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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Communications and Information Technology >> The communication services industries

The communication services industries encompass telecommunication services, and postal and courier services. These industries comprise the Communication Services Division of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).

The telecommunication services industry is made up of businesses mainly providing telecommunication services to the public by wire, cable or radio. The primary activities of the industry include cable and communication channel services, network communication services, operation of radio relay stations, satellite communication services, telecommunications, telephone services, teleprinter and telex services, and operation of television relay stations.

The industry excludes businesses which manufacture telecommunications equipment, businesses engaged in cable laying and transmission line construction, and those providing secretarial services (e.g. personalised telephone answering services or message delivery services). Also, the ABS classifies the provision of radio and television services (as distinct from the operation of radio and television relay stations) as part of the Cultural and Recreational Services Division of the ANZSIC. Information on radio and television broadcasting, including the role of the National Transmission Agency, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Special Broadcasting Service and commercial radio and television services, is included in Culture and recreation.

Table 24.1 shows key measures of industry structure and performance for the Communication Services Division as a whole, compiled from the ABS's annual Economic Activity Survey. As can be seen from the table, by some measures the communication services sector overall has been one of the fastest growing in Australia. For example, sales grew from just under $20b in 1994-95 to nearly $32b in 1999-2000. Other measures have fluctuated over the years though most indicators for 1999-2000 were positive:

  • The number of businesses decreased slightly by 2% in 1999-2000 after many years of growth.
  • Employment reached a peak in 1995-96, declined in the following two years, but increased again in 1998-99; it continued to increase in 1999-2000, by 1%.
  • Gross operating surplus continued a strong increase in 1999-2000, rising by 24%.
  • Pre-tax profit experienced a further increase of 12% in 1999-2000, after a 33% rise in 1998-99.
  • Net worth grew by 8% in 1999-2000, following a 20% rise in 1998-99.
  • Capital spending has fluctuated over the years, but increased by 39% in 1999-2000.
  • Industry gross product (the former measure of an industry sector's contribution to Gross Domestic Product) grew by 2% in 1995-96, by 16% in 1996-97 and by 5% in 1997-98. For 1997-98 and the following years, the measure of contribution to GDP has changed somewhat in line with international standards (see footnote (a) to table 24.1). The new measure, 'industry value added', still measures an industry's contribution to GDP. Industry value added for the communication services industries increased by 3% to $16.7b in 1998-99 and by 16% to $19.5b in 1999-2000.

24.1 COMMUNICATION SERVICES INDUSTRIES, Structure and Performance

Units
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000

Industry structure
- Businesses at 30 June
no.
1,956
2,363
3,049
3,540
3,917
3,858
- Employment at 30 June
’000
127
137
125
118
120
121
Income statement
- Sales of goods and services
$m
19,883
21,632
23,692
24,696
29,712
31,973
- Less cost of sales
$m
7,583
9,272
11,136
9,827
13,640
15,473
- Trading profit
$m
12,300
12,360
12,556
14,869
16,072
16,500
- Plus interest
$m
154
179
171
140
156
141
- Plus other operating income
$m
252
624
77
19
80
809
- Less labour costs
$m
6,451
6,273
6,605
6,122
5,586
5,612
- Less depreciation
$m
2,572
2,791
3,026
2,961
3,357
3,782
- Less other operating expenses
$m
200
142
442
426
400
361
- Earnings before interest and tax
$m
3,483
3,957
2,731
5,520
6,966
7,964
- Less interest expenses
$m
615
723
742
916
837
805
- Operating profit before tax
$m
2,868
3,234
1,989
4,603
6,130
6,889
Total assets
$m
32,094
34,373
37,964
36,358
41,048
45,600
Total liabilities
$m
17,814
17,730
23,714
21,196
22,873
26,043
Net worth
$m
14,280
16,643
14,251
15,162
18,175
19,556
Capital expenditure
$m
4,488
6,217
5,365
5,304
6,179
8,614
Gross operating surplus
$m
6,153
6,615
8,351
10,084
11,143
13,868
Industry gross product(a)
$m
12,605
12,888
14,956
15,648
. .
. .
Industry value added(a)
$m
. .
. .
. .
16,205
16,729
19,480

(a) From 1997-98, under the new international standard, the 1993 edition of the System of National Accounts (SNA93), the contribution to GDP by industries is measured by ‘industry value added’ (IVA). Estimates for IVA measure the value added by an industry to the intermediate inputs used by that industry. Previously the corresponding contribution to GDP was measured by ‘industry gross product’ (IGP). Further information on the changes to international standards can be found in the Information Paper: Implementation of Revised International Standards in the Australian National Accounts (5251.0).

Source: Business Operations and Industry Performance, Australia, Preliminary, 1999-2000 (8142.0).



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