Profitability

Some caution should be exercised when referencing profitability. The vast majority of the top 500 corporations are not-for-profit corporations so this report focuses largely on income. Profit or surplus cannot be taken as an accurate measure of the performance of a not-for-profit because the objective of such corporations is quite different. Their aim is not to generate profit or wealth but to use their resources to the maximum to further their not-for-profit purposes. The more income that a not-for-profit generates, the more resources it will devote to its not-for-profit purposes.

Income, assets and equity

In this section ‘total assets’ refers to current and non-current assets combined, as reported by corporations. Also, ‘total equity’ is calculated as:

total equity = total assets – total liabilities.

Figure 6: Combined total income, total assets and total equity, 2004–05 to 2014–15

Overall income

In this report ‘income’ refers to total income as reported in corporations’ audited financial statements or general reports. This may include self-generated income, government grants, philanthropic gifts and other income sources.

In 2014–15 the combined income of the top 500 corporations was $1.882 billion, an increase from $1.739 billion in 2013–14 (nominal increase of 8.2 per cent).

Geographic spread

Geographic spread of the top 500 corporations

Figure 2: Geographic spread of the top 500 corporations, 2014–15

Map of Australia showing the number and percentage share of top 500 corporations in each state/territory.

As shown in figure 2, the Northern Territory had the most corporations in the top 500 in 2014–15 (165 corporations, making up 33.0 per cent of the total 500).

Reporting compliance

Under the CATSI Act all corporations are required to submit one or more reports to the Registrar depending on their size (small, medium or large) and income.

Figure 1: Reporting compliance for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations, 2001–02 to 2014–15

Figure 1 is a line graph plotting the percentage of reporting compliance for all corporations starting in 2001–02 up to 2014–15.

Key findings

  • The combined income of the top 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations for 2014–15 was $1.88 billion (compared to $1.74 billion in 2014–15, an increase of 8.2 per cent).
  • The ten-year average annual growth rate of total income for corporations was 9.4 per cent.
  • In comparison to 2013–14 the average income of the top 500 corporations in 2014–15 increased from $3.48 million to $3.76 million.

The CATSI Act

The CATSI Act establishes the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups to form corporations. The CATSI Act delivers modern corporate governance standards—
it emphasises the importance of compliance and reporting as a mechanism to improve transparency and accountability. The CATSI Act provides a legislative mechanism to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people build strong corporations, strong people and strong communities.

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