In this special annual report, Business News Australia uncovers Brisbane's leading public companies and shares an insight into their success.



21. Carindale Property Trust

2015 Rank: 28
Market Cap April 2016: $525m
CEO: Peter Allen
1H16 Profit: $15.3m
1H16 Revenue: $28.3m
Staff: n/a
Listed: 1996

CARINDALE Property Trust posted a 43.8 per cent slide in half-year profits, despite a 1.9 per cent lift in revenue at its sole investment Westfield Carindale.

The shopping centre's funds from operations were $13.9 million, up 16.6 per cent on the previous period.

The trust refinanced its $230 million bank facility at a lower cost, making it an attractive opportunity for Scentre Group to boost its stake in the company.

The Westfield operator flagged plans to acquire more units in Carindale Property Trust particularly in the current market, with Westfield Carindale valued at $1.5 billion at the end of 2015. Read More


22. National Storage

2015 Rank: 26
Market Cap April 2016: $525m
MD: Andrew Catsoulis
1H16 Profit: $20.6m
1H16 Revenue: $37.3m
Staff: 280
Listed: 2013

ACQUISITIONS have bolstered National Storage REIT's fortunes this past year, helping the company deliver a 35 per cent increase in its FY16 half-year profit to $20.6 million.

The company acquired 12 new locations for $57 million during the first half as part of its growth strategy to secure assets that complement its existing portfolio.

NSR has become the largest self-storage operator in Australasia, servicing more than 35,000 customers across 95 centres, followed by competitor Kennards.

The company kicked off 2016 with the acquisition of another storage centre in Melbourne for $17 million.


23. Vita Group

2015 Rank: 38
Market Cap April: $472m
CEO: Maxine Horne
1H16 Profit: $19.4m
1H16 Revenue: $321.2m
Staff: 1600
Listed: 2005

IT SEEMS to be 'la dolce vita' for Vita Group as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EDITDA) grew by 46 per cent to $30.4 million in the first half.

The communications retailer, which lives by 'the sweet life' maxim, also traded 'Apples' for 'Telstras'.

Vita Group has begun divesting from Next Byte retail stores and has grown its portfolio of Telstra stores and business centres. The company's retail business, already mostly comprised of Telstra stores, grew its revenue 22 per cent over the half year. Vita Group overall grew its revenue 23 per cent.

Founder Maxine Horne says the SME channel is a big focal point for her 21-year-old company going forward. Read More


24. Blue Sky Alternative Investments

2015 Rank: 36
Market Cap April 2016: $403m
MD: Mark Sowerby
1H16 Profit: $4.4m
1H16 Revenue: $23.8m
Staff: 80
Listed: 2012

BLUE Sky continues to capitalise on Australia's growing appetite for investments in alternative markets, with a 69 per cent lift in interim profit to $4.4 million.

The asset manager attributed the growth to its focus on food, water, education, housing, student accommodation, agriculture and infrastructure opportunities in recent years.

Blue Sky has hit the ground running in the second half, after purchasing an office tower in New York through Cove Property Group, a $1 billion student accommodation joint venture with Goldman Sachs and being admitted to the ASX 300 index.

Assets under management totalled $1.7 billion at the end of December, which is expected to hit $2 billion in June, or 18 months ahead of the original target. Read More


25. Collins Foods

2015 Rank: 37
Market Cap April 2016: $358m
CEO & MD: Graham Maxwell
1H16 Profit: $14.3m
1H16 Revenue: $269.7m
Staff: 8570
Listed: 2011

STRONG sales growth across its network of KFC stores helped Collins Foods return to profit in the first half of FY16, from a loss of $22.9 million a year earlier.

The group opened another three KFC stores during the first half, as well as refurbished 16 locations to invest in its existing portfolio.

The positive result was also attributed to Collins Foods transitioning Sizzler Australia as a non-core business, with three store closures.

The Snag Stand venture continues to be refined, with a total of five company-owned locations and one franchised store. A new location was opened on the Gold Coast, while two in Victoria were closed over the period. Read More

26. ERM Power

2015 Rank: 23
Market Cap April 2016: $337m
CEO & MD: Jon Stretch
1H16 Profit: $14.9m
1H16 Revenue: $1.3b
Staff: 200
Listed: 2010

ERM POWER saw its revenue grow but profits shrink dramatically during the latest half year.

