Growing steadily while investing in new ideas and new markets

BALFIN Group maintained a steady growth throughout 2022, with our banking, real estate and retail industries leading the way, despite the fluctuations on the international markets. Our economic activity increased by 11% as compared to the previous year. We served over 80,000 clients every day, in more than 230 points of sale or offices in all countries where we operate. The main reason for this positive performance is a series of investments made as part of a long-term strategy. We invested about 85 million euro in 2022, mostly in Austria, Switzerland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and North Macedonia. Another essential factor for our continued success is our dedicated workforce of over 5,000 professionals spread across ten countries. They play a pivotal role in overcoming challenges and proactively pursuing new opportunities.


Vlora Marina, Albania’s key tourism project between two seas

Investment in Vlora Marina stands at 350 million euro, as 45 million euro were dedicated to the marina’s construction. Accessible via a well-connected highway and just ten minutes from Vlora International Airport, this mixed-use project hosts Albania’s largest marina, featuring 438 mooring spots for yachts and mega-yachts, ready to welcome global visitors to experience Albania’s unmatched beauty and hospitality.


Team comes first when deciding on potential investment

MFG Invest (BUL:MFG) invests in start-up and scale-up companies whose activity is in the field of fintech services, e-commerce, creation and sale of technologies that have applications in various business areas such as, but not limited to, education, agriculture, security, storage of data and more. MFG Invest does not invest in companies that are at the “idea” stage and do not have a developed product or permanent team. The purpose of the company is to manage its equity portfolio by supporting the development of the companies in it through sharing the long-term experience and expertise of MFGI team members. The company is traded on the beam market of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange since the beginning of 2023.


We can provide coverage to those who need it most, we aim at speed and clear terms

Instinct’s ambitions go beyond the already developed seven European markets of the other companies in the MFG group. In October, the company launches sales with a partner network of brokers, travel agencies, etc., which are outside the MFG group’s own sales network and customer base, and will also look for a higher segment of customers, and through its online sales channel – customers who primarily use technology through a computer, phone or other device. The company is focused on innovating different and unfamiliar solutions to existing products within the scope of the granted license, which are unique to the Bulgarian insurance market.


Our resorts differentiate through dedicated adult and family segments

Niro Investment Group embarked on its venture into the hospitality sector five years ago, initiating two groundbreaking projects. Corinthia Grand Hotel Boulevard Bucharest, located in an iconic building in the very heart of the city, will epitomize the first luxury boutique hotel under the Corinthia brand in Romania. With 30 opulent suites, a Grand Ballroom, an internationally renowned F&B Operator, personalized meeting spaces, and exclusive amenities, this establishment seeks to revive the building’s initial grandeur in harmony with Corinthia’s hallmark standards. In parallel, Niro Investment Group is building a premium hotel in northern Bucharest under the Swissôtel brand, a flagship of the largest European hotel operator, Accor.

The most dynamic SEE companies in 2022: Energy rush

The energy sector completely took over the ranking of the fastest growing companies in Southeastern Europe (SEE) last year as the global energy crisis triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war propelled electricity and gas prices to record highs. The most dynamic companies in SEE by revenue in 2022 were seven energy traders, a thermal power plant, an oil refiner and a biodiesel producer.In comparison, a year earlier the ranking also included transportation, wholesale companies, and a steel producer.


We remain committed to expanding in 2023

In 2022, Sirma achieved a growth rate of 25.8%, which is a significant success. The year proved strong with business recovery after COVID-19, as Sirma won several new customers and expanded into new markets. Additionally, we completed a major deal that resulted in the majority stake of Sirma AI (trading as Ontotext) being sold. Later, we negotiated with the EBRD to sell our remaining minority stake, which we finalised in early 2023. The transaction resulted in a negative impact on consolidated earnings.


Energy companies fuel revenuerev-up in SEE TOP 100 ranking

In a year marked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the biggest attack on a European country since WWII – traditional geopolitical alignments and economic trajectories were thrown off kilter, not least in front-line Southeast European states, whose energy sectors had historically been heavily dependent on Russia. With energy security and diversification taking precedence, it comes as no surprise that 2022 was a blockbuster year for petroleum and natural gas, and electricity companies.


A new era of renewable energy PPAs is coming to SEE

Rezolv Energy is a clean power producer established to build a multi-gigawatt portfolio of wind, solar and energy storage projects in South Eastern Europe. Backed by 500 million euro from investment firm Actis, Rezolv already has well over 2GW of clean energy being prepared for construction. This includes St. George, which will become one of Bulgaria’s largest solar plants, and Dama Solar, which will be the largest solar project anywhere in Europe once it is operational. Rezolv also has more than 1GW of wind power being prepared for construction in Romania. The company’s plan is to grow its pipeline to 4GW within the next three to five years. The power from these projects will be sold to commercial and industrial users through longterm Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).


We are bringing responsibility to the market

In a dynamic and competitive business environment, you need to constantly look for ways to create value, differentiate yourself, and gain an edge over your rivals. One of the most effective ways to do that is to form strategic alliances and partnerships with other organisations that can complement your strengths and enhance your offerings, and this is why Photomate has became Huawei VAP in 2015. Huawei is the largest inverter producer in the world, with top tier quality products on which, we Photomate, add top tier services for our customer. The combination of the two puts us in a lead position in Romanian market.


Energy companies swing between highs and lows

Extreme volatility on the energy markets in 2022 impacted industry players in different ways, pushing some to the top spots of the most profitable companies ranking in SEE and burdening others with substantial losses. For metal producing companies, however, the economic recovery and global shift to green energy is all good news as demand for their output surges

Top 100 featured images Features & Interviews (7)

2021: SEE TOP 100 companies shake off pandemic gloom

As governments lifted pandemic-related restrictions and domestic demand started to recover, companies in Southeast Europe (SEE) closed 2021 with better-than-expected financial results. The top one hundred companies in the region posted a solid rise in sales and a remarkable growth in profits, exceeding the pre-crisis levels. The economic rebound benefitted most the companies operating in the oil and gas, electricity and metals sectors as demand for raw materials and energy jumped. At the same time, lingering supply chain disruptions continued to curb production in various sectors. In particular, for manufacturers of automobiles and car parts, traditionally among the top performers in the region, shortages of semi-conductors remained a pressing issue.

Top 100 featured images Features & Interviews (5)

ADM Romania Trading leads fastest growing companies ranking

Riding the wave of surging food prices, Romanian transportation and wholesale company ADM Romania Trading, a newcomer in SEE TOP 100, was the fastest growing company in the 2021 ranking. Due to global harvest issues, food commodity prices were already at a ten-year high even before the war in Ukraine started, according to the United Nations Food Prices Index. For ADM Romania Trading, this meant an almost 19 times (1,766%) increase in its revenue last year, to 809.7 million euro.