The annual Gepard ranking of Capital newspaper for the most dynamic small and medium enterprises in Bulgaria was released. The companies are ranked by revenue growth in 2016. The most dynamically developing SMEs in the publication total 1 409, based in 28 regions in the country, ranked by region and by sector. All companies in the ranking have nearly 88 000 employees in total and reported revenue of BGN 17 324 billion for the past year, or 18.8% of the GDP for 2016. Their net profit was almost BGN 1.2 billion. SMEs account for 99% of all companies in Bulgaria and provide two-thirds of the added value produced and over three quarters of the jobs. Over the past two years these companies have made a major contribution to continued economic growth, declining unemployment, increased employment and record exports of goods.
Here are the highlights of Gepard 2017:
The average revenue growth of the companies in the ranking was 30%. Their growth was due to increased consumption, low interest rates and taxes, as well as recovery of the local and global economy. The most dynamic sectors were Transport, Machine Building, Trade and Construction. Yet another year, the Trade sector registered the largest number of companies, which also were dependent on economic changes to the greatest extend. The existing or newly created companies that created high added value were fewer. The IT sector was an exception.
The three largest sectors in terms of revenue were Automotive Trade, Machinery Manufacturing and Trade, according to the analysis of the ranking of the 20 fastest growing companies by sector. The best performing companies in the Automotive Trade sector increased their revenues to BGN 319 million (an increase of 50% in 2016). The top 20 Machinery and Equipment manufacturers generated BGN 309 million and in the Trade sector the revenue of the leaders amounted to BGN 290 million. The Construction sector, although lagging behind the top five sectors by revenue, generated the highest profit and achieved the highest profitability among the other sectors. It is worth mentioning that a major role in the sector was the absorption of state funds under various programs and the assignment of major infrastructure projects, as well as the recovery of the residential property market across the country. The Technology sector came right after Construction in terms of profit and profitability. The revenue of the IT leaders amounted to nearly BGN 195 million, which was a decrease compared to last year, keeping an almost unchanged profit of BGN 38.5 million.
The ranking’s conclusions for Sofia
A total of 556 of all small and medium companies in the country included in Gepard 2017 are based in the city of Sofia and 31 – in the region of Sofia. This corresponds to a total of 41% of all 1 409 companies from 28 regions in the ranking. There are six companies in top ten of the national ranking that are based in Sofia, the other 4 being from the other leading regions – Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas and Blagoevgrad. The companies are active in 7 different sectors, as three of them are in the Construction sector. The small extract of the Top 10 also reflects the big picture – Sofia remains the economic leader in the country, and the whole southern part of the country represented by Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Burgas is well ahead of the whole Northern Bulgaria, where the only leader remains Varna.
The National Ranking, Regional Rankings, Sector Analyzes and Leadership Profiles are available in the full edition of Gepard 2017 here.
The listed companies meet the following criteria: they have between 10 and 249 employees, they register revenue growth for two consecutive years, their results meet the statutory amounts of revenue and assets for small and medium-sized enterprises (not micro), they are private property and are not gambling, health, financial or holding companies.
Data from Capital, the Commercial Register, NSI and NSSI were used.