Top 1,000 firms in Singapore posted record turnover, profits: Study

The top 1,000 companies' combined profit of $210.7 billion for 2019 is a record, superseding the previous high of $182.8 billion set for 2018.
The top 1,000 companies' combined profit of $210.7 billion for 2019 is a record, superseding the previous high of $182.8 billion set for 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The top 1,000 companies in Singapore generated all-time record turnover and profits in 2019's ranking - the highest since the list started 32 years ago, according to research by DP Info and EY.

In the latest Singapore 1000 (S1000) study which ranks the largest 1,000 companies by turnover, combined revenue stood at S$3.15 trillion for 2019, surpassing the previous high of $3 trillion for 2016. This represents a 13 per cent growth from $2.79 trillion for 2018.

DP Info used its database of audited financials of over 70,000 companies from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018, for the 2019 ranking period.

The top 1,000 companies also saw a record combined profit of $210.7 billion for 2019, superseding the previous high of $182.8 billion set for 2018. This was the second consecutive year of double-digit profit growth.

There are now 2,600 companies with an annual turnover of over $100 million, an increase from 2,414 companies in 2018.

The survey also found that the services, information and communications, and finance sectors saw an upward growth trajectory in terms of combined turnover, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1 per cent based on the average CAGR of the three sectors over the past five years.

The services sector, in particular, saw the highest increase in combined turnover among all sectors, recording a 21.9 per cent growth. This was followed by the information and communications, and finance sectors which experienced combined turnover growth of 19.8 per cent and 15.3 per cent respectively.


DP Info and EY also looked into the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a separate study known as the Singapore SME 1000 survey.

It found that the top 1,000 SMEs recovered in 2019 after the declines seen in both their combined turnover and profits for 2018, where they dipped 11.8 per cent and 17.1 per cent year on year.

This year, SME1000 companies saw their combined turnover increasing by 1.7 per cent to $27.2 billion.

Almost four-fifths of SME1000 companies are now profitable, with combined profits going up by 16 per cent to $3.3 billion.

The retail sector showed the biggest profit jump with an increase of 111.8 per cent, raking in a total of $136.6 million in profits for 2019. This was followed closely by the finance sector, which grew 103.6 per cent in profits to amount to $305.3 million.

"Overall, Singapore SMEs have performed reasonably well despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions," said James Gothard, general manager, Credit Services & Strategy SEA of Experian. "Moving forward, we foresee the opportunity of a growth trajectory among SMEs as they continue to embark on their path towards digitalisation to drive greater productivity and sustain growth."

Max Loh, EY Asean and Singapore managing partner, added: "It is important that businesses go beyond identifying technologies with the traditional roles of improving process efficiencies and financial data, to focus on the innovative roles of improving customer experience and creating new business models, so as to deliver greater value."