Aerodrom Nikola Tesla leads revenue gainers after pocketing hefty concession fee

By Mario Tanev

Serbia’s Aerodrom Nikola Tesla joined this year’s edition of the SEE TOP 100 ranking following a sevenfold increase of revenue. The majority state-owned company whose main asset is Belgrade Airport, took the 95th spot in the SEE TOP 100 ranking with revenue of 592.7 million euro in 2018. Aerodrom Nikola Tesla also posted the third biggest profit among all of the 100 companies – 451.1 million euro, and the best return on revenue – 76.11%.This stellar financial performance can be attributed mainly to the 25-year concession contract to run Belgrade Airport, which France’s Vinci Airports landed in March 2018. As part of the deal, Vinci Airports agreed to pay 501 million euro for the concession and pledged to subsequently invest 732 million euro over its term.

Another major revenue gainer in this year’s ranking is Serbia Zijin Bor Copper, previously RTB Bor. The copper mining and smelting company bagged a 295.4% annual rise in revenue to 1.32 billion euro in 2018, climbing 13 places in the SEE TOP 100 ranking.

Serbia Zijin Bor Copper also booked the second highest profit and return on revenue among the top 100 companies, of 764.2 million euro and 58.06%, respectively.

The company benefited from a capital injection of $350 million by Chinese heavyweight Zijin Mining Group, which took control of a 63% stake and pledged to invest a further $1.26 billion in its Serbian subsidiary.

Car and car parts manufacturer Ford Romania claimed the third place in the rank
ing of revenue gainers with a hefty rise of 111.82% to 2.29 billion euro in 2018.

The company’s solid financial performance hardly comes as a surprise, as its U.S.-based parent Ford Motor Company has invested over 1.5 billion euro since taking over the Romanian factory in 2008. And it seems the investment is paying off – Ford Romania calebrated the production of the 1 millionth Ford 1.0 EcoBoost engine at its factory in Craiova since it started their production in 2012.

A big boost to the company’s performance in 2018 was the production of the EcoSport SUV model. The Craiova plant launched production of the model in the last quarter of 2017 following investment of some 200 million euro.

The company looks poised for further growth after Ford announced that it will start production of the Puma model at the Craiova plant by the end of 2019 following investment of a further 200 million euro.

A notable trend in this year’s edition of the revenue gainers list is the strong presence of companies from the oil and gas industry – four out of the top ten.
Bulgarian fuel trader Saksa ranks highest among its industrial peers, taking the fourth place with a revenue rise of 57.09%, to 869.2 million euro.

Only one of the members of last year’s edition of the revenue gainers ranking has retained its place among the region’s ten most dynamic companies – Cofco International Romania. The company now ranks fifth, same as in the previous edition, after posting a 50.72% rise in revenue to 850.9 million euro in 2018. In 2017, the company achieved a massive 103.59% rise in revenue.

Five out of the top ten revenue gainers in this year’s edition of the ranking come from Romania. Serbia follows with two members, while Bulgaria, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have one each.