Lek, Krka, Mercator, Krka Zdravilisca and Petrol top this year's list of Slovenia's most distinguished companies in a survey published by the business weekly Gospodarski vestnik on Monday, 7 June
According to the survey of 300 companies, drug makers Lek and Krka are keeping their lead of many years and continue swapping; this year Ljubljana-based Lek came in front of the Novo mesto-based Krka.
The survey also suggests that foreigners managed to break ice in Slovenia this year. While the companies purchased by foreigners were losing reputation last year, most of them boosted it this year. Tire maker Sava Tires is a typical example, climbing from 46th to 21st spot.
A major advance was recorded by retailer Mercator, climbing up from 8th to 3rd spot. Analysts suggest that the "best neighbour", as the retailer's slogan runs, is investing most in building its brand name.
A surprise to some, spa group Krka Zdravilisca came in fourth this year after it placed seventh last year, overtaking another, generally more popular spa group Terme Catez, which also ranks in the top ten. Coupled with personal experience, the fact that the company's name includes "Krka" might have helped, analysts comment on the success.
Oil trader Petrol and home appliances maker Gorenje have retained their positions, occupying the fifth and the ninth place, respectively. Interestingly enough, Gorenje is not capable of climbing higher despite its international position, the magazine notes.
Oil trader OMW Istrabenz, beverage producer Fructal and car manufacturer Revoz managed to make their breakthrough in the top ten, while chemical group Sava, brewer Pivovarna Lasko and the bank NLB were out.
The NLB, the country's biggest bank, is obviously still paying a price for its last year's fiasco in the transition to transaction accounts. What caused brewer Lasko to slide from 5th place in 2003 to 12th place this year is not that obvious and causes some concern.
A sharp fall was also reported by clothes maker Mura, plummeting from 18th to 34th place and joining the trend of their counterparts in the troubled textile industry.
The biggest losers on the list of 300 companies were compressor manufacturer Danfoss Compressors (down from 44 to 138), home entertainment store Bofex (down from 77 to 170) in sports equipment retailer Hervis (down from 105 to 190).
The survey was carried out by the agency Kline in Partner and included responses by 800 businessmen, notably directors, members of supervisory boards, financiers and managers.
Source: Slovene Press Agency
More in Slovenia Business Week no. 24/2004
Author: Branka Murn