Just a glance at this year’s 500 List – and it is obvious that the largest Polish enterprises have long put the crisis behind them
The median (middle value) revenue growth rate stands at 13.2%, with as many as 412 businesses showing growth in revenues, of which 176 by more than 20%. As many as 356 boast profit performance at plus figures, but for 100 other this information is not available. Revenue-wise, PKN Orlen is gaining increasingly on the other largest Polish enterprises, even though their revenues are generally on the rise. Lowermost on the 500 List are enterprises with revenues in excess of PLN400m and there are already over 300 “billionaires”. In two or three years a revenue in excess of PLN1bn could be the “entry pass” to the 500 List.
2011 saw the deepening of the tendencies, observable already in preceding years, for the by-sector composition of the “top of the field” to change. Fuel, resource and energy-related enterprises are increasing their revenues (and, therefore, moving up on the 500 List) much faster than banking, insurance and telecommunications businesses. Manufacturing enterprises are losing the lead, too, as evidenced by Fiat Auto Poland which in the past year slipped down two notches in the 500 List ranking. These tendencies are easily explained. Driving the fuel, resource and energy companies’ forward push was the growth – reflected in their revenues – of prices and of tax burdens. All these enterprises operate in conditions resembling a natural monopoly, as often as not with merely token symptoms of competition. Their prices are determined to a much greater extent by the global market than by the competitive struggle at home. No similar opportunities are available to institutions in the financial sector (banking, insurance), telecommunications, or manufacturing.
On the contrary, the increasingly cutthroat competition is producing a pressure to reduce prices. Telecom companies are a spectacular case in point. The four telecom enterprises ranked among the top 30 in the 500 List reported 2011 revenues lower than in the preceding year. The largest banks’ ratings in the 500 List are interesting. On the whole, these banks preserved their earlier rankings owing to the growth in revenues, at rates no higher than 10%. The Getin Holding Group with a 46.6% increase in revenues is an exception. If the banks continue to show revenue growth rates below those of the largest Polish enterprises’ average, they are likely to slide down in the top-hundred ranking in the 500 List.
Source: Rzeczpospolita, “Lista 500”, by Bogdan Wyżnikiewicz