Melbourne's Top 50 Companies 2018 revealed

Melbourne's Top 50 Companies 2018 revealed

With the Royal Banking Commission triggering shifts at the top while new entrants shake up the offering on the shelf, Melbourne's top listed companies have been a busy lot this year.

With a combined market capitalisation of $648 billion these companies help drive Australia's strongest state economy, not to mention the nation and the overseas economies where many operate.

From flu shots to employee share plans, vintage wines to blueberries, job search sites to sustainable packaging, these enterprising companies have found global niches and there has been no shortage of M&A activity.

The biggest riser this year was plumbing supplies company Reliance Worldwide Corporation, jumping a massive 12 spots on the back of a $1.22 billion acquisition in the UK combined with supply inroads with a US home improvement chain.

Cracking the list for the first time was IDP Education, which has capitalised on the influx of foreign students in Australia and other developed countries with its digitalised IELTS English test and study placement services.

Other new entrants were the founder-led fintech darling Afterpay - which has seen a meteoric rise thanks to consumers wanting to buy now and pay later and of course Coles, having only recently demerged from Wesfarmers Group.

Coles not only joins the list but has broken the Top 10, and one of its new chief executive's first acts was to open the new store format 'Coles Local' in Surrey Hills. Complete with a "Foodie Hub" and resident chef, it doesn't get more Melbourne than that.

Other rapid risers include Tabcorp after it jumped nine spots following the $11 billion merger with Tatts Group, as well as Cleanaway Waste Management rose by the same number and has benefited from a series of factors including a general push towards recycling, population growth and Chinese restrictions on waste imports.

A notable absence this year is cleaning group Spotless after it was bought by Downer EDI for $1.3 billion, while other companies to have dropped off the list include aged care provider Regis Healthcare and packaging company Pact Group.

But the biggest changes have arguably been at the top, where ANZ and NAB have been knocked off the perch by two multinationals in vastly different industries.

At the same time, Telstra has somehow managed to hold its spot despite losing more than $16 billion in value after network outages and hurdles with the NBN roll-out.

Melbourne may have lost its title of world's most liveable city this year, with the Economist Intelligence Unit placing it below Vienna. But in terms of other indicators like economic growth and reductions in unemployment, the city is looking strong and the its top companies are a major part of that success.

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