The 1998-99 Europe Business Review Awards recognise achievements in Australia-Europe economic relations.

Profiles of companies nominated for the Awards are published in the following pages.

The Awards are sponsored by the European Union, through the Delegation of the European Commission to Australia headed by Ambassador Aneurin Hughes.

The Award categories are:

* Best Australian Business Achievement in Europe

* Best Australian High-Tech Achievement in Europe

* Best European Business Achievement in Australia

* Most Significant Contribution to Australia-Europe Economic Relations

* Most Significant Achievement in Australia-Europe Finance Sector Operations

Europe Business Review, founded in 1995, established the Awards to honour corporate and individual contributions in Australia-Europe business.

Previous winners were Alcatel, ABN-Amro, British Aerospace, ERG, Incat, Southcorp, Siemens, Telstra and the Australian Wine Export Council.

Europe is Australia’s leading economic partner overall – a $100 billion relationship in trade, investment and services. The founder and publisher of Europe Business Review, Mr Peter Charlton, says “The Awards recognise and honour Australian and European enterprises with outstanding achievements in trade, technology, services, finance and investment between Australia and Europe.”

Europe Business Review is published in Sydney and circulates in Australia, Europe and Asia. It reports and analyses the growing Australia-Europe economic relationships, including their Asia-Pacific context.

Ambassador Hughes, says economic difficulties in Asia, the growing economic integration of Europe and growing trade between Australia and EU are strong reminders of the extent and importance of Australia’s business relations with Europe.

Readers of Europe Business Review are invited to attend the awards ceremony to be held in Sydney later this year.

Best Australian Business Achievement in Europe

BRL Hardy

BRL Hardy based in Adelaide, is one of Australia’s major wine exporters. Its overseas sales rose from 18 percent in 1994 to 32 percent currently. Exports in 1998 returned $120 million out of total sales of $372 million. The chief winemaker is Peter Dawson.

Hardy’s British market is now worth $65 million, and it has strong sales in US, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. The company is acquiring extra vineyards and improving existing ones to improve availability and quality of wine for export. Overall, Hardy is the second largest wine company in Australia, producing the equivalent of 150 million bottles a year.

The first Hardy winery began in 1853 and the BRL Hardy Wine Company was established in 1992. It is now one of the top fifteen wine producers in the world. The company’s exports increased 30 percent in 1998, with focus on table wine brands in key markets.

Hardy seeks to increase its share by value to 20 percent of all Australian wine exports. It has signed a joint venture with Italian winemaker Casa Vinicola Calatrasi, a Sicilian-based winery from which Hardy is distributing the D’istinto wine brand in UK markets.

In 1998, Hardy was Australia’s largest selling wine brand in the off-trade sector of the UK market for Australian wine, of which Hardy’s “Nottage Hill” and “Stamp” brand wines occupy 13.9 percent market share. The company’s shiraz won the top award for that type at the International Wine Competition in London.

Hardy’s increased market share reflects a 38 percent rise in its sales volumes in the UK, compared with an 18 percent average growth for other Australian wine exporters.

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet of Melbourne is the world’s largest independent travel guide publisher. It increased global sales 25 percent in 1998 to more than three million copies and revenues of $42 million.

Lonely Planet has 13 percent of the global market for its type of guides. The nearest competitor, a British firm, has 10 percent.

Over the last 25 years millions of travellers have covered billions of kilometres guided by 270 Lonely Planet pocket-books. The guides come in 12 languages and cover 150 countries, cities and regions of Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

The company has regional offices in Paris, London and San Francisco and is an active publisher in Europe as well as in Australia.

No European guidebook publisher matches the sales or reputation among independent travellers that Lonely Planet has acquired. Sales in the EU rose 16 percent last year. Global sales have tripled in the last five years.

Lonely Planet has a global audience and is strongly export-focues. Some 43 percent of its sales are made in Britain and Europe, 35 percent in North America, 13 percent in Australia and nine percent in the Asia-Pacific region.

Its award-winning web site (, launched five years ago, now receives 1.5 million hits per day and 100,000 visitors a week.

