Encouraging economic signals are undermined by recent slowdown in company revenue growth rates
CE Top 500 Press release
The 500 biggest companies in Central Europe reported median revenue growth of 9.8% during 2011, continuing the positive trend of 2010. In addition, the combined revenues of the region's leading 500 companies reached ca. EUR 707 billion in 2011.
But while such figures paint an encouraging picture of economic health among Central Europe's leading business, average net profitability fell by 3.5% during 2011. Performance data for the first three months of 2012 show a continuing increase in average revenue levels, but only at a half the rate achieved throughout 2011. This may indicate the approach of another economic slowdown.
These are some of the key findings of the sixth edition of the Deloitte CE Top 500 report, which finds Central European business leaders in pensive mood as they tackle the twin challenges of growing economic difficulties affecting some of their key export markets and the ongoing crisis in the Eurozone.
According to Deloitte Central Europe CEO Alastair Teare, "Even though countries in our region are faring better than many elsewhere, this does not mean that we are in any way immune from the impact of the almost daily turbulence that continues to shake our interconnected economies.
"In this challenging environment, there is one consistent driver that influences the decisions that businesses must make every day on how they respond to such issues: leadership. This is why throughout this year's report we are focusing on the critical importance of leadership at all levels in achieving organisational and market success. As you read the perspectives of Deloitte partners and executives from some of the region's largest companies, I am confident you will see how the qualities of good leadership can and do permeate every organisation."
There was little change among the top ten largest companies from the previous report, with petrochemical and power companies continuing their dominant position by taking seven places. The only exceptions are retailer Jeronimo Martins and manufacturing companies Skoda Auto and Metinvest. Lotos was the only company to join the top ten (moving from eleventh to seventh place), while PGNiG slipped from eighth to twelfth. The top three places in the ranking remain unchanged (PKN Orlen, MOL and Skoda).
During 2011, revenue growth was consistent across almost all the industry sectors surveyed in the report. It was particularly strong in the construction sector, boosted by preparations for Euro 2012, which saw average revenues rise by 21%. The manufacturing sector performed strongly too, largely as a result of the exceptional performance of the processing industry, also energy & resources companies saw revenue growth.
According to Deloitte Central Europe CEO Alastair Teare, "As we look ahead it is clear that the immediate and mid-term future contain some intense challenges for Central Europe's businesses. Within our report, one of our interviewees says: 'When a company is facing a time of turbulent change, they will find themselves in trouble unless they have a genuine leader'. This statement was never more important or relevant than it is today."