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Combined revenue of Singapore’s top 1000 firms up 13.9% in 2013

The combined revenue of Singapore's top 1000 companies increased by 13.9 per cent in 2013 compared with the previous year, according to the Singapore 1000 ranking released by DP Information Group on Thursday.

SINGAPORE: The combined revenue of Singapore's top 1000 companies increased by 13.9 per cent in 2013 compared with the previous year, according to the Singapore 1000 ranking released by DP Information Group on Thursday.

But rising business costs resulted in overall profits growing by just 2.1 per cent.

Singapore's healthcare firms saw their profits increase by 129 per cent last year.

Their strong performance, along with other companies in the services sector such as IT and consulting, contributed to the services industry’s 62 per cent jump in profits.

It is among the only three out of eleven industries that saw higher profits last year, the other two being the finance and retail sectors.

The finance sector recorded the second highest increase in profitability, up 30 per cent from the year before.

Meanwhile, the other eight industries saw their profits shrink by between 1 and 36 per cent.

Chen Yew Nah, managing director at DP Information Group, said: "Be it the Singapore 1000 or SME 1000, most of them are challenged by the growing cost and compliance costs that we can see. Hence… the profit margins have kind of taken a lower shade down.

“I think both groups are more challenged to redefine -- maybe use productivity to help themselves to redefine how to go up in terms of their profit margins."

Meanwhile, local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) showed higher overall profit margins of 9.7 per cent, compared to 5.1 per cent in the Singapore 1000 companies.

IT consultancy and outsourcing firm, Thatz International, said it is coping with manpower challenges by giving its workers more responsibilities,

Simon Lee, executive director of Thatz International, said: "When you join an SME you can learn more skills, and there's a better chance to take up more responsibilities within the company. So in a way, we're more flexible and we can move faster.

“We're looking at expansion into Greater China, Middle East, Australasia. So with coverage over these few geographic locations, we believe we should be able to grow into a regional player to compete with the bigger players in the market."

With more firms venturing abroad, overall revenue derived from overseas operations have increased by 8 per cent on-year in 2013 for the top 100 corporations and 50 SMEs. 

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