More energy, manufacturing and logistics firms among fastest growing in Singapore

SINGAPORE – While fintech, e-commerce and IT firms continued to be among the fastest growing in Singapore, several companies in the energy and utilities sector have topped the charts in terms of growth, according to a list of the 100 fastest growing firms here.

Released on Tuesday, the 2023 ranking, which was compiled by The Straits Times and global research firm Statista, also showed that more firms in logistics and transportation as well as manufacturing registered high growth.

The Singapore’s Fastest Growing Companies list includes 100 local businesses that achieved markedly high revenue growth between 2018 and 2021. The firms must be independent companies headquartered in Singapore with at least $150,000 of revenue generated in 2018 and $1.5 million in 2021.

The 2023 ranking included seven energy and utilities companies. In comparison, there were just three such firms on the previous list, which had 75 companies.

Singapore Exchange-listed Rex International, a multinational oil company with production licences in Oman, Norway and Malaysia, topped the charts in terms of absolute growth.

In the company’s 2021 annual report, Rex International chairman Dan Brostrom said the year marked a number of breakthroughs for the firm as oil prices rose. These include ending the year profitable on the back of higher production volumes as well as transferring its SGX listing from the secondary Catalist board to the mainboard.

The other energy and utilities firms include Union Gas, which was also on the 2021 list. Newcomers to the list comprise SGX-listed coal miner Geo Energy Resources, which benefited from rising prices of coal, NW Corporation, BlackGold and PS Energy.

With global supply chains under pressure from Covid-19 lockdowns at ports and consumers resorting to online shopping, companies providing logistics and transportation services saw a spike in demand between 2020 and 2021 as firms rushed to deliver orders.

There were a total of eight logistics and transportation companies on the 2023 list compared with five in 2022 and this could continue to rise as the industry grows.

While demand has softened and port disruptions have eased in 2022, global supply chains continue to face uncertainties and a lack of talent in areas like technology to help digitalise and increase global port efficiencies, reports by consulting firms McKinsey & Company and KPMG noted.

A greater number of manufacturing firms also made it on the 2023 ranking.

According to Statista, the total manufacturing output in Singapore in 2021 was valued at around $372.4 billion, an increase of 13.2 per cent compared with the previous year, indicating a recovery from the economic shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While there were a greater number of firms from other sectors of the economy on the 2023 ranking, fintech remained as the sector with the most high-growth firms.

A total of 10 fintech companies made it on the 2023 list, compared with five in 2022, and this could continue to rise. According to a report by KPMG, Singapore’s global market share for deal value for fintech has more than doubled from 3.1 per cent in 2021 to 6.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2022.

“Contributing to Singapore’s market stability has been the city state’s ranking among the world’s most competitive economies and its recognition as a dynamic global financial hub,” KPMG said.

As at June 2022, there were 1,007 operating fintech firms in Singapore.

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