Poles among leaders of the Central and Eastern Europe

Coface, an international company of the insured dues trade, prepared the Coface 500 ranking, in which it correlated the largest enterprises from the Central and Eastern Europe in 2013, classified in respect of volume of sales.

In Coface comparison, there were 148 Polish enterprises, that is 13 per cent less than in the last year.

Displacements in the ranking of 500 the largest enterprises well illustrate the economic conditions which were dominating last year, and it was not a successful year. The low level of export, resulting in weakness of the Eurozone and difficulties in accessibility to credits caused that 2013 was a difficult and demanding year for companies. In effect, 500 the largest companies ended it with stable turnovers and low decrease of the employment rate. We observed, especially in big players, problems with maintaining results from previous years – explains Katarzyna Kompowska, managing Coface in the region of Central Europe.

Not enough consumption

According to experts, mainly the macroeconomic situation of the region and weakening of the internal demand in Poland had an influence on the decrease of Polish companies’ number in the ranking. The economic growth of Poland in 2013 totaled 1,6 per cent, that is exactly the same number as in critical 2009 – points out Grzegorz Sielewicz, Main Economist of Coface in the Central Europe Region. However, we might have talked about the stable private consumption in Poland five years later. Unfortunately, this factor was missing last year, especially in the first half of the year.

The dynamics of consumption was minimal in 2013, therefore companies felt a considerable slowdown in sales, related to bad situation in the Eurozone – the most important trading partner of Poland. Against growing problems with sale, companies began to look for the new markets. The export’s dynamics and its net contribution in GDB were positive. On the other hand, the macroeconomic conditions had a strong impact on enterprises’ situation, even on the largest ones – comments Sielewicz.

Fuel industry on top

Oil and gas sectors were well presented in the ranking of 500 companies in 2013. The first two of them belong to Polish PKN Orlen concern and MOL Hungarian partnership. Their turnovers were decreasing – points out the main economist of Coface. – Companies had to function in difficult economic conditions. They felt effects of prices’ stabilization on raw materials and limited demand markets. All of this found a reflection in results of the sector. We may also qualify an American shale revolution for it. Earlier, the European refineries exported surplus of petrol to the United States. Since last year, the direction has been reversed. USA sells fuel not only to South America but also to the European market. It also enforced a pressure on refinery spreads, and directly found a reflection in financial results of the oil and gas sector.

Bad situation in construction

Among all industries, the most worst presents itself the construction sector, which still overcomes difficulties in the Central and Eastern Europe and increases statistics of bankruptcy in many countries of the region. In the ranking, there were presented only six partnerships of the construction industry which totally achieved turnover on 4,6 billion euro level (-17,7 per cent). The tendency of cutting the employment (-8 per cent in 2012) escalated – decrease in 2013 totaled 16,9 per cent. A situation in the telecommunication industry is not also the best (25 partnerships, -4 per cent of turnovers).


2014 is supposed to be better for Polish enterprises in relation to higher tempo of the economic growth, and GDP in the whole region may increase by even 2,4 per cent. However, the problem may be a geopolitical risk, related to increasing political and military conflict in Ukraine.

Coface envisages that the average GDP growth of the Central and Eastern Europe countries will increase twice – from 1,1 per cent in 2013 to 2,4 per cent in 2014 – believes Grzegorz Sielewicz. Among countries, which will note the highest economic growth in the region, there will be Poland with the GDP growth by 3,2 per cent. It will be a merit of an increasing domestic demand and better perspectives of main receivers of Polish export. However, the positive scenario is limited by weaker tempo of an economic activity in the Eurozone, geopolitical risk and difficulties in business contacts with Russia.

Coface Group, a global leader in the area of insured dues, offers solutions within protection against risk of their clients’ insolvency, both in domestic and export transactions. The Group achieved consolidated turnover in the amount of 1,44 billion euro in 2013. Coface publishes its assessments of a land risk for 160 countries every three months. The company has been present in Poland since 1992. It insures domestic and export dues, offers financing through factoring and trade reports all over the world as well as marketing database. It carries out monitoring and eviction of B2B amount.

Full report in English is available below.

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