The Romanian unit of French retailer Auchan took the crown in the ranking of the most dynamic companies among the entrants in the SEE TOP 100 chart, after it recorded a surge in revenue of 63.08%. The company's growth in revenue comes on the back of expansion of its network - in 2014 Auchan concluded an agreement to acquire 12 hypermarkets and shopping centres in Romania for some 280 million euro. The previous year, Auchan bought 20 out of the 24 Real hypermarkets in Romania from German retailer Metro.
The company's growth is also indicative of the general uptrend in the performance of the wholesale and retail industry reflecting the increasing consumption in Southeast Europe as economic growth in the region gains momentum. More than a fifth of the entrants in the SEE Most Dynamic ranking came from this very industry, as most settled in comfortably in the upper part of the ranking.
Apart from Auchan Romania, two other retailers, also registered in Romania, ranked among the top 10. These were Dedeman which recorded a 26.91% rise in revenue and placed seventh in the ranking, and Profi Rom Food, which landed at the eighth spot on a 25.73% rise in revenue. Dedeman has announced plans to expand its network to 50 outlets by the end of 2015. Profi, owned by Polish Enterprise Fund VI, a private equity fund managed by Enterprise Investors, has been very actively growing its network in the past couple of years, with plans to double the number of its stores to 600 by the end of 2016.
Another industry that can be viewed as a marker for the region's accelerating economic recovery is the automotive industry. A total of eight companies involved in car or car parts manufacturing made it into the ranking. The highest ranked representative of this industry is Slovenia's Revoz, which came in fifth, with a 28.6% jump in revenue. Another one that landed within the top 10 was Romania's Renault Commercial Roumanie, having recorded a rise in revenue of 22.32%, which earned it the no.10 spot. Six of the eight entrants came from the biggest economy in SEE, Romania, while the remainder are based in Slovenia.
Romania's Silcotub, part of Steel group Tenaris took the fourth position, recording a 29.46% rise in revenue. The company produces small diameter seamless steel pipes used in a range of industries, including the automotive industry, and the overal growth in that sector may have given it a bit of a nudge.
Macedonian specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey also had a good year, landing second with a revenue rise of 48.34%. Croatian distribution system operator HEPOperator Distribucijskog Sustava came in third with an increase in revenue of 37.88%. In late 2013, Johnson Matthey officially opened a 60 million euro emission control catalyst plant in Macedonia, its second in the Southeast European country. The company said at the time that the new plant was expected to increase the company's sales outside Macedonia. It most certainly did a good job.
The top 10 places were rounded off by Croatian drug maker Pliva, which increased its revenue by 22.63% last year and ranked ninth. Pliva, part of Israel's Teva Group, opened a new plant near Zagreb in 2013 for production of solid oral drug forms that was supposed to significantly improve the company's capacity for production of tablets and capsules and boost its exports.
Petroleum and natural gas producers were dominant in the ranking, having 14 entrants, dispersed from the no. 6 spot to the last place. The highest ranked company from this industry is Romania's Romgaz, with an increase in revenue of 28.1%. It should be noted here that the oil and gas industry, which dominates the SEE TOP 100 ranking and has eight representatives among the ten biggest companies in the region, had only one representative in the top 10 most dynamic companies.
Energy sector had the biggest number of entrants in the ranking, 20. Wholesale and retail followed with 11 representatives while cars and car parts makers came in third, taking 8 spots.
As many as 28 out of the total 50 entrants came from Romania. Slovenia followed with 8 representatives while Croatia and Bulgaria shared the third spot with five entrants each.