company_name = Wesfarmers Limited
type = Public (ASX: [http://www.asx.com.au/asx/research/CompanyInfoSearchResults.jsp?searchBy=asxCode&allinfo=on&asxCode=WES&companyName=&principalActivity=&industryGroup=NO WES] )
foundation = 1914
location = flagicon|AUS Perth, Western Australia
key_people = Trevor Eastwood AM, Chairman
Richard Goyder, CEO
area_served = flagicon|AUS Australia
flagicon|NZL New Zealand
flagicon|GBR United Kingdom
flagicon|BGD Bangladesh
homepage = [http://www.wesfarmers.com.au Wesfarmers]
industry = Retailing, Industrial, Insurance, Energy
num_employees = 200,000
revenue = profit $335 billion AUD (2008)
operating_income = profit $2,897 million AUD (2008)
net_income = profit $1.05 billion AUD (2008)
subsid = Bunnings Warehouse, Coles Supermarkets, Bi-Lo, Pick 'n Pay Hypermarket, Coles Express, Coles Central, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, 1st Choice Liquor Superstore, Officeworks, Officeworks BusinessDirect, Harris Technology, Kmart, Kmart Tyre & Auto Service, Target, Pharmacy Direct, HouseWorks, Curragh Queensland Mining, Wesfarmers Premier Coal, Bengalla Mining Company*, Wesfarmers Federation Insurance, Lumley General Insurance, Lumley General Insurance (NZ), OAMPS Insurance Brokers, Crombie Lockwood (NZ), Koukia*, Blackwoods, Protector Alsafe, Wesfarmers Industrial & Safety NZ, CSBP, Australian Gold Reagents*, Wesfarmers Kleenheat Gas, Unigas*, Wesfarmers Kleenheat Elpiji, Wesfarmers LPG, Coregas, Air Liquide WA*, Energy Generation, Gresham Partners Group*, Wespine Industries*
* Joint ventures

homepage = [http://www.wesfarmers.com.au www.wesfarmers.com.au]
intl = yes

Wesfarmers (asx|WES) is one of Australia’s largest public companies and Australia's largest retailer, with its headquarters in Perth, Western Australia.

Wesfarmers is the largest employer in Australia, with more than 200,000 employees across the country. Official records announced a record net profit of $1.05 billion for 2006 with operating costs of $8.9 billion (prior to the Coles Group takeover).

On 2 July 2007, Wesfarmers announced it was purchasing the Coles Group retail business for A$22 billion making it the largest successful take-over in Australian corporate history. [cite news | url = http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/07/02/1967742.htm | title = Coles board recommends $22b takeover offer | work = ABC News online | date = Jul 2, 2007 | author = Peter Ryan | accessdate = 2007-07-04] . Wesfarmers officially took control of Coles on 23 November 2007, after paying almost A$20 billion for the company.


The company was founded on 27 June 1914 as a farmers' co-operative which focused on the provision of services and merchandise to the Western Australian rural community.

In 1924 it established the first public radio station in Western Australia with 6WF before it passed into the hands of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1929.

By the 1940s the company's work included "being wheat and general merchants; country distribution for Commonwealth Oil Refineries Ltd; wool, live stock, skin and produce auctioneers; grain & fruit exporters; insurance underwriters; acquiring agents for the wheat pool of W.A." Known as Westralian Farmers Limited, it had premises in various locations within the Perth central business district. In the 1940s there were premises at 563-571 Wellington Street. They also had premises at Newman Street in Fremantle.

In 1991, 19 m³ of the records of the Westralian Farmers Co-operative were deposited with the J S Battye Library in Perth.

A name change in 1985 to Wesfarmers Limited coincided with its restructuring from a co-operative to a public company when it was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.


Since becoming a public company, Wesfarmers have moved to dramatically diversify through an aggressive acquisition strategy.

Home Improvement and Office Supplies

Wesfarmers owns Bunnings & Bunnings Warehouse - Australia's largest hardware chain. The chain was expanded considerably with the 2000 takeover of the BBC Hardware group. After taking over Coles Group in 2007, Officeworks, Officeworks BusinessDirect and Harris Technology were added to the Home Improvement Division.

Coal and Energy

Wesfarmers Energy owns the Curragh coal mine in Queensland, the Premier Coal operations in Western Australia and a minority interest in the Bengalla coal operation in New South Wales.

Gas and energy interests include Kleenheat Gas, Wesfarmers LPG, which owns and operates a liquefied petroleum gas extraction plant facility in Kwinana, Western Australia, Coregas, EnGen (Energy Generation) and a minority interest in Air Liquide WA (ALWA).

Wesfarmers LPG is also building a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plant on their existing site at Kwinana. Wesfarmers is committing $138 MM AUS to the project which will be in full production by Feb 2008.


Wesfarmers Insurance Division incorporates Wesfarmers Federation Insurance, Lumley General Insurance Australia, Lumley New Zealand and Your Insurance Group as well as three broking companies, OAMPS Insurance Brokers Ltd, OAMPS UK and Crombie Lockwood. It also has majority ownership of insurance software developer, Koukia.

Wesfarmers Federation Insurance began as the insurance department of Westralian Farmers Co-operative in 1919, and in 1982 became its own company, wholly owned by Wesfarmers Limited. In 1991 it acquired Federation Insurance. It is predominantly a rural insurer, although since 1990 it has gained a commercial client base and also has a smaller domestic insurance business. Wesfarmers is one of few insurers offering Workers Compensation insurance in Western Australia. Wesfarmers Federation Insurance has over 80 branches and in 2008 changed its positioning statement from "We're never far away" to "Good people to know".

Your Insurance Group, a budget insurer, was acquired in 2007.

Food, Liquor and Convenience Division

The food, liquor and convenience division comprises the majority of the former Coles Group assets. These include Coles, Pick 'n Pay Hypermarkets and BI-LO Supermarkets, Liquorland, Liquorland Express, Vintage Cellars, Coles Express and 1st Choice Liquor Superstores.

Other businesses

Wesfarmers operates Target, Kmart, and other former Coles Group entities.

Owns a 50% interest in Gresham Partners, a corporate finance business focused on mergers and acquisitions.

Owns a 50% interest in [http://www.wespine.com.au Wespine Industries] , a softwood sawmill operation at Dardanup, Western Australia.

Owns a 50% interest in Loyalty Pacific, which operates the FlyBuys loyalty program.


External links

* [http://www.wesfarmers.com.au/ Wesfarmers Limited]

Further reading

* Smith, Kevin P.(1984)"A bunch of pirates: the story of a farmer co-operative: Wesfarmers" Perth, W.A : Westralian Farmers Co-operative. ISBN 095918970X
* (2003) "50 years of powering Western Australia : from Western Colleries to Wesfarmers Coal." Collie, W.A.: Wesfarmers Premier Coal.

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