By Radomir Ralev
Two Bulgarian companies a unit of Portuguese glass packaging manufacturer BA Group and vegetable oils and biodiesel maker Astra Bioplant – topped the ranking of the most dynamic companies among the SEE TOP 100 entrants.
BA Glass Bulgaria, former Drujba Glassworks, saw its revenue soar by an impressive 373% in 2019, two years after Greek glassmaker Yioula sold it to the Portuguese group. Its new owner launched a 205 million euro investment plan for the expansion of its production capacity by 2024. BA Glass intends to build two new furnaces to double the production capacity of its facilities in Bulgaria. The company currently operates two furnaces in the country – in Sofia and Plovdiv.
Astra Bioplant achieved a 61% revenue rise to 984.5 million euro in 2019. Astra Bioplant claims it holds a 5% market share in Europe’s alternative fuel market. Its biggest foreign clients are UK-based Petroineos Trading, Hungary’s MOL, Romania’s OMV Petrom and KazMunay Gas Trading. In Bulgaria it sells its produce to the units of Russia’s Lukoil and Romania’s Rompetrol, Saksa and Insa Oil. In 2019 the company launched a project to expand the capacity of its installation for biodiesel from 60,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes annually.
Romanian state-owned railway infrastructure operator CFR claimed the third place in the ranking of revenue gainers with a hefty rise of 33% to 929.5 million euro in 2019. CFR, Romania’s Transgaz and Bulgarian nuclear power plant (NPP) Kozloduy were the only state-owned companies in the chart.
In 2019 the NPP produced 16.3 million МWh of electricity, exceeding the alltime high annual output generated in 2011.
The ranking of the most dynamic companies included only Bulgarian and Romanian companies, with the sole exception being Serbia’s Tigar Tyres, one of the country’s top 10 exporters. Serbia had two representatives in the previous year, while Bosnia and Croatia had one each.
Wholesalers and retailers marked a return to the ranking, as their number in the 2019 chart went up to three from only one in 2018. Two of the representatives of the sector were subsidiaries of German discount chain Lidl in Romania and Bulgaria, each of them recording a revenue rise of more than 20% on the back of a rapid expansion across the region. The other sector player was Romania’s Profi Rom Food, which last year completed the takeover of 18 stores of local retailer Pram Maya.
The representation of oil and gas sector players fell to two – Astra Bioplant and Romania’s Transgaz, from four in the previous year. The revenue of Transgaz went up 25%, as the company’s income from construction activity nearly doubled. However, operating revenue before balancing and construction activity edged down by an annual 2%.
The car parts industry managed to send a single company into the Top 10 most dynamic list after having no representatives last year.
The Romanian unit of Robert Bosch ranked seventh in the chart with a solid 24% increase in revenue. Bosch invested approximately 360 million lei in Romania in 2019, mainly in the development of its plants within the Mobility Solutions division in Cluj and Blaj, as well as in research and development.
Most dynamic ranking comprises the 10 companies with the highest change in revenue among the SEE TOP 100 entrants. The ranking is based on the year-on-year percentage change in the companies’ revenues calculated in local currencies. In order to ensure fair comparison, companies established after 2017 are omitted.