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8142.0 - Business Operations and Industry Performance, Australia, Preliminary, 1996-97  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/1998   
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  • Business Operations and Industry Performance, Preliminary 1996-97 (Media Release)


May 29, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Business Operations and Industry Performance, Preliminary 1996-97

A preliminary report on the operations and performance of public trading and private employing businesses in Australia in 1996-97 was released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. General government and businesses without employees are excluded from these statistics.

During 1996-97 the number of these businesses grew at a steady rate of 2.8 per cent to 773,000. Most indicators rose during 1996-97 in current price terms - operating profit before tax (OPBT) increased by 5 per cent, operating income by 3 per cent, operating expenses by 3 per cent, assets by 7 per cent, liabilities by 14 per cent and employment by 1 per cent.

The average income of businesses fell by 2 per cent to $1,426,000 over 1996-97, while average expenses rose by 0.4 per cent to $1,304,000.

Over 1996-97 the average OPBT per business remained the same as in 1995-96, at $128,000. This is due to a compositional change in business (i.e. an increase in the number of small and medium businesses) as well as an increase in stock levels. The industry showing the strongest growth in OPBT was the Finance and insurance Industry where OPBT rose by 17 per cent to $37,150m.

Business performance ratios remained much the same in 1996-97. Long term debt to equity and interest coverage ratios have increased slightly to 0.3 and 2.6 respectively, while the profit margin remained the same as for 1995-96 at 9.0 per cent.

Details are in Business Operations and Industry Performance, Australia, Preliminary, 1996-97 (cat. no. 8142.0), available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities. A summary of its main findings are available from this site.

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