Lonely Planet’s European corporate clients include Virgin, Swissair and thomas Cook.

In Europe, the London office manages publishing, sales, distribution and promotions within Europe, and the Paris office handles publishing of the French language titles and promotions within France. The Paris branch produces and translates 34 travel guides in French.

The company sells other rights to European publishers who have translated selected guides into German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

Lonely Planet’s founders, Maureen and Tony Wheeler, published their first book, “Across Asia on the Cheap”, in 1973.

Air International

Air International, the automotive and transit systems subsidiary of Futuris Corporation of Melbourne, will establish a manufacturing plant near Cardiff, Wales, in 1999.

The Australian company will manufacture air conditioning systems for the expanding rail and light rail networks throughout Europe.

The company has won several contracts with ADtranz in the UK and Switzerland. The company also signed a framework agreement with Siemens in Germany, giving Air International (UK) global Supply Status. The venture will also make car air conditioning systems for Opel in Spain and Poland and Suzuki in Poland and Hungary. Air International selected Wales as its EU site following a detailed review of locations within Europe.

Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF)

ACTF, based in Melbourne, makes high-quality, live action drama programmes for children’s TV – and exports account for almost all its sales. Exports to Europe in 1998 reached almost $7 million. The fastest growth has been in sales to Europe, particularly Britain, France and Germany.

British, German and French TV partners invest in the Foundation’s productions in Australia.

The ACTF’s programmes are distinctively Australian, but their stories are universal appealing to the 8 to 14 age group worldwide.

Recent export successes by the Foundation include sales to UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and eastern and central Europe. The Foundation won a National Export Award in 1998.


Brambles Industries, a Melbourne-based transport, services and waste management company, is rapidly increasing its operations and earnings in Europe. It has joint ventures in the EU with the British company GKN and SKP of Germany.

About one-third of Brambles 1998 profits of A$300 million was earned from EU operations.

Brambles recent European expansion was fastest in Scandinavia, Austria and Greece. It also increased revenues in UK and Switzerland in 1998, a year in which, in contrast, it reported little growth in its business in Australia. Global sales this year will be about A$2.5 billion

Clough Engineering

Clough Engineering, a Perth-based company, is an international engineering and construction contractor with operations in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

With almost half of its revenue from overseas projects, Clough is a major exporter of Australian ingenuity. Export revenues are about 50 percent of total, reaching A$273 million in 1998.

The company provides services to the oil, gas and petro-chemicals, minerals and infrastructure industries.

The 1990s have been marked by successful projects in the offshore oil and gas provinces of Europe. Its offshore construction fleet includes the “Maxita” vessel which it owns jointly with Caipem of Italy. It is operating in the North Sea.

Cranswick Estate

Cranswick Estate is a NSW winemaker which is exporting about 70 percent of its products, the largest export ratio of any Australian winemaker. In 1998 overseas sales rose by 40 percent to $16 million.

Cranswick’s main export markets are UK ($12.5 million) and North America ($1.5 million). Other sales were to continental Europe, Japan and South-East Asia. Its major UK clients include the leading supermarkets Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury.

Private label brands are offered to retailers and the company’s “Barramundi” brand was developed solely for export. It has sun-and-beach labels by Ken Done, Australia’s leading graphic designer.

Founder and managing director Graham Cranswick-Smith is also export director. The company is based in Griffith, NSW, where it employs 50 people.

Last year, Britain’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, placed the largest-ever single order for bottled wine by a UK retailer for one million bottles of Cranswick’s Barramundi, Shiraz Merlot and Semillon Chardonnay, valued at $3 million.

Since its introduction to the UK in 1991, Cranswick has spent over $2 million in promoting the brand there. Cranswick also has distributors in Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Sweden and France.

Mildara Blass

Two major initiatives were taken in Europe in 1998 by Mildara Blass, the winemaker and trader owned by the Melbourne-based Fosters brewing group. Mildara paid $155 million for two major European wine clubs-Wine Exchange in Holland ($35 million) and Pallhuber ($120 million) in Germany.

The acquisitions make Mildara the world’s largest direct wine marketing and selling organisation.

