Last year was a record year for many of the Slovenian TOP300 companies: revenues went up and profits increased. Total sales by the 300 largest Slovenian companies exceeded 46.5 billion euros last year. The net profits came close to the 2 billion mark.
Unsurprisingly, there are few changes in the rankings in comparison to last year’s edition of the TOP300 list. The national fuel trader Petrol remains firmly in the lead. The consolidated revenues of Petrol group reached 4.4 billion euros while the net profits grew by 15 percent. The TOP300 list shows the revenues of the parent company (3.6 billion euros). The 75 year old company is gradually shifting its focus from fuel trade to general energy services.
Revoz (rank 3) remains the largest Slovenian manufacturing and exporting company. Renault’s Slovenian plant ended the year with 1.8 billion euros of sales. The biggest net profits were posted by Krka, a pharmaceutical company from Novo mesto (rank 5). Krka has been maintaining this position for years. The title of the fastest growing large Slovenian company went, however, to Belektron (rank 8). Belektron is the largest global independent trader in CO2 emissions and other environmental commodities. The company employs only five people, yet its sales went up from 737 million to over 1 billion euros in one year.
The bonanza of large (and small) Slovenian companies abruptly ended this Spring with the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic. At first, news about the impact the pandemic would have on business was gloomy,. Yet summer brought a modicum of optimism.
Many of the factories closed operations during the epidemic. Revoz, for example, completely shut down their production lines for six weeks. Operations restarted in late April and in May the production reached 630 Twingo, Clio and Smart ForFour cars per day. This is still below capacity, yet not dramatically so. Home appliances manufacturer Gorenje (rank 9) announced rather large layoffs in Spring. In summer, however, the company had to seek new employees due to increased demand. Gorenje’s owner, Hisense group, also did not change its plans to build its European television factory in Velenje.
Petrol was hit hard during the crisis as fuel consumption plummeted. In the first quarter the group's sales went down by 15 percent. Net profits remained solid and even exceeded those from the same period in 2019 – from 18 to 22 million euros. On the other hand, it seems that the pandemic did not affect the business of the second largest Slovenian company, electricity trader Gen-I. In the first half of the year the sales of electricity and gas had already reached 80 percent of the 2019 quantities. Sales of solar power went up by 50 percent in the same period. Overall, management estimates that 2020 will be a record year for Gen-I with a 25 percent increase over the last year of energy sold. Another company with excellent results in 2020 is Krka. In the first half of 2020 the parent company Krka increased revenues by 16 percent while net profits went up by a whopping 29 percent. Indeed, the increase of the group’s results were a bit more modest: sales went up by 6 and net profits by 15 percent. Most Slovenian manufacturing companies – and in particular those in the automotive sector, would be more than happy with such “modest” growth.
Still, so far it seems that recovery after the pandemic was faster than expected. Yet even in the pharmaceutical industry, managers remain cautious with predictions for the year. Another outbreak of the COVID19 epidemic may once again change the picture. Now, we can firmly predict only one thing, This year’s TOP300 list closely resembles the 2019 edition. This will not happen again with 2020’s TOP300 list: the rankings will be reshuffled with the figures in many cases being below 2019’s results.