By Dragana Petrushevska
Two Bulgarian companies – the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX) and a unit of Portuguese glass packaging manufacturer BA Group topped the ranking of the most dynamic companies among the SEE TOP 100 entrants.
IBEX, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange, saw its revenues jump by an annual 62.72% in 2020, after having reported a fivefold increase in the electricity volume traded on the Day-ahead market compared to January 2016, when it was launched. Over the past five years, the number of registered participants on the Dayahead market increased to 80 from 17, as the market sets a record traded volume almost every month. In November 2019, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia were part of the second wave of countries to join the Single Intraday Coupling project, which enabled continuous cross-border trading of electricity in the intraday time frame between 21 countries.
BA Glass Bulgaria, formerly Drujba Glassworks, dropped one place in the ranking compared to 2019 and booked a 58.7% annual rise in revenues, after successfully completing the construction of a new furnace at its factory in Sofia. In June, its parent group BA Glass announced it will invest almost 60 million euro to build a new glass packaging furnace at the plant, aiming to streamline production processes and raise output. The company also plans to install rooftop photovoltaic panels at the plant and hire 100 more at the plant to cope with increased production. The investment is part of the company’s strategy announced in 2017 to invest over 200 million euro in its Bulgarian plants, aiming to double their production capacity, boost efficiency, and improve the quality of its products.
Romanian wholesale and retail companies increased their presence in the ranking to five from three in 2019. Dante International, the company that includes eMAG Romania, Fashion Days Romania and conducts sales for eMAG Bulgaria and eMAG Hungary, a new entry among the most profitable, was also the top retailer in a year during which e-commerce reached record-high levels in Romania. The company achieved a 40.57% annual jump in turnover in 2020, after booking some 120 million euro in Black Friday sales in Romania and another 24 million euro in Bulgaria. Last year, the retailer opened its first showrooms in Bulgaria and Hungary and several others in Romania. At the end of March, eMAG said it plans to invest some 659 million euro in the next three years in regional expansion, technology development, logistics operations and in technology companies, through eMAG Ventures.
The Romanian unit of German discount chain Lidl dropped one place in the chart to the seventh position. The chain reached a network of over 300 stores and announced an ambitious 200 million euro investment plan for 2021. Hard-discount retailer Profi Rom Food dropped one place to the tenth position in 2020. It continues to have the biggest geographical coverage in Romania, with over 1,500 stores in 681 localities. Do-it-yourself retailer Dedeman, a fresh entry, opened several new units during 2020 and IT&C and electronics retailer Altex invested over 30.3 million euro to expand and modernize its store network and logistics centres in 2020.
Natural gas importer, wholesale and retail supplier and distribution system operator Prvo Plinarsko Drustvo is the only Croatian company and the only company active in the petroleum and natural gas sector in the ranking.
The most dynamic Slovenian company in 2020 was white goods manufacturer Gorenje, owned by China’s Hisense Group. The company booked a 36.46% increase in revenues despite several weeks of production halt due to Covid-19.
Serbia Zijin Copper ranked six among the most dynamic companies in SEE, after its parent group, China’s Zijin Mining Group, started implementing a 200 million euro investment programme at the mining and smelting complex in 2020.
Most dynamic companies is a ranking of the top 10 companies with the highest change in revenue in SEE TOP 100. Change in revenue is calculated as a year-on-year change of total revenue, calculated in local currencies. In order to ensure fair comparison, companies established after 2018 are omitted.