It also owns Sydney-based Cellarmasters, the largest wine club group in Australasia. The European wine clubs will continue to sell European wines to their members – but will also enable Mildara to extend sales of its own and other Australian wines in Europe.

The Mildara initiatives show that export growth can require overseas investment as well as salesmanship. Mildara is also proving that Australian expertise – in this case its advanced computerised marketing system at Cellarmasters – can be exported into the European wine market, a sector in which expertise sometimes lags behind tradition.

Roma Foods

Roma Foods is a small, Melbourne-based family-owned company which produces and exports health, gourmet and dietetic food. Its Orgran brand is sold in supermarkets and health food stores internationally.

The Orgran range provides foods for people on special diets, vegetarians, diabetics, athletes, patients recovering from cancer and wheat-allergy sufferers.

Roma Foods was the first Australian manufacturer of pasta and packet mixed made from alternative whole grains and legumes. Orgran is also recognised internationally as a reliable source of gluten-free foods which are essential to sufferers from the coeliac intestinal diseases. The disease is treated by diet alone, not drugs, and is increasing in many countries.

Exports increased from 24 percent to 34 percent ot total sales in 1996-98. Sales are being made in EU, Africa, US, Asia, New Zealand and Middle East. Major British customers include Sainsbury, Tesco and Selfridges. Through the Orgran range Roma is on its way to dominating the niche market for specialist dietary foods in the UK.

Director Frank Buontempo has made break-through developments including a special wheat-free pasta which is identical in appearance and cooking quality to ordinary wheat pasta products.

Village Roadshow

Melbourne-based Village Roadshow Ltd is investing in Europe in the belief that more Europeans want to go out to the pictures.

The Australian company is buying, building, or planning multi-screen cinemas in UK, Germany Greece, Hungary and the Czech Republic to add to its network of 800 screens in Australia and South-East Asia.

VRL has created a European division, based in Paris. Village Roadshow and the American company Warner Bros have ownership of 135 screens on sites in Britain and 17 screens in two locations in Germany.

VRL aims to add 150 screens in new multiple cinemas in Europe over the next five years. VRL believes the UK, Greek and German markets have much room for growth.


Brisbane-based Mincom is Australia’s largest exporter of computer software. In 1998-99 it won major new contracts in the EU.

The UK arm of multinational oil producer Amerada Hess Corporation chose a Mincom software package, known as Geolog, as its strategic analysis tool for well-bore data. Amerada selected Mincom following detailed evaluation of competing software offers.

Mincom has developed a strong presence in EU markets with the Geolog package. Geolog is used by over 1,000 oil and gas professionals worldwide.

In the last three years Mincom has become the market leader in the EU in the area of wireline log databasing, display and analysis. The Mincom software is used there by BP, Britannia, Chevron, ELF and other majors.

Over the last five years Mincom software has become widely used across Europe. CGG Petrosystems, based in Paris, sells and supports Geolog into the French-speaking market, and a re-seller agreement was recently signed with Smedvig of Norway Mincom has other agreements in UK, Ireland, Finland, Germany, Italy and eastern Europe.

Mincom supplies computer software and services to the resources industries, including electricity and minerals, and to manufacturers.

Established in 1979, the company has an annual turnover of more than $118 million, with 1200 employees in 27 offices in 15 countries, including Australia, UK, Europe, Asia and North America.

Mincom’s PTM division specialises inproviding software and services to 120 clients in the oil and gas industries and has a strong export presence in Europe.

Mincom expects to increase revenue 30 percent in the current financial year.

The MIMS software system, the company’s flagship product, attracted orders worth more than $100 million since being launched in 1997.

The company’s export sales were $90 million out of projected sales of $160 million in 1998.

The Y2K problem – the Millennium computer bug – is helping Mincom’s exports because its products a Year 2000 compliant.

In Europe, Mincom has offices in the Czech Republic, Poland, UK, and Ireland. In Russia, Mincom mining software is operating in five coal production centres.


ANCA designs and manufactures precision machine tools. The Melbourne company’s main products are tool and cutter grinders and input shaft grinders. Established 25 years ago by engineers Pat McCluskey and Pat Boland, ANCA has a reputation for innovation, technical excellence and high quality in the global precision machine tool market.

