Firms size and industry performance

Large companies achieved the highest net profit margins since 2010 at an average of about 5%. The financial intermediation and real estate industry has had the highest margins (at over 17 percent for large firms, and 16 percent for small firms), while they have not varied across firm size in the manufacturing, trade and transport industries. Returns have been highest for small firms, reflecting some years of usually high returns after the global financial crisis (particularly in forestry and fishing). Small firms have had average return on equity of over 30 percent (i.e firms generated over R30 net profits for every R100 invested by shareholders) and return on asset of over 7 percent. For large firms, return on equity averaged over 14 percent and return on assets over 5 percent. Community, social and personal services (which includes health care and entertainment) showed the highest return on equity and assets across all firm sizes.

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