When investment pays off: Star Assembly unreachable in revenue gainers chart

by Mario Tanev

Romanian car parts maker Star Assembly, a unit of Germany’s Daimler, posted an incredible 353.42% rise in revenue in 2017, following the start of production of nine-speed automatic transmission for Mercedes-Benz in the middle of 2016.

Daimler invested more than 300 million euro in expanding the capacity of Star Assembly’s plant in Sabes, creating over 1,000 jobs, in order to meet increased demand for Mercedes-Benz parts.

“Together with her sister company Star Transmission in Cugir, Star Assembly is an important pillar of the worldwide Powertrain production operations for Mercedes- Benz Cars, as it covers production of 5, 7 and 9-speed gearboxes. The largest project of this kind in Ro-mania, inaugurated in 2016, is the 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, which supports the worldwide gearbox production as the second production facility apart from Germany,” Tobias Brandstetter, International Business Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars at Daimler, explained. Starting in 2017, Star Assembly introduced a three-shift production schedule to satisfy the increasing market demands of Mercedes-Benz cars globally, Brandstetter added. The investment seems to have paid off more than handsomely, as Star Assembly rushed into the SEE TOP 100 ranking, placing 16th in its debut appearance with revenue of 1.62 billion euro.

Seven new entrants to the 2017 edition of the SEE TOP 100 occupied the top of the most dynamic company ranking.

Slovenia’s Interenergo bagged the second place in the chart, as its revenue grew 139.87% to 893.8 million euro in 2017.

Interenergo joined the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange in 2017, after joining the power exchanges in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Slovakia throughout 2016, boosting its volume of electricity trading over two times to 21.8 TWh in 2017. The company also launched energy services activities and concluded its first deal for energy contracting in 2017.

Croatian natural gas company Prvo Plinarsko Drustvo came just behind Interenergo, posting a 134.11% rise in revenue to 1.03 billion euro in 2017. The company gained nearly 55 million euro from its new client – Malta- registered Energy Commodities Trading, in 2017.

Serbian state-run petrochemicals producer HIP Petrohemija, which topped this edition’s most profitable company ranking, also grabbed the fourth place in terms of revenue gains in 2017. The company boosted its revenue 103.67% to 636.3 million euro. HIP Petrohemija, which is expected to soon be privatised, improved its financials significantly, following a giant debt-to-equity swap, which resulted in a nearly fivefold increase in its registered capital.

Cofco International Romania, a unit of China’s COFCO International, ranked fifth, while Serbia’s HBIS Group Serbia Iron & Steel, part of China’s HBIS Group, took the sixth place, with a rise in revenue of 101.58% to 695.3 million euro. However, data for the company is skewed, as it was established in June 2016, when it took control of the steel plant in Smederevo, and thus its results in 2016 are based on a half-year report.

Serbia’s Tigar Tyres came seventh, following a 60.81% rise in revenue to 611.2 million euro.

Copper producer Aurubis Bulgaria took the eight place, ranking highest among companies present in the previous SEE TOP 100 edition, following a 56.83% rise in revenue backed by an increase in global copper prices. The company also posted record output following upgrade of its facilities, resulting in some 2.6 billion euro in revenue in the company’s fiscal year 2016/2017, ended September 30, 2017.

Two Slovenian companies wrapped up the ranking, with electricity and gas trading group GEN- I grabbing ninth place on a 48.28% rise in revenue to 2.5 billion euro, and car maker Revoz ending tenth with a 46.79% increase to 1.6 billion euro, following the introduction of a new model and staff increase in 2017.


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

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