Exports in 1998 were 94 percent of the company’s $70 million sales, a 78 percent increase in two years. ANCA’s export markets include UK ($6.5 million) and continental Europe ($12 million).

ANCA has sales and technical support offices in Germany UK and France. All research and development, design andproduction is undertaken at its factory in Melbourne which employs 358 specialised staff.

Proof of ANCA’s technology advances is that over 70 percent of budgeted revenue for 1998-99 will be for products developed in the last 12 months. ANCA is proving that excellence can open export markets for Australian technology.

ANCA developed a computer numeric control unit for tool grinding machines, a fundamental breakthrough in the technology.

ANCA is now the world’s second largest manufacturer of precision grinding machines. Its main customers are the aerospace, automotive and engineering industries, including Rolls Royce.

Austal Ships

Austal Ships of Fremantle is a world leader in the design and construction of high-speed ferries. With 30 percent growth, 1998 exports reached $172 million. Austal exported 51 vessels in 1989-99 and has forward orders for 16 more.

Austal has export offices in Britain and Sweden, selling to EU users of aluminium-hull high-speed passenger and vehicle ferries, patrol boats and cargo vessels in the 30 – 100 metres range.

Exports in 1998 included Turkey ($77 million), Greece ($13 million) and France ($11 million). In 1998 Austal won the single largest contract ever given to Australia’s lightweight shipbuilding industry – a $120 million contract to supply two 86-metre high-speed aluminium vehicle-passenger ferries to Turkey in 1999.

Also in 1998, in an achievement equivalent to selling refrigerators to Eskimos. Austal won a contract to build two 42-metre high-speed passenger ferries for a Norwegian customer. They are the first fast ferries to be imported into Norway in more than 25 years. Austal won over intense competition from Norwegian shipbuilders.

This sale was followed by others to Denmark and Germany. Another 1998 success for Austal was the contract for delivery in 1999 to the Irish Ferry Group of an “Auto Express 86”,a 39-knot vehicle-passenger catamaran.

Other Austal ferries built in Western Australia are operating in the English Channel, Scandinavia, Greece and Turkey Austal has sold three vessels to Compagnie Chambon of France for its Caribbean services.

Its Fremantle yard employs 1,000 people and can construct four ferries at a time.

Bishop Steering

Bishop Steering of Sydney is one of Australia’s most innovative companies in manufacturing design. The company recently secured its biggest international breakthrough with a $30 million joint venture with Mercedes-Benz in eastern Germany.

The enterprise combines Bishop’s intellectual property in car steering design, the manufacturing capacity of Mercedes, the cost advantages of eastern Europe, and generous incentives from the German government.

Bishop Steering, founded in the 1950s, is a world leader in the design of car steering. Its designs are used by BMW, Fiat, VW, Jaguar, Mercedes and other EU car makers. Bishop has 500 patents in 17 countries. Its turnover of $30 million and staff of 160 incrased threefold over the past three years.

Bishop designs are used in the steering gear of 25 percent of the world’s passenger cars now in production.

The Bishop plant opens in Germany later in 1999. It is expected to produce 1.7 million units annually by 2005. They will be fitted to every European-made Mercedes. The plant, near Magdeburg, is in an industrial estate where several former State-owned factories are being rejuvenated.


Compumedics is a Melbourne-based group that specialises in computer-based medical monitoring and diagnostic equipment supplied to hospitals and clinics in Australia, Europe and US.

The equipment includes sleep disorder monitoring systems and neurology, cardiology and physiology analysis systems. Compumedics has an alliance in Europe with Vivisol, one of the EU’s leading medical equipment suppliers.

Established in 1987, Compumedics was the first to install computer-based sleep disorder diagnostic centres in Australasia, and now holds over 70 percent of market share.

Export sales are 80 percent of turnover. Export markets include UK, EU and Russia.

The company won the Australian and Victorian Exporter of the Year Awards in 1998 and has won or been a finalist in 14 other awards in 1997-99.


