Amid the global economic crisis caused by Covid, the combined revenues of the 100 largest companies in South Eastern Europe (SEE) fell by 7% to €120 billion in 2020, compared to €129.3 billion recorded by participants in the ranking a year ago, shows the 14th edition of the SEE TOP 100 ranking, published today by SeeNews. Romania occupies four of the top five positions in the ranking.
However, while the decline in revenue for the region’s largest companies was relatively modest, combined profit fell by a quarter to €3.5 billion, wiping out three-year gains.
The SEE TOP 100 is an annual ranking of the largest companies in Southeast Europe by total revenue for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2020. It also includes rankings of the largest banks and insurers in the region. Read more about the latest edition of the ranking here.
Automobile Dacia, part of France’s Renault, leads the ranking for the seventh year in a row, even though its revenues fell 26% year-on-year to €3.8 billion. On the profit side, the situation looks even more worrying, as earnings halved to €61 million. Because of the Covid crisis, the company had to stop production for more than a month. In addition, like other carmakers, Dacia has faced a serious shortage of semiconductors that has forced it to suspend production several times.
This year’s ranking includes fifty-two companies. The top 5 companies in the ranking are:
Pos Company Industry Total revenue 2020 (mil. euro)
1 Automobile-Dacia SA Automobile 3,814.4
2 OMV Petrom SA Oil/Natural gas 3,808.4
3 OMV Petrom Marketing SRL Oil/ Natural Gas 2,996.8
4 Aurubis Bulgaria AD Metals 2,761.6
5 LIDL Discount SRL Commerce/ Retail 2,667.5
“For the first time since SeeNews began publishing its ranking of the largest companies in Southeast Europe fifteen years ago, distributors and retailers have managed to overtake the oil and gas sector to become leaders in terms of total revenue, profit and number of participants in the ranking. The performance in this sector follows strong growth in e-commerce, driven by travel restrictions in the context of the pandemic, the facilitation of online payments and the development of new financing options. The Covid pandemic has accelerated a trend that has already been underway for several years,” commented Nevena Krasteva, SeeNews.
On the other hand, oil and gas companies saw a quarter drop in combined revenues due to the economic crisis, global price cuts and travel bans, making this sector the biggest loser in the ranking. And the global shift to green energy is having a strong impact on the development strategies of oil and gas companies, forcing them to diversify their activities.
Despite multi-million euro aid programmes, the region’s economies have shrunk by around 6%. In countries where tourism generates a large share of gross domestic product, the economic contraction was most severe, exceeding 15% in Montenegro. Foreign direct investment, an important driver of growth for the region, also fell sharply. At the same time, supply disruptions and reduced demand also affected local companies and their main trading partners abroad.
Edited for English