The key terms for the 2017 generation of the largest Slovenian companies are solid growth and stable figures.
Slovenia has now fully recovered from the toughest financial crisis in young country’s history. And as above in macroeconomics, so below, as seen in the financial results of Slovenia’s largest companies. Petrol, the national fuel trader, remains the largest Slovenian company with 3.2 billion euros of sales. The highest profits were posted by the Slovenian pharma champion Krka (ranked 5th), with 102.8 million euros. While the largest employer remains the retailer Mercator (ranked 3rd), as the parent company within the group employed 8,901 people last year.
Six companies had revenues of over billion euros: Petrol, Gen-I, Mercator, HSE, Krka and Revoz. The 300 list is based on data from individual companies, with the consolidated results of any business groups being excluded from the analysis. That said, Petrol is also the largest group, with revenues just below 4 billion euros. The group employs around 4,000 people in seven countries and operates 487 service stations in Slovenia and western Balkan countries. Gen-I and HSE are the country’s two largest national electricity trading companies. Mercator, the national retailer with a network of supermarkets and shopping malls throughout the region, was acquired by the Croatian group Agrokor in 2014. However, the heavily indebted Agrokor is teetering on the brink of financial collapse, and may be soon forced to sell its stake in the Slovenian retailer. Mercator has posted positive results so far in 2017, doing better than Agrokor’s Croatian retail chain Konzum in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The solid performance of the largest Slovenian companies in 2016 continued into the first half of this year, with the generic drug maker Krka having its best half year’s sales results to date. The group’s six-month revenues exceeded 655 million euros, up 8.5 percent on the same period last year, with profits soaring by 32 percent, at 124 million euros. Krka’s traditional rival, Lek (ranked 7th) – a Slovenian part of Novartis – is not far behind, with solid results and revenues of just below 1 billion in 2016. Last year was also successful for the Slovenian Renault plant in Novo mesto, as its sales almost reached 1.1 billion euros.
One of the most established Slovenian brands is that of the home appliances producer Gorenje (ranked 8th). The company’s strategic partner, Panasonic, carried out due diligence in 2016 yet decided against a takeover, stating that the acquisition would be too costly due to the rise in of value of Gorenje’s shares. Still Panasonic has retained its 10-percent stake and the companies continue to co-operate as strategic partners. Gorenje itself managed to increase its sales by 7.3 percent in the first half of 2017, mostly thanks to its intense focus on design and innovation. Only 24 companies on the list ended last year with a loss. The biggest loser was Šoštanj’s controversial coal power station, TEŠ. This, the largest investment in Slovenia’s recent history, seems to be burning both coal and money, as the losses reached 47 million euros last year. Krka posted the highest profits, followed by the national motorway operator Dars (ranked 14th), Lek, HSE, Petrol, the port of Koper operator Luka Koper (ranked 36th), Telekom Slovenije (ranked 9th) and property management company TCK (ranked 162nd), a part of Austrian “bad bank” HETA.
The stable circumstances and solid results of the largest Slovenian companies also mean that there are few changes on the list. Indeed, 90 percent of the companies present on the last year’s list also made it to the 2017 version of the TOP300. In other words, there are not many newcomers, although this years’ rising stars include MK Plast, the Slovenian subsidiary of a German plastic manufacturer (ranked 241st); Don Don (ranked 255th), a popular local doughnut brand; and the cable maker Cablex-T (ranked 276th). Other new arrivals on the list include the Bisol Group (ranked 269th), an ambitious Slovenian solar panel producer, while the. Japanese-owned robotics company Yaskawa Ristro is in 291st place. Atotech Slovenija, another new name on this list, is part of the Berlin-based specialty chemical company Atotech (ranked 279th), while Poclain Hydraulics plant in Žiri, operated by a leading global hydrostatic transmission maker, is ranked in 281st place.
Resource: Invest Slovenia