CEE Companies in a Turmoil
According to a study by Deloitte, last year Eastern Europe’s top 500 companies showed a clear decline in sales.
The 2009 crisis year has been responsible for a "painful" decline in sales for the 500 largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by about one-fifth, to 525.41 billion euro, as compared to the previous year. This is the conclusion of a ranking made by the consulting firm Deloitte.
Therefore only 90 companies could achieve a higher growth last year than in 2008, with an average of 8%. However, almost 70% of the companies showed higher sales in the first quarter of 2010 than in the same period last year.
On top of Deloitte's list, the same as last year, is the Polish energy company PKN Orlen, although its sales slumped by 30.7% to 15.7 billion euro. It is followed at a respectful distance by the Hungarian oil company MOL, with sales for 11.5 billion euro (-18.3%) and the Czech electricity giant CEZ with 7.4 billion euro (+0.7%). The energy industry -the strongest sector in the ranking- has an overall share of 38% of the total sales: 147 companies from this sector have made it into the list.
The Romanian OMV subsidiary Petrom, whose sales fell by one third to 3.03 billion euro, occupies the 25th place among the top 500 companies in the region. In addition, the Austrian OMV is listed with its subsidiaries in the Czech Republic (103rd place), Hungary (175th place), Bulgaria (264th place) and Slovenia (380th place). Overall, the OMV Group has suffered a sales decline of 28.8% to 6.23 billion euro in the CEE region. According to Deloitte, the energy companies’ slump in sales, in addition to OMV’s also its German rivals’ RWE and E.ON, is mainly due to the devaluation of the CEE currencies.
OMV is assigned the 9th place on a list of foreign corporations with the highest sales. The first three places are occupied by big German corporate groups: The carmaker Volkswagen (VW) leads the list with 16.91 billion euro (-24.9%), followed by the energy giant E.ON with 9.95 billion euro (-25.8%) and the wholesale chain Metro with 9.86 billion euro (-22.8%).
In a specific ranking of the region's 50 largest banks, measured by total assets, the Polish state owned PKO replaces the Hungarian OTP Bank as the largest institution. The Hungarians slide off the top position to the second place. Behind them follows the Czech Ceskoslovenska obchodni banka (CSOB), a subsidiary of the Belgian banking and insurance group KBC. The Czech subsidiary of Austria's Erste group, the Ceska sporitelna, is in fourth place, followed by the Polish UniCredit subsidiary Pekao. Among the top ten there are also to be found the Erste Romanian subsidiary BCR (9th place) and the Bank Austria Croatian subsidiary Zagrebacka banka (10th place). Bank Austria is responsible in the Eastern market exclusively for Poland inside the UniCredit Group
Polish corporations dominate
Polish companies dominate the list, with 180 companies representing 36% of the 500 CEE top companies. Their share fell by 2% compared to last year. Companies from the Czech Republic (15%) and Hungary (13%) follow. The number of CEE companies owned by investors from outside the region rose by about 9% or 24 firms, to 286 companies; the number of state-controlled companies, however, decreased significantly from 110 to 96 firms.
The Deloitte list includes companies from 15 countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.