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Fast-growth companies rewarded

Friday, 17 September 2010 | By Oliver Milman

Australia’s fastest-growing small businesses have been recognised in SmartCompany’s Smart50 list for 2010.

 

The list saw Carbon Management Solutions take out top spot. The company posted average annual revenue growth of 453% over the past three years and revenue of $72 million in 2009-10.

 

The husband-and-wife run business, owned by Cameron and Amber Ferguson, is one of Australia's biggest wholesale suppliers of solar panels for residential properties, and they now have their eyes on the commercial property sector.

 

The remaining top five, all awarded at a ceremony in Melbourne, were MegaBuy Group, Switched on Media, Selmar and Apricus Australia.

 

Now in its fourth year, the Smart50 list ranks businesses by overall annual revenue growth over the past three years, with firms having to earn more than $500,000 in annual income to be eligible.

 

The members of this year’s Smart50 created 1,144 jobs in the last 12 months, shrugging off the sluggish economic conditions.

 

The total revenue of the 50 companies rose from $701 million last year to $741 million, although this figure is below the pre-GFC figure of $1 billion in 2008.

 

SmartCompany publisher Amanda Gome says the high level of jobs created by the Smart50 underlines the important role SMEs have played in driving Australia's economic recovery.

 

"Conditions have been patchy in many sectors in the last 12 months and it is almost impossible to get funding from a bank," Gome says.

 

"But these companies have continued to expand and hire. In fact, one of their biggest problems is finding good people and this is getting worse as skills shortages return."

 

"The Smart50 continue to be at the forefront of the big trends in Australian business, such as the push towards a green economy. They're also masters at using technology to get the jump on their competitors."