelia Metals: emerging gold miner which generated $332 million in revenue in 2019-20 and then raised capital to purchase another mine in late 2020.

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 first topped topped $500 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.

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

Brambles: global chep pallets business which in a typical half year generated over $US1 billion in both the US and Europe and around $200 million in sales out of Australia.

Breville Group: appliance maker has done very well, particularly in the US and a clear majority of its $1 billion-plus in annual revenue comes from offshore.

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

Corporate Travel Management: revenues now top $300 million with a majority coming from its strong international operations.

Crown Resorts: 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, although that will drop with the combination of COVID and regulators scandals around money laundering.

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

Commonwealth Bank: New Zealand and limited Asian operations. P81 of this 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 now exceed $2 billion only around 10% coming from Australia and New Zealand. US is largest share with 49%, see p4 of this 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 $200 million per annum in revenue. Indeed, it is hte leading pizza company in 9 of the 10 markets in which it operates.

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 had more than 50,000 staff at the peak.

Evolution Mining: booming gold miner with revenues approaching $2 billion a year although all their mines are in Australia.

Flight Centre: global travel services that generated $1.4 billion in revenue in a typical pre-COVID half, with almost 50% coming from offshore.

Fortescue Metals: the third force in iron ore, making a fortune exporting to the Chinese market.

Goodman Group: a genuine global powerhouse in industrial property - see p18 of this presentation from a 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, which was later demerged. Still a large business with total sales exceeding $3 billion.

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

Hancock Prospecting: Gina Rinehart is now making billions from her Roy Hill iron ore mine in WA, plus the empire also includes an expanding agri-business plus the original royalty deal with Rio Tinto.

IGO Ltd: after recent $1.9 billion lithium acquisition, has made the list as an emerging clean energy metals company based in Perth, although revenues had already hit $889 million in 2019-20.

Incitec Pivot: global explosives chemical and fertiliser business.

Independence Group: miner which produces gold, copper, cobalt and zinc for export and has annual revenues exceeding $500 million.

Iluka Resources: major mineral sands exporter and also owns several operations in Sierra Leone.

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.

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: a genuine global player in urban renewal projects.

Lynas: the Malaysia operations have come good such that revenues now exceed $400 million.

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

Magellan Financial Group: with almost $100 billion in funds under management and annual revenues of around $500 million, 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, although has been a shocker for shareholders in recent years.

Michell family: Adelaide-based wool and leather giant with revenues exceeding $500 million.

Mineral Resources: Perth-based miner which was out-bid by Mitsui for AWE. Total sales now exceed $1 billion from iron ore, mining services and an 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.

Northern Star Resources: expanding gold miner with revenues of more than $2 billion a year going forward after first buying 50% of the Kalgoorlie Super Pit and then moving to 100% through the 2021 merger with Saracen Mineral Holdings to create a $16 billion giant.

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 alone generates sales of around $2 billion a 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.

Pact Group: a Pratt family spin-off which is now listed and generated $165 million from international sales in this 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. Currently subject to a foreign private equity takeover.

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

Reece: made its big international move beyond New Zealand with this $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 more than $15 billion.

Santos: oil and gas major with rapidly growing LNG exports out of Gladstone and a big PNG operation following the 2021 merger with Oil Search.

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 peaked at more than $500 million before a sell down of the Chinese operation.

Seven Group Holdings: exited Westrac China but with growing oil and gas business is now easily generating more than $200m offshore a year.

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

Sonic Healthcare:
burgeoning US and European pathology business. This 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 New Hope's coal exports plus the growing US arm of Brickworks.

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

St Barbara Mines: Australian gold miner (Gwalia in WA) which then expanded into Canada and produced $320 million of operating cash flow in 2019-20.

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

Tabcorp: after the merger with Tatts, qualified courtesy of UK business, although it is now looking to demerge its lotteries business.

Telstra: has wound back much of its offshore operations but the division called "global connectivity" still generates sales revenue of more than $1 billion a year.

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.

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.

Webjet: big European acquisitions saw it qualify and survived the COVID crisis after completing a discounted capital raising.

Wesfarmers: much smaller than previously after quit disastrous UK Bunnings expansion and its coal mining investments but still qualifies courtesy of insurance and Bunnings in NZ.

Western Areas:
the Perth-based nickel miner generated record revenues of $311 million in 2019-20 from exporting its product.

Westpac: like most of the big four, major offshore operation is now the New Zealand division. In 2017 it alone 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 have been running as high as $200 million a month in recent years.

Woodside Petroleum: Shell's exit has facilitated the Perth-based oil and gas company joining this list with annual sales exceeding $4 billion.

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

Worley Parsons: genuinely global engineering and project management company - see p32 of this 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


Afterpay: cracked the list in 2019-20 after total income surged by 97% to $519 million, the majority of which was generated outside Australia, but then disappeared into the belly of Silicon Valley's Square Inc, now called Block.

Ampol Exploration:

Ardent Leisure: growing US business Main Event generates sales of more than $300 million a year, although it did sell a 24% stake to a US partner in 2020 and then completely exited in 2022, generating $640m in cash on a business valuation of $1.1 billion.




Boral: very big US business after spending $US2.6 billion buying Headwaters in 2017, which contributed to a profit down-grade in April 2018. However, fully exited US operations after Kerry Stokes took control.

Coca Cola Amatil: taken over by its European cousin in 2021.

Dulux: bought by Nippon Paint in 2019.

Link Market Services: undertook some big acquisitions in the UK and Europe which make it a global player, but was then bought by Canadian company Dye & Durham in 2022.

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.

Tassal: Tasmanian salmon giant headed for $600 million in annualised revenue with a growing export share, before it was taken over by Brazilian giant JBS.

Toll Holdings: bought by Japan Post in 2015.

Vocus Communications: its New Zealand division generated more than $200 million in revenue but then Macquarie privatised the whole operation in 2021.