Compared to the prior corresponding period in FY15, profits were down by $65 million.

The electricity producer and retailer's earnings slid due to heavy investment in the US failing to pay off as expected and due to changing contracting conditions at its Oakey power plant in Queensland.

ERM Power acquired US business Source Power and Gas in early 2014 and has since invested heavily to scale up. Oakey now operates on a fully merchant basis.

Declining electricity consumption and increased competition are impacting the Brisbane energy company, but it still remains number one in customer satisfaction among all major energy retailers in Australia.

ERM Power told the market in February it believes it will continue delivering profits, at the time announcing a three-year $150 million guarantee facility with Liberty International Underwriters Singapore and an associated facility with Commonwealth Bank of Australia.


27. ImpediMed

2015 Rank: 35
Market Cap April 2016: $309m
CEO & MD: Richard Carreon
1H16 Loss: $9.7m
1H16 Revenue: $2.7m
Staff: 25
Listed: 2007

DESPITE doubling its interim loss, medical technology company ImpediMed maintains a strong balance sheet after raising $75 million in a private placement.

The company develops bioimpedance devices to monitor fluid status and launched its L-Dex system for managing lymphoedema in the US earlier this year.

Revenue in the first half was up 30 per cent compared to a year earlier, largely driven by its lymphoedema business.

The company also advanced developments in fluid monitoring in the field of heart failure, which is expected to be a key focus in the second half of the year.


28. Silver Chef

2015 Rank: 34
Market Cap April 2016: $305m
EC: Allan English
1H16 Profit: $10.3m
1H16 Revenue: $100.7m
Staff: 120
Listed: 2005

RESTAURANT and commercial kitchen financier Silver Chef served up a feast on the ASX this season.

The last half year delivered another record phase of asset growth for the 'Rent-Try-Buy' financier which delivers a flexible funding service for commercial restaurant and kitchen equipment.

The Brisbane company's net profit after tax was up 45 per cent from the previous corresponding period, as its revenue jumped 21.3 per cent.

Founder Allan English, who has transitioned to an executive chairman role, says the outlook for the equipment hire sector 'remains buoyant'.

Hospitality is faring well, but the company is keeping a close eye on the transport and construction sectors as well through its GoGetta division which has been exceeding expectations. Read More


29. GBST Holdings

2015 Rank: 29
Market Cap April 2016: $289m
CEO & MD: Rob DeDominicis
1H16 Profit: $2.3m
1H16 Revenue: $56.7m
Staff: 470
Listed: 2005

WEALTH administration software provider GBST Holdings is entering a new growth phase in a bid to ramp up offshore expansion, led by new CEO Rob DeDominicis.

Revenue remained steady in the latest half year, despite a number of delayed project starts, with international sales contributing 56 per cent of the total.

GBST Holding implemented a record number of projects for new clients, particularly its wealth management business in the UK and a major banking client in Australia.

Former boss Stephen Lake commenced legal proceedings against the company earlier this year over $2.6 million in alleged unpaid wages.


30. Senex Energy

2015 Rank: 30
Market Cap April 2016: $277m
CEO & MD: Ian Davies
1H16 Loss: $27.1m
1H16 Revenue: $36.8m
Staff: 185
Listed: 1984

VOLATILITY didn't stop Senex Energy in its tracks this time.

The oil and gas explorer halved its first-half loss despite prevailing uncertainty in the resources sector.

The FY16 half-year loss was largely attributed to a $69.7 million impairment charge related to Cooper Basin exploration assets, which offset a $38 million sale of Maisey block also in Queensland.

The underlying profit is up 225 per cent to $5.2 million, despite a 47 per cent fall in revenue to $36.8 million.

As at December 31, the company still held cash reserves of $100 million, indicating capability to withstand oil price fluctuations. Senex Energy has flagged looking into acquisitions, but it stresses that it isn't keen to put the balance sheet at risk.

Morgans analysts James Lawrence and Adrian Prendergast view Senex Energy as a 'potential corporate target given the high cash position and large asset base' and deem the result 'solid in a tough market'. Read More



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