ERG, the leading Australian smart card company has taken a key export position in world payment technology with a joint venture with American Express and Visa.

ERG, Amex and Visa have a half share in the Proton smart card scheme with Banksys, a consortium of Belgian banks.

Proton is the second largest smart card scheme in the world and is marketed as ECARD by ERG in Australia.

Proton electronic purse smart cards are accepted in 200,000 terminals in fifteen countries including Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

The investment by Perth-based ERG in a share in Proton is the culmination of a long-term strategy ERG is a world leader in the development and supply of advanced smart card systems, automated fare collection and telecoms products. Sales in 1998 totalled $242 million, of which 20 percent was in Europe.

ERG has operations in manufacturing or marketing bases in Belgium, France, Scandinavia, UK, Canada and Asia. The company has over 800 employees worldwide and sells to 350 groups in 45 countries.

ERG’s transit fare systems, including those sold in Europe and UK, handle more than 8.2 billion transactions each year in 200 cities around the world. In 1998 ERG sold new fare collection systems in Denmark, France, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Belgium, and Italy.


Melbourne-based Florigene is the world’s first successful “molecular breeder” in the flower industry Florigene uses genetic engineering technology to bridge genetic gaps and make improvements to flower species.

To ensure sales in Europe, Florigene bases its product development and commercial operations in Holland – the heart of the world flower industry.

In 1994, Florigene scientists, led by Dr Edwina Cornish, succeeded in implanting the Blue Gene into carnations. This flower was trade-marked Moondust, the world’s first genetically-modified flower to go on sale. In 1997, the second genetically-modified carnation, Moonshadow, appeared with a rich, purple colour.

By 2001, Florigene plans to have a range of innovative “blue” flowers on the world market. For Europe, they will be produced in large quantities by Florigene’s contract growers in Spain and Holland.

The market for carnations is around $500 million worldwide, but the total potential market for blue versions of favourite flowers is close to $5 billion.


ResMed is a Sydney company helping the world to sleep more safely and soundly.

More than 90 percent of Resmed’s sleep disorder diagnosis and treatment devices are currently exported. Over the last five years international sales have grown from $13 million to $65 million. Exports go to 41 countries, including EU markets.

ResMed owns world patents to some of the leading sleep treatment inventions and designs and makes devices for diagnosis and treatment of sleep disordered breathing.

Its principal export markets in 1998 included $19 million in Europe. It is the largest manufacturer and the largest exporter of medical devices in Australia.

ResMed developed the first paediatric device for treating infant apnea, which often becomes apparent as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The company’s technological leadership comes from R&D covering electronic hardware, computing, mechanical engineering and design

Best European Business Achievement in Australia


Accor, Europe’s biggest hotel group, remains positive about tourism prospects in Asia-Pacific despite the region’s recession.

Paris-based Accor is expanding in Australia and its region. Executive chairman Jean-Marc Espalious, says Australia and Asia are an integral part of Accor’s global growth plans.

Accor Asia Pacific manages 60 hotels with 9,000 rooms in Australia and 135 hotels around the region. Mr Espalioux was a senior adviser in the French Budget Ministry before becoming CEO of Accor in 1997.

“The next five years in Asia-Pacific will not be easy,” Mr Espalioux said in Sydney recently. “They will be very challenging, but we are confident of increasing Accor’s lead in the Asia-Pacific’s hotel industry.”

Accor, one of the world’s leading hotel and tourism networks, operates about 2,600 hotels.

Accor has institutional catering, restaurants, convention centre management and cruise-boat operations as well as hotels.

The company increased global sales in 1998.

Accor owns the second-largest business-travel agency in the world and the world’s largest service-voucher business. It also jointly owns Europcar, the second-ranking car-hire firm in Europe.

Almost 60 percent of the group’s sales derive from hotels, followed by travel agencies and services at 13 percent and 7 percent.

Accor is improving its global sales information processing and hotel reservation systems.

Its business and leisure hotels include the Sofitel, Novotel and Mercure brands, with economy accommodation in Ibis, ETAP and Formule 1 chains.

