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8638.0 - Wholesale Industry, Australia, 1998-99  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/10/2000  Ceased
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MEDIA RELEASE

October 18, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
143/2000

ABS: Wholesale trade income over $210 billion

Wholesale businesses generated income of $210,583 million during 1998-99 according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). At the end of June 1999 there were 38,568 wholesale businesses employing 429,386 people.

The most significant contributions to income were wholesale sales (91 per cent or $191,887 million) followed by retail sales (4 per cent or $7,931 million) and other service income (3 per cent or $6,030 million). Other service income includes income from repair and maintenance activity, an integral part of some wholesalers operations.

Small businesses employing fewer than 20 people dominated the number of businesses in the wholesale trade industry during 1998-99 with 92 per cent of all businesses. Small business also contributed 40 per cent of industry employment and 27 per cent of income.

Large businesses employing 200 or more people accounted for less than 1 per cent of the total number of businesses, but contributed 26 per cent of total wholesale industry employment and 32 per cent of total industry income.

Since 1991-92 the number of wholesale trade industry businesses has increased by 29 per cent, employment by 23 per cent, and total income by 48 per cent. Operating profit before tax increased by 138 per cent, resulting in a significant increase in the operating profit margin from 2 per cent to 3.2 per cent. The total operating profit before tax generated by wholesalers in 1998-99 was $6,728 million, an average of $174,500 per business.

At the end of June 1999, over two thirds (68 per cent) of industry employment were male and 84 per cent of employment was on a full-time basis. Total wages and salaries for the Australian wholesaling industry was estimated at $15,238 million, an average of $35,500 for each person employed. NSW recorded the highest average of $38,000 and Tasmania the lowest with $27,800.

Together, NSW and Victoria accounted for 63 per cent of total employment (271,238 people) and 65 per cent of total income ($137,450 million). NSW was the largest contributor to the Australian totals, being responsible for 35 per cent of employment and 36 per cent of total income. Victoria was the second largest contributor with 29 per cent of both employment and total income.

Further details can be found in Wholesale Industry, Australia 1998-99 (cat. no. 8638.0) available from ABS bookshops. The summary of the publication are also available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.

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