Surprises and fun facts (oh, and the winners too) from the Deloitte Top 200 awards

Last night, Deloitte awarded the elite of New Zealand’s business community with statues and canapes. The winners have been well covered by the sponsor publication (and are listed below) so rather than another update on Fonterra,* here are the four things that surprised us and a few of fun facts about the top 200.

1. Orora who?

Coming in at number nine (up from 87th last year!) is Orora Packaging (the New Zealand subsidiary of the Australian-based multinational) with an astounding revenue of $3.4 billion (up 28%) with an after-tax profit of $131 billion. Damn, that’s a lot of $! What do they do to make all that $?

Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, Orora makes packaging. It makes aluminum cans, glass bottles, wine closures in its factory in Auckland; fibre packaging (you know those trays and cupholders and takeaway containers that are kind of like cardboard but aren’t?) in Auckland, Christchurch and Hastings; and makes boxes of all shapes and sizes in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Someone has to make all that packaging we’re using, but who knew that company would be in the top ten by revenue in the country? Not me, that’s for sure.

2. We’re still obviously smoking a lot of cigarettes. Like, a lot of cigarettes.

New Zealand’s long been at the forefront of restricting its citizen’s ability to smoke tobacco. The first smoke-free building in the world was the Old Government Building in Wellington, which went smoke-free in 1876. Sure, it was to stop the building from burning down rather than any ahead-of-its-time concern over lung cancer, but still.

Since then, we’ve outlawed the sale of cigarettes in packets of less than 20, we’ve banned smoking from all public workplaces, limited the public areas people can smoke, we’ve hidden cigarettes in closets and under counters in dairies and supermarkets, and we’ve made cigarette companies label their products with the most horrific images of the potential consequences of smoking you could imagine.

And the outcome? British American Tobacco Holdings (NZ) slips from the company with the 30th highest revenue in the country to the company with the 32nd highest revenue of the company, but with a revenue increase of 1.5% (through profits after tax are down 3.9%).

Are we losing the battle? Is it futile? Is Big Tobacco invincible? Or should we just take a moment to think about how much money British American Tobacco Holdings (NZ) would be making if these regulations were in place?

3. Speaking of invincible – Fonterra!

Wow! Fonterra’s revenue can drop by 15% and they’re still number one! And not just number one, but number one by a mile. Fonterra’s revenue could drop by another 50% and guess what? It’d still be number one by about one billion dollars.

Part of this magazine’s founding ethos was that New Zealand has to move away from low margin primary industries (dairy, tourism, forestry) to high-tech, high margin industries (software, design, high-tech manufacturing). Fonterra’s continued dominance of New Zealand’s commercial landscape, despite a more than difficult year, shows just how far we haven’t come.

4. Not as bad as we thought (revenue-wise). Oh yes, I see, that’s quite bad (profit-wise)

We haven’t followed it too closely (kids clothing retail isn’t exactly our wheelhouse), but after all the doom and gloom, we were surprised to see Pumpkin Patch come in at 128 on the list, only down five places from last year with a drop in revenue of just under 1%. Not bad, eh?

But take a slightly closer look and you see that it has lost a boatload of money, $9 billion in fact, with its profit down 189%. Ouch! That is actually kinda bad.

Fun facts!

Fastest growing revenue: Xero (75%)

Fastest growing profit: Hellaby Holdings (22,118%)

Highest assets, equity and return on equity: Housing New Zealand

Biggest after-tax loss: Kiwirail Holdings ($166,500)

Biggest supermarket chain: Foodstuffs

Biggest oil company: BP (beating Z by a mere $219 million)

Biggest kiwifruit company: ZESPRI (jokes - is there another kiwifruit company?)

Biggest alcohol company: Lion (beating DB by a mere $84 million)

New entries: Farmlands Co-operative Society, Ngai Tahu, Orion Corporation, Mediaworks, Dimention Data, Schneider Electric

Okay, so we should probably tell you who the winners were too:

Company of the year:EBOS Group

Executive of the year:Christopher Luxon (Air New Zealand)

Chief financial officer of the year: Robert McDonald (Air New Zealand)

Chairperson of the year:Joan Withers

Most improved performance:Refining NZ

Excellence in governance:NZ Super Fund

Best growth strategy:Tourism Holdings

Diversity leadership award:Westpac

Young executive award:Craig West (Downer Group)

Visionary leader award: Dame Suzie Moncrieff (WOW)

All images by Rupal Hira (cool, huh?)
*Okay, there is a little update on Fonterra