Business assets reach almost $1.8 trillion

Annual Enterprise Survey: 2015 financial year (provisional)  –  Media Release

In 2015, New Zealand businesses held assets valued at nearly $1.8 trillion ($1,793 billion), Statistics New Zealand said today. These assets included cash, loans, plant and machinery, and land and buildings.

“This value was up $95 billion, or 6 percent from 2014, and was the largest annual increase in total assets since the global financial crisis in 2007–09,” national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet said.

Businesses earned $59 billion in operating profits in 2015 (down $1.7 billion from 2014). This was a 3.3 percent return on assets, compared with 3.6 percent in 2014.

Industry groups showing the highest return on assets for 2015 were: health care and social assistance (12 percent), construction (12 percent), and wholesale trade (10 percent). These industries have generally shown high returns on assets in recent years.

Small and medium-sized businesses (under 20 employees) were 97 percent of all businesses and earned $34 billion in operating profits in 2015.

“As happened in previous years, small and medium-sized businesses made a higher return on assets in 2015 than larger businesses did,” Mr Dunnet said. “For example, smaller businesses such as sole traders may show a higher profit and return on assets because their profit is calculated before drawings.”

The Annual Enterprise Survey (AES) is New Zealand’s most comprehensive source of financial statistics. It provides annual information on the financial performance and financial position for industry and sector groups operating in New Zealand.

See Annual Enterprise Survey: 2015 financial year (provisional) for detailed data in the downloadable tables.

Customised data information from AES is available on request. Please email our Information Centre [email protected].


For media enquiries contact: Gary Dunnet, Wellington 04 931 4650, [email protected]
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 26 August 2016


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