Ten Bulgarian companies enter the SEE Top 100 ranking of the independent business news agency SeeNews. Two of them are positioned in the top ten – the Burgas-based refinery Lukoil Neftochim Burgas is ranked 5th and the Pirdop-based copper processing plant Aurubis Bulgaria, the biggest Bulgarian exporter, accounting for 9% of the country’s exports, is placed 6th.
The other Bulgarian companies in the ranking are: NEK (17th), Lukoil Bulgaria (23rd), Kaufland Bulgaria (47th), CEZ Electro Bulgaria (72nd), Bulgargaz (91st), the fuel distributor Saksa (95th), Express Logistics and Distribution (96th) and the biofuel producer Astra Bioplant (97th). Two of these companies, namely Saksa and Astra Bioplant, are included for the first time in the top 100 companies of the region.
This is the 11th edition of SEE Top 100. It ranks companies by revenue and profits for the past financial year and covers the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. In order to rank the top 100 companies, the analysis compares the financial results of 2 900 organizations. This year, Bulgaria increased the number of companies included in the ranking by one, compared to 2016, when there were nine. In 2014 and 2015, the companies in the ranking were 11.
The overall conclusion from this year’s ranking is that the past financial year was a record-breaking success for the region. The increased revenue and profit of companies were on the back of the growing domestic consumption, the strong investment interest in the region and the favorable international environment. All economies in the region showed an average growth of 4% in 2017 (compared to 3.5% a year earlier) – a growth that outstripped the average GDP growth rate in the European Union. The total revenue of the 100 companies included in the ranking rose by 12.5% to EUR 113.9 billion, compared to 2016. Profit grew even higher, by 22% to EUR 4.9 billion.
Bulgarian and other companies in the energy, fuel, automotive, wholesale and retail sectors dominate the ranking. Representatives of the IT sector are not included in the 2017 edition, although they are a major driver for many of the economies in the region, and tech companies are involved in the largest mergers and acquisitions.
The automotive industry is among the fastest growing industries in Southeast Europe. The sector is a leader in terms of foreign investment attraction, output volume, job creation and contribution to GDP.
According to data of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, vehicle production in the region grew by 14% in 2017, with an average growth rate of 3.7% for Europe and 1.9% globally. Car sales increased by 9.7%, with an annual European average growth of 3.1% and 2.4% globally.
The largest regional players in the automotive sector are Romania (where Dacia and Ford have plants), Slovenia and Serbia. In Bulgaria, the sector is represented by 170 companies for automotive components, more than 40 000 employed in the sector and 4% of GDP. Over 90% of our production is for export to major international automobile manufacturers and markets.
The leader in the overall ranking of SEE Top 100 this year is Romania with a total of 51 companies out of all 100 included in the ranking, followed by Slovenia – with 13, Serbia – with 12, Croatia – with 11 companies.
The full document for the SEE Top 100 ranking is available here.