Apartments, Cattle & Car Parts, top the ranks in latest survey of Australia’s best performing mid-market businesses

21 June 2018

A property development company specialising in the construction of apartments in inner-Melbourne has been ranked as the best performing business in Australia’s mid-sized business market, after analysis by leading professional services firm BDO Australia.

Central Equity Limited, apartment and housing developers in Melbourne, achieved a Revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 102% and 269% profit before tax (PBT) CAGR, over the last three years, were joined in the top five by:

  • cattle production company, Lakewoods Holdings – 34% Revenue CAGR and 581% PBT CAGR
  • car part manufacturers, AMA Group – 102% Revenue CAGR and 42% PBT CAGR
  • cotton and crop farming group, Webster Limited, and – 73% CAGR and 139% PBT
  • multinational paint and coating manufacturers, Asko Nobel – 3% Revenue CAGR and 518% PBT CAGR.

The findings have been published in the BDO Growth Index, which analysed three years of financial data with a focus on revenue growth and profit before tax.

BDO Sydney Managing Partner, Grant Saxon, said the slice of the Australian economy which continues to tick all of the boxes for economic success is the quiet-achieving middle market.

“Our BDO Growth Index has taken a magnifying glass to companies in Australia whose annual turnover sits between $10m and $500m – approximately 2% of registered businesses,” Mr Saxon said.

“Although small in number, the mid-market employs around 120% of the Australian workforce and produces just under a quarter of Australia’s total revenue.

“At BDO, we consider the mid-market to be Australia’s factory for growth.

“Mid-market businesses are unique in that they are large enough to invest and make a meaningful impact on the economy, yet small enough to be entrepreneurial and nimble, often with a clear market niche.  Whilst there is plenty of innovation occurring in the start-up community, innovation is commercialised in the mid-market.

“In a rapidly changing environment, middle market businesses have the advantage of being agile and have access to resources, but are not held back by the hierarchal structures you often see in some larger companies. This enables them to respond quickly and innovatively to a rapidly changing business environment. The size of these businesses can therefore become a competitive advantage and a basis for growth and success. The ability to adapt and quickly respond to changing markets are key characteristics of successful businesses in the middle market.

“Mid-size businesses are still entrepreneurial in the way they approach their strategy and its implementation. They look corporate, but they’re not hampered by layers of bureaucracy that can slow down the time it takes to make decisions.”

The Top 5 fastest growing mid-market companies in Australia are:

Rank Name of organisation State Industry / sector Compound annual growth rate - Revenue over the last 3 years Compound annual growth rate - Profit before tax  over last 3 years Revenue range
1 Central Equity Limited VIC Construction 102% 269% From $400m to $500m
2 Lake Woods Holdings Pty Limited QLD Agriculture 34% 581% From $100m to less than $200m
3 AMA Group Limited VIC Manufacturing for Motor Industry 102% 42% From $300m to less than $400m
4 Webster Limited NSW Agriculture 73% 139% From $100m to less than $200m
5 Akzo Nobel Coatings (Holdings) Pty Limited VIC Manufacturing for construction industry 3% 518% From $200m to less than $300m

The report is now available online at

BDO Growth Index Methodology:

  • The BDO Growth Index was based on data from IBISWorld with further analysis by BDO’s Corporate Finance and Audit teams.
  • The research looked at 676 mid-market companies in Australia – analysing the financial results for both privately held and publically listed organisations with annual revenues between $10 million and $500 million. The mid-market comprises businesses that are large enough to invest and make a meaningful impact on the economy, yet small enough to be entrepreneurial in nature, quick and nimble movers with a clear market niche.

1 Sources: ABS, ATO and Australian Graduate School of Management Executive Report – see BDO Growth Index for all references.