Oltchim tops SEE money mak­ers, HSE paces losers

Top 100 See - - Top 100 Companies - By Ma­rina Mikhaylova

Ro­ma­nian chem­i­cals pro­ducer Oltchim, which was de­clared in­sol­vent in Jan­uary 2013, emerged as a sur­pris­ing win­ner of this year's edi­tion of the SEE Most Prof­itable com­pa­nies rank­ing af­ter swing­ing into profit for the first time in seven years thanks to debt write-offs. The plant, which has been un­der­go­ing a re­or­gan­i­sa­tion process, posted a net profit of 507 mil­lion euro for 2015, re­vers­ing a loss of 102.5 mil­lion euro a year ear­lier, while its rev­enue jumped nearly five­fold to 697 mil­lion euro. Hence, its main prof­itabil­ity in­di­ca­tor, re­turn on rev­enue, switched to 73% in 2015 from a neg­a­tive 70% in 2014. Ma­jor­ity state-owned Oltchim, the only pro­ducer in Cen­tral Europe of liq­uid caus­tic soda and the only pro­ducer in Ro­ma­nia of chlo­rine and polyether poly­ols, launched in Au­gust an as­set sale auc­tion process, hop­ing to choose in­vestors by the end of 2016. At the same time, the Euro­pean Commission has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the fi­nan­cial aid the com­pany got from the state in the form of debt write-offs and con­tin­ued sup­plies by state-owned en­ter­prises was in line with EU reg­u­la­tions.

Ro­ma­nia ac­counted for half of the top 10 profit mak­ers in SEE, in­clud­ing the first four. State-owned hy­dropower pro­ducer Hidro­elec­trica and Con­ti­nen­tal Au­to­mo­tive Prod­ucts, part of the Ger­man tyre man­u­fac­turer, re­tained their se­cond and fourth po­si­tions, re­spec­tively, while last year's top earner, gas pro­ducer Romgaz, slipped to third place.

Croa­tia had two en­trants in the rank­ing power util­ity Hr­vatska Elek­tro­privreda (HEP), a new­comer at no. 5 thanks to an im­prove­ment in re­turn on rev­enue by 6.5 pps, and Hr­vatski Telekom at no. 7. The telco booked a drop in re­turn on rev­enue by 3.3 pps, which al­lowed its Ser­bian peer Telekom Sr­bija to over­take it with a smaller, 1.31 pps, de­cline.

Slove­nia also had two rep­re­sen­ta­tives, both of them drug mak­ers as well as new­com­ers – Lek at no. 8 and Krka at no. 9 with im­prove­ment in re­turn on rev­enue by 4 pps and 0.8 pps, re­spec­tively.

Look­ing at the own­er­ship struc­ture, half of the top 10 money mak­ers are state-con­trolled, whereas three are units of ma­jor in­ter-

na­tional play­ers.

Among the 10 big­gest money losers, we have four elec­tric­ity com­pa­nies, all of them sta­te­owned, and three pri­vately-owned oil and gas firms, un­der­lin­ing the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect of the global drop in re­source prices on SEE and the ur­gent need of re­struc­tur­ing in those sec­tors.

The most prom­i­nent money loser was Slove­nia's top power pro­ducer Hold­ing Slovenske Elek­trarne (HSE), which turned to a 323 mil­lion euro loss in 2015 due to im­pair­ments, un­favourable hy­dro­logic fac­tors and lower elec­tric­ity

prices. It was fol­lowed by Ro­ma­nian peer Com­plexul En­er­getic Ol­te­nia, which saw its loss widen 37% last year, and the re­gion's ma­jor oil and gas groups - Croa­tia's INA and Ro­ma­nia's OMV Petrom, which were badly hurt by the oil price slump.

Ro­ma­nia had three other en­trants in the losers' rank­ing, bring­ing its to­tal num­ber to five, fol­lowed by Bulgaria, which was rep­re­sented by its heav­ily-in­debted power util­ity NEK and Lukoil's lo­cal re­fin­ery. Ser­bia also made it to the dis­rep­utable rank­ing with power sup­plier EPS Sn­ab­de­vanje.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bulgaria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.