Accor’s latest major Australian contracts are to manage the new Sydney CBD A$20 million Hotel Ibis, developed by a Malaysian company. It is the second Ibis hotel in Sydney and the sixth in Australia. Accor also operates the 517-room Mercure in Sydney its largest hotel in Australia.

Accor will manage two hotels at the main site of the Sydney Olympic Games.

The A$68 million complex will feature two different accommodation styles (a 3-star Ibis and 4-star Novotel), with 318 rooms and conference and function centres.

Accor will provide accommodation for Olympic competitors, officials, journalists and spectators at 14 hotels in and around Sydney during the 2000 Games.

Accor also operates resorts in Australia – at Palm Cove near Cairns, the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, the NSW coastal town of Coffs Harbour, and in the Swan Valley of Western Australia where the Novotel Vines Resort stages Australia’s richest golf championship.


Adecco was chosen by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) as its official staffing service for permanent, temporary and contract positions. The contract involves sourcing and assessing for SOCOG an estimated 1,500 permanent staff, and additional temporary and contract staff for the 2000 Games.

Worldwide, Franco-Swiss Adecco has 200,000 clients in 42 countries. It employs 10,000 people and has 300,000 “temporary associates” in work on an average day. The company’s annual global revenues are about A$8 billion. It is the market leader in six of the top eleven employment markets. Adecco was formed from the 1996 merger of the two leading French and Swiss employment agencies.

In Australia, Adecco has an extensive branch network serving all industry sectors, from accountancy to trucking, and has the largest network in the personnel service business. Each week, Adecco supplies over 9,000 temporary staff to organisations throughout Australia. It has also helped over 30,000 people find new permanent jobs.


Baan, a Dutch-based information technology company started a software centre in Sydney after winning its first major Australian contract in 1991. The company decided to locate a project management software facility in Australia because Australia is a leader in such expertise.

From Australia, Baan exports software to Korea, New Zealand and Malaysia. Baan Australia won a multimillion dollar contract to provide software and services to Transfield, the Sydney-based construction and shipbuilding group. Baan was used by Transfield Defence Systems (TDS), the prime contractor for Australia’s largest defence project, the A$5 billion ANZAC ship programme.

Worldwide, the Baan group is a leading provider of software to 1,600 companies in 47 countries and has current annual revenues of US$227 million. Baan has headquarters in Ede, The Netherlands, and Menlo Park, California.


Bouygues, of France, in partnership with Transfield, of Australia, has the contract for the new rail link between central Sydney and its airport. The contractors constructed a new 10-kin, underground two-track tunnel for use by 2000 when Sydney stages the Olympic Games.

The project will cost A$600 million and the joint venture partners have equity in four of the five stations on the line and will gain revenue from them under a 30-year concession.

The Bouygues Group had global revenues last year over A$20 billion – including income from the Oscar-winning New Zealand-Australia film “The Piano”, which Bouygues financed.

Bouygues is Europe’s leading international construction group with prestige projects including the Channel Tunnel, Paris airport, Orsay Museum, and rail works in Lausanne and Paris.

Transfield is an Australian-based international engineering and construction company employing 6,000 people and with current annual turnover of A$1 billion in Australia and Asia.

Hella Australia

Hella Australia, which has been making auto parts in Melbourne for 38 years, is part of the German-owned multinational Hella Group which employs about 23,000 people worldwide.

In Australia, Hella employs more than 600 people in manufacturing and distribution of automotive and marine lighting equipment, plastic mouldings and accessories.

The company’s main Australian customers are vehicle makers Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi and Toyota. Plastic mouldings are also made for various non-automotive companies.

Sales last year were over A$90 million, including exports to Asia. Hella Australia has several technical co-operation agreements with major Japanese auto parts makers, including lsuzu.

The engineering capacity of the Melbourne plant also supports other Hella companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Hella also uses Melbourne as the Asia-Pacific regional headquarters of the German parent group.

Hella Asia Pacific provides finance, management, engineering and manufacturing support to its manufacturing companies and joint ventures in the region where it employs 1,100 people and has annual sales over A$140 million.

Hella Asia Pacific operates in Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, China, India, Japan and Korea.

