The oil and gas industry, the biggest in the region, posted a slight decline in total revenue and a sharp fall in profit. Pharmaceuticals remained the most profitable industry with a 13.35% return on revenue. For the first time in five years the 2013 SEE industrial ranking saw a reshuffle among the top four, with the automotive industry climbing up to the fourth spot on a 48% increase in total revenue. Car makers in Southeast Europe (SEE) have seen a steady rise in their total revenues over the past years – from 4.6 billion euro in 2010 to 5.6 billion euro in 2011, 6.65 billion euro in 2012 and 9.05 billion euro in 2013, making their way up the ranking. They also managed to turn to a combined net profit of 138 million euro in 2013 from a net loss of 36 million euro a year earlier.
The automotive industry had seven representatives in the SEE TOP 100 companies, including FIAT Automobili Srbija, which booked a threefold increase in revenue to 1.576 billion euro. The Serbian company climbed up to the 17th place from the 88th - the highest jump in the SEE TOP 100 companies ranking. Romanian car maker Dacia too had a successful year - after slipping two spots to number 7 in the ranking of the biggest companies in the region in 2012, it climbed again to the second position, its revenues increasing 44% within a year to 4.16 billion euro.
The oil and gas industry, however, remained the biggest industry in the region. Its total revenue, though, dropped 5.45% to 41.77 billion euro, whereas total net profit plummeted to 659 million euro from 1.09 billion euro a year earlier.
The three companies in the SEE TOP 100 ranking to post the biggest profit are representatives of the oil and gas sector - OMV Petrom, Naftna Industrija Srbije, and Romgaz. However, as many as eight of the ten biggest loss-makers among the biggest corporations in the region also come from the oil and gas sector, with JP Srbijagas as the worst performer. Industry officials have pointed to depressed demand and, in Romania in particular, an increased fiscal burden, as hurting their bottomline.
The wholesale and retail sector remained third for the fourth consecutive year, after registering a 2.08% rise in total revenues to 13.3 billion euro. It turned to a net profit of 89.4 million euro after a net loss of 12.4 million.
Like elsewhere in Europe, the telecommunications sector in SEE region is not showing signs of recovery – the telcos that made it into SEE TOP 100 recorded a decline in their combined net profit to 571.9 million euro in 2013 from 633.8 million euro a year earlier on a 1.74% drop in total revenues to 5.32 billion euro. Telecommunications, however, remained one of the most profitable industries in the region with a 10.75% return on revenue.
Construction led the ranking in terms of sharpest rise in revenue in 2013. The sector's combined revenues surged fourfold to 2.17 billion euro, and its total net profit rose 44% to 56.5 million euro. However, it would be premature to draw any conclusions about the state of the sector as these figures reflect the performance of just one company that made it into the SEE TOP 100 ranking Romanian state-owned road construction and maintenance company CNADNR. Furthermore, transfers from the state budget accounted for a large part of the company's total revenues.
The biggest revenue drop, by 30%, was posted by the transportation sector, but here too no conclusions can be made as the figures reflect the performance of only one company, Romanian state-owned railway infrastructure operator CFR.
Pharmaceutical companies remained the most profitable in the SEE region for yet another year with a combined return on revenue at 13.35%, on the back of the performance of only two companies – Slovenia's Krka and Lek.
The rubber and rubber products industry took the second place in the ranking, with a 12.49% return on revenue, also based on the results of two companies, both car tire makers.