Oil and gas firms increased their number on the list of the 20 SEE companies with the heftiest losses in 2011 to nine from seven in 2010. Analysts attribute the increase to the rise in global oil prices that continued to depress the bottom line of the oil companies in the region, which are involved mostly in refining. Four firms on the list are units of Russian oil major Lukoil.
The economies of Southeast Europe set out on a hard and long road to recovery last year, trying to beat the challenge of sluggish demand for their exports in the eurozone, their main trading partner.
Unsurprisingly, the EU member states in the region fared worse than their non-EU neighbours due to their stronger integration with the western European markets. In contrast, non-EU member states capitalised on their looser links with the EU to post bigger growth in their gross domestic product (GDP).
The International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) has said that 80.1 million motor vehicles were manufactured worldwide in 2011, a 3.1% year-on-year increase in global automotive production. The number of passenger cars produced rose to 59.9 million from 58.3 million in 2010.
The combined output of motor vehicles in the three Southeast European countries manufacturing them in 2011 – Romania, Slovenia and Serbia – fell by 9.5% from 2010 to 525,141 units.
Forecasts for the next three years indicate recovery for both global and European automobile production.