2022 was “the toughest year in the entire twenty-one years of existence of the HSE company,” commented Tomaž Štokelj, CEO of electricity group HSE, the second largest company in Slovenia. If anything, it was not a typical year for businesses. Many of Slovenia’s top companies significantly increased their revenues, yet profits stalled as the overall business conditions worsened. The total sales of the 300 largest companies increased by a whopping 29 percent and amounted almost to 70 billion euros. 39 million euros of revenues was sufficient to be included in the 2022 edition of TOP300 list. In the latest edition however, the barrier has risen to almost 45 million. Inflation in 2022 reached 10 percent – yet even in real terms this rise is considerable. On the other hand, the total profits of the 300 largest companies decreased from 2.3 to 1.9 billion euros.
Fuel and energy trader Petrol remains the largest Slovenian company: it has increased its revenues from 3.8 to 7.9 billion euros. The consolidated results of the Petrol Group reached almost 10 billion. This growth is largely related to higher oil prices on the global market, yet not entirely. Petrol recently accomplished several successful take-overs, most notably of Croatian petrol trader Crodux. The difficult conditions on the global market also impacted the results of other energy companies. State owned HSE group is the largest producer of electricity in Slovenia. Due to several unfavourable factors the company decreased its production in 2022, yet revenues shot from 2.7 to 5.6 billion euros mostly because of trading operations. The profits plummeted, and the company ended the year with losses exceeding 300 million euros. Another electricity trader Gen-I (rank 3) managed to increase revenues by 25 percent and kept operations profitable. Home appliances producer Gorenje (rank 5), owned by Chinese Hisense Group, is the nation’s largest manufacturing company with 2.2 billion in revenues – 8 percent over the 2021 figures. Early this year Hisense opened a new global R&D center in Velenje for kitchen and premium appliances for the entire group.
Both Slovenian large pharma companies also increased their sales: Krka (rank 6) by 17% and Lek (rank 7) by 27%. Belektron’s (rank 4) revenues grew by 29 percent – the company with only 10 employees is one of the leading global traders of greenhouse gas emissions allowances. Aluminium company Impol (rank 9) also significantly increased its sales from 1 to 1.3 billion euros and strengthened its position as one of the largest manufacturing companies in Slovenia. Slovenia’s only car plant Renault’s Revoz (rank 12) had to decrease production mostly due to difficulties in the supply of critical components such as semiconductors. Its sales went down by 23 percent last year and Revoz lost its position among the ten largest national companies. Some automotive parts producers fared better. LTH Castings (rank 29) is a producer of complex, high-quality high-pressure die-cast aluminium components, mostly for the automotive industry. The company increased its sales by 26 percent last year. The sales of the Slovenian plant of Mahle Electric Drives (rank 23) also went up by 13 percent.
What about 2023? Conditions on the energy markets have stabilized, but the overall picture remains troubling because of a looming recession in Germany, Slovenia’s key market. Petrol’s revenues in the first half of 2023 went down by 17 percent in comparison to last year, yet profits improved significantly and are on par with the annual plan. Krka’s sales in the first six months reached 916 million euros. The management’s projections, however, remain cautious.