Coface Baltic Top 50
Since a deep recession recorded in 2009 Baltic economies have generated fair growth rates in the last years. They resulted from a robust increase of exports supported by the high economic openness of the Baltics as well as rising household consumption.
The exports’ structure differs from other countries of Eastern Europe as the Baltic countries are more exposed to trading with CIS economies. Whereas the contribution of those emerging markets has had a positive effect in previous years, the deterioration of the Russian economy already hampered the economic activity in the Baltic region in 2014 and it will still negatively affect the pace of GDP growth this year. The results of this year’s Coface Baltics Top 50 ranking illustrate this situation. The largest companies had to deal with a slump in total turnover (-5.4%) compared to a modest rise by 2% in last year’s ranking. If you take a closer look, you see a differentiated picture.
Lithuania continues to lead the Baltics Top 50 Ranking with 28 companies, but the largest number of newcomers is recorded by Estonia which thus closed the gap with Latvia. Both countries provide eleven top players. Estonian companies did exceptionally well: eight out of Eleven reported a rise in revenues. Average net profit decreased only slightly compared to their Lithuanian and Latvian competitors. The highest rise in employment was reported in Latvia (+5.6%). In total, the largest companies in the Baltic countries hired almost 10,000 people (+4.0%).
Nothing new at the top: The Top 3 remain stable in Lithuanian hands. Although Orlen Lietuva AB faced a very challenging year with shrinking revenues (-22.7%) and exploding net losses, it continues to be the largest company in the region. As in previous years, it is followed by Vilniaus Prekyba UAB and Maxima Grupe UAB which both reported a stable growth rate of around 3%. Two companies entered the Top 10 this year for the first time: both Sanitex UAB (8th) and Rimi Latvia AS (10th) improved five places and reported two-digit growth both in revenues and net profits.