The company’s chief executive officer is Dr W W J Uhlenbruch, AM, an Australian citizen who was born in Germany and moved to Melbourne in 1961 to establish Hella in Australia.

In 1991 he was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to business and industry in Australia.

He also serves as an Adjunct Professor of the Industrial Research Institute at the Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.


Krone Australia, a subsidiary of a Berlin-based telecoms equipment maker, has major contracts with Telstra, Australia’s national telecoms carrier, for modular replacements for Telstra’s standard telephone outlets.

Krone established in Australia in 1980 and now employs 300 here.

The prototypes for the components for Telstra’s $20 million order were developed and designed by Krone Australia engineers to meet Telstra’s needs and are manufactured at the company’s plant near Sydney.

The components can be adapted to suit both the Asian and US markets, creating exports. Krone Australia is the Asia Pacific RHQ for its parent, the Jenoptik Group of Germany.

Krone Australia designs and develops more than 75 percent of its regional product range and manufactures more than 90 percent of its local equipment at its A$40 million Australian facilities.

Krone has a A$62 million agreement with the Australian Government to increase investment, R&D and exports. Some 30 percent of its Australian-made equipment is exported to Asia.


One of the biggest food groups in the world, Parmalat of Italy, entered the highly competitive Australian dairy and processed food sector in 1996.

Parmalat strategy is to buy stakes in major dairy groups and co-operatives. It has invested about $600 million in Australia, including $437 million to takeover the Paul’s Group of Brisbane, the dairy industry leader in Queensland. Earnings last year are estimated at $18 million.

The Italian company’s brands are household names in Europe in soft dairy and dessert products, powdered milk, butter, cheese, juice, pasta, pasta sauces and biscuits.

Parmalat made a net profit over $100 million in 1998 on global sales of $3.8 billion.

Parmalat is 50 per cent owned by the Tanzi family and listed on the Milan and Vienna stock exchanges. One third of its sales are in South America where it spent $150 million on recent acquisitions.

Most Significant Contribution to Australia-Europe Economic Relations

Columbus Line

Columbus Line, based in Hamburg, is the largest and longest serving container carrier operating to and from Australia. Columbus Line plays a crucial role in supporting Australian exporters of primary produce, especially fresh and frozen commodities.

Achim Drescher, Columbus Line Australia’s Managing Director, says “It takes a seamless logistics chain and a huge resource commitment to keep costs down and to meet demanding delivery schedules.” Columbus Line’s major cargoes include chilled and frozen meat, wine, seafood, citrus and fruit.

The company offers weekly sailings from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to provide fixed-day cargo availability at all key destinations. Columbus Line offers Australia a total of 94 sailings each year.

The company’s latest addition to its equipment inventory is the new “MaxiCube” integrated reefer unit. Built in Europe, the 20 and 40-foot containers offer the largest capacity in the industry CFC-free foam insulation allows a slim-line unit with thinner container walls and flush door fittings providing more interior space while maintaining insulation values to ISO standards.

Beyond its specialised shipping services, Columbus offers a full range of logistics from cargo source to final destination. Columbus works with intermodal operators to provide cost-efficient on-forwarding services by road and rail, in order to meet the needs of Just-in-Time shippers.

Columbus began operations in Australia in 1957. In the 1960s the company embraced the new concept of containerisation and a fleet of purpose-built vessels was constructed. The line introduced containerisation to trade with Australia in 1971.

German Chamber of Commerce

The German Chamber of Commerce is the busiest European business organisation in Australia. The Chamber includes a Deutsche Messe (Trade Fair) office and a National Tourist Office. The German Chamber, established in Australia 20 years ago, is 70 percent self-funding.

Director Heinrich Zimmermann says the Chamber has changed from a highly-subsidised quasi-governmental organisation to a company that now only receives subsidies for services provided in the general interests of the German economy.

The Chamber makes business-partner searches for German and Australian companies and undertakes in-depth market studies. Its ‘Business Matching’ database enables companies to find trading niches or distribution partners.

Germany is the world capital of trade fairs and the Chamber promoted some 40 trade fairs in 1998-99 to potential Australian exhibitors.

