The Adriatic/Balkan region is very diversified. It consists of many small economies which are supporters of the European Union community idea but have so far received various results – from the Eurozone country Slovenia through the two year-old EU member Croatia to other countries with their separately defined process of the EU integration.
The fourth edition of the Coface Adriatic/Balkan Top 50 ranking sees some changes compared to previous editions. After many years in second place, Slovenian Petrol finally got into the lead - thanks to an increase in turnover +1.4% to EUR 3.3 billion and a weak performance of last year’s winner Croatian Ina D.D. (EUR 3.2 billion, -5.4%). In third place again is Serbian Naftna (EUR 2.0 billion, -1.9%).
As oil continues to be a major contributor to economic performance in the GCC, economic diversification is vital for the Gulf countries to ensure continued healthy growth. This has been showcased in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are driving sustained GDP growth through significant government investment in non-oil sectors. In the UAE, the food and beverage sector is forecasted to grow by 36% between 2014 and 2019, while KSA’s automotive industry is slated to rise by 5.2% in 2015.
Company insolvencies in Western Europe have experienced two successive storms. The subprime crisis, which made insolvencies jump by an average of +11% in the twelve countries studied was, unsurprisingly, followed by further shock waves, with increases of +8% in 2012 and +5% in 2013.
•2014: A year of improvement throughout the region – turnover increased by +2.1%
•Higher turnover of the biggest companies reflected better economic prospects in 2014
•Poland was the biggest player, Hungary had the highest growth rate and the Czech Republic recovered
•Sectors: Automotive industry (+10.6%) top, oil & gas sector flop (-3.9%)