SA’s top companies weather the COVID storm with confidence

South Australia’s top companies are weathering the global effects of supply chain congestion, rising prices and volatile markets well, with few noting lower revenues, according to an analysis by InDaily’s South Australian Business Index. Read on to discover this year’s top 100 local businesses and industry sectors.

Analysis by Adelaide financial services firm Taylor Collison for: InDaily’s The South Australian Business Index of the state’s top 100 companies for fiscal year 2021-22 showed the city’s top end doing well.

Power companies, commercial construction and the like SILK laser clinics are taking advantage of the changing demand, along with miners targeting the fertilizer industry.

Scroll down to see this year’s top 100 companies, as well as to see the sector composition of the Index and how our Index compares to national and international benchmarks.

READ MORE: SA’s Top 100 Companies in 2022: The last 25 and prize winners

InDaily today revealed the index’s top performers at the Adelaide Convention Center with a keynote speaker from the number one-ranked Santos company, Brett Woods, the president of the oil and gas producer’s midstream infrastructure and its clean fuels division.

Rising global demand helped energy prices benefit companies like Santos, while increasing demand for other resources kept mining companies like OZ Minerals high on the list as well.

Other COVID-related issues had mixed effects on other sectors. Online retailers initially benefited from massive demand during COVID lockdowns, but then faced delivery issues.

Energy remains the largest industry segment, thanks in large part to Santos’ dominance, with mining the second largest. The chart below shows how all sectors fared.

If we drill down, the shadow of COVID remains.

Companies such as SILK Laser Australia Ltd grew significantly in this environment.

Analysis by Taylor Collison showed the company grew 38 percent in sales to $81.3 million as it provided non-surgical aesthetic products and services in laser hair removal, cosmetic injectables, skin treatments, contouring and skin care products..

But then again, SILK Laser juggled its ability to meet increased demand with COVID-related staff shortages.

Overall, says Taylor Collison analyst Campbell Rawson, the largest South Australian companies performed well.

“The relative lack of COVID-related lockdowns has been beneficial and there are only about 15 percent of companies in the top 100 where sales have declined compared to last year,” Rawson said.

He said the local talent pool has also benefited from people who have returned to SA from Sydney and Melbourne as they see strong opportunities in this state.

“However, there is an element of nervousness across Australia looking forward to the next six months related to global economies and the appetite for spending. The state is in a relatively healthy position, but there are external factors that our businesses have no influence on have,” Rawson said.

Analysis of the state’s top companies showed that some of our best-known construction companies were among the best performing as they managed to balance growing demand for construction work with supply problems, rising construction costs and interest rates.

Civil construction companies including McMahon Services, Ahrens Group, Badge and Doneilyn Pty Ltd, better known as the Sarah Group, have all done well. The main beneficiaries of demand in this sector were construction companies focusing on infrastructure and commercial buildings, as they had the most opportunities to pass on costs.

Other companies performed strongly thanks to growing international and domestic demand from both the impact of the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine that pushed up global prices in sectors ranging from energy, agriculture, food and mining.

Some agricultural and mining companies posted strong results as markets reacted to the gap left by Ukraine, a leading global exporter of wheat and fertilizers.

Our Rising Star Award winner NeuRizer, formerly known as Leigh Creek Energy, is working on a urea project in SA. It plans to become the world’s first carbon neutral urea production facility targeting domestic markets and exporting high-quality nitrogen-based fertilizers for the agricultural sector.

While Centrex reached production and shipping at its Ardmore Phosphate mine to absorb the increased prices for fertilizers and agricultural minerals as global demand increased.

So is the global transition to more sustainable cars and renewable energy, benefiting some of our mining companies.

Renascor Resources targets mineral prospects with plans to become a leading producer of the lithium-ion battery for the electric vehicle industry.

Andromeda Metals focuses on industrial minerals that can be used in hydrogen storage, water purification, carbon capture, soil remediation and renewable energy.

Sparc Technologies is in a joint venture with Adelaide University and is focused on researching and developing next-generation hydrogen technology with the commercial backing of Fortescue Future Industries.

A high-yielding season for farmers coupled with strong livestock demand from international and domestic markets contributed to Elders’ strong performance, with group sales up 38 percent. Family ranchers AJ and PA McBride, wool exporters Michell Group, Duxton Water and AlmondCo all delivered strong results.

Thomas Foods International reached the top 10 of the business index for the first time as the family business continues its impressive growth trajectory by supplying meat and seafood domestically and internationally.

Drake Supermarkets performed strongly and Maggie Beer Holdings delivered exceptional sales growth of 170 percent, fueled by the acquisition of Hampers and Gifts Australia.

Meanwhile, the automotive sector saw unprecedented demand for new and used cars, especially four-wheel drive and utility vehicles, driven by increased domestic spending and tourism.

Delivery issues frustrated some dealerships, but the surge in pricing power led to industry-wide revenue growth.


To be eligible for the Index, companies must be a South Australian entity incorporated in SA, headquartered in SA, or be an SA-operated entity, the majority of which is owned by South Australians.

Each company is ranked by market capitalization by Taylor Collison using the following formula:

  • ASX – market capitalization (share price plus number of common shares at issue).
  • Private Entities – estimate market capitalization taking into account operating income, industry standard profit margins, and applying multiple profits.

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