The German National Tourist Office is attached to the Chamber and organises workshops, seminars, trade shows, tours for media and travel agents and an advisory service for business travellers.

Orlando Wyndham

Orlando Wyndham symbolises Australia-Europe economic links. The French-owned company makes award-winning wines in Australia which are among Australia’s largest exports to Europe.

Owned by Pernod Ricard of Paris, Orlando created the Jacob’s Creek range of wines in 1976. It is now the biggest-selling single label of any origin in UK. More than one million cases are sold annually in the UK. Jacob’s Creek reds and whites account for 20 percent of Australia’s total wine exports in 1998 of $880 million. The company is building Jacob’s Creek into a world brand.

Orlando is investing about $50 million currently in vineyards and wineries to meet local and export demands.

Jacob’s Creek is the number one selling brand in Australia and the United Kingdom and in 1998 had worldwide sales approaching three million cases with a retail value of A$300 million. Orlando Wyndham plans to ship four million cases of its Australian wines around the world by 2001.

Most Significant Achievement in Australia-Europe Finance Sector Operations


AMP of Australia in 1999 will become the seventh-largest life insurer in the UK after paying 1.31 billion pounds for National Provident Institution of UK. AMP is paying 510 million pounds in goodwill and injecting 800 million pounds of capital into the UK insurer and fund manager.

AMP already has 50 percent of its business in the UK where AMP has Pearl (purchased for $2.3 billion in 1989), Henderson, London Life and 50 percent of Virgin Direct. NPI is AMP’s second UK acquisition in 1998. Earlier it paid 920 million pounds for fund manager Henderson.

AMP’s chief executive, George Trumbull, and the chief financial officer, Paul Batchelor, recently conducted a roadshow for British investors talking up the group’s prospects, particularly in the UK.

Pearl’s financial strength has been acknowledged by international ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, which awarded it a triple-A rating for its claims-paying ability.

National Australia Bank

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is, despite its name, an international bank. It has assets of A$400 billion and made a profit of A$2 billion in 1998. About 30 percent of its operating revenue was generated in Europe. For the past decade the NAB has been building a EU presence and has purchased four banks there at a cost of A$1 billion. They have combined assets of A$30 billion.

In UK it owns the Clydesdale, Yorkshire and Northern Banks (Ulster). In Ireland it owns the National Irish Bank (which from 1 Jan, 1999 began operating in euros and Irish pounds). In UK and Ireland NAB-owned banks have 688 branches and 1016 ATMs (compared to 903 and 1065, respectively, in Australia) serving 4 million customers.

NAB maintains a major data centre in Glasgow to process all its EU accounts. NAB is increasingly integrated in the UK, having recently signed British Telecom to handle all its communications needs there.

Lend Lease

The Sydney finance and real-estate company Lend Lease is investing in UK with British companies, in Australia with French partners and in Madrid with Spanish partners.

In 1997 Lend Lease began a $950 million contract with British banks to develop and manage the largest shopping centre in Europe on a 100-hectare site near London.

In Australia, Lend Lease is a partner in Australian Water Services, a joint venture with Lyonnaise des Eaux of France in water treatment and supply services in the Sydney area.

Lend Lease has backing for a property fund for its UK shopping centre developments. Initially the fund, Lend Lease Retail Partnership, will own A$1.27 billion in assets, including 25 percent of the Lend Lease-developed Bluewater retail centre in Kent, and 100 percent of its Solihull Centre near Birmingham.

Investors include Barclays, British Airways, Equitable Life, Norwich Union and NPI.

The creation of the fund replicates the property model perfected by Lend Lease in Australia.

Bluewater, the Lend Lease development near London, is Europe’s biggest stand-alone shopping centre. Three times the size of Sydney’s Penrith Plaza, and one and a half times larger than the Chadstone Centre in Melbourne, Bluewater’s 226,000 square metres contains 320 shops, including “anchors” by major UK retailers.

Lend Lease has also signed an agreement to design and construct a $248 million shopping centre in a joint venture in Madrid with a local entrepreneur.

COPYRIGHT 1999 First Charlton Communications Pty Ltd.

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