The rubber and rubber product makers in Southeast Europe, represented by two car tire makers in the SEE TOP 100 ranking, have dislodged the pharmaceutical firms from the top spot in the most profitable industries ranking for 2014, recording a return on revenue of 14.19%. The pharmaceutical sector, which had taken the top honours for four consecutive years, was dethroned even through in this year’s rankings it is represented by one more company compared to the 2014 edition and has three entrants – Slovenia’s Krka and Lek and Croatia’s Pliva.
Furniture, a newcomer in the rankings, took the no.2 place with 13.83% return on revenue, leaving last year's leader in the third spot with 11.71%. Furniture, however, had only one representative this year, Romaina's Holzindustrie Schweighofer, making it impossible to make any sweeping conclusions about the state of the sector in the region as a whole. The same, although to a slightly lesser degree, applies to the rubber industry, as it only had two entrants, both coming from Romania - Continental Automotive Products and Michelin Romania.
Little has changed in the top five spots on the 2015 SEE industrial ranking since its previous edition. The petroleum/natural gas industry kept its comfortable lead with total revenues rising 0.04% to 40.58 billion euro. Despite the growth in revenue, the sector recorded the biggest drop in net profit - of 716.5 million euro to 262.5 million euro.
It should come as little surprise that we are seeing such a comfortable lead of the petroleum and natural gas industry having in mind that the companies from this industry had the biggest presence in the most dynamic companies ranking as well with 14 entries. This ranking, which makes its debut this year, comprises the companies with the biggest change in revenue compared to the previous year. The oil and gas sector has a similarly impressive footprint in the SEE TOP 100 companies ranking, where nearly one third of the companies hail from the sector, while at the same time holding spots from no.2 through to no.7.
Electricity ranked second in the SEE industrial ranking, staying way below the total revenue of the leading industry at 15.3 billion euro. The sector's revenue fell 5.56% from the previous year while its total net profit dropped to 495.8 million euro from 529.8 million euro.
Wholesale/retail again took the third position, recording a 7.02% year-on-year rise in revenue to 14.48 billion euro and a slightly lower net profit of 251.7 million euro versus 275.4 million euro in the previous year. The automobiles sector recorded a jump in total revenue of 7.1% to 8 billion euro, managing to extend the steady rise in revenue over the past couple of years. The companies coming from this industry also returned to profitability in the 2014 rankings, recording a net profit of 84.9 million euro after posting a combined net loss of 30.5 million euro the previous year. The sector had eight entrants this year, one more than in the previous ranking. It should be noted that FCA Srbija was not included in this year's ranking as the company's financial data was not available by print time.
The ascendency of the automobiles industry in SEE is no news if we have in mind that last year marked a turning point in the EU when it comes to the registration of new passenger cars. 2014 was the first in the last seven years to see growth of registrations in the EU.
Telecommunication companies are still losing ground in terms of revenue. The combined revenue of the seven representatives of this sector in the SEE industrial ranking fell 2.12% to 5.1 billion euro in 2014, while their combined net profit plummeted 26.9% to 432.3 million euro with the sector continuing to face market saturation and new EU regulations. Still, telecommunications remained in the fifth spot of the most profitable industries with 8.45% return on revenue while also maintaining the same spot in the 2014 SEE industrial ranking.