A recent study of the 100 largest companies in central and eastern Europe shows 13 Slovak corporations making the grade, highlighted by VSŽ Košice's leap into the top 10 for the first time. The research, conducted by the international accounting and consulting firm Deloitte & Touche (D&T) Central Europe, places Slovakia third in the region in terms of the number of companies in the top 100, trailing only Poland (37 companies) and the Czech Republic (18 firms), and ahead of southern neighbor Hungary (12).
One analyst attributed the density of Slovak companies on the list to the country's concentration of firms in heavy industries.
Ľubo Haluška, the head of D&T's management consulting department in its Bratislava office, also said many Slovak firms in the survey are conglomerates that have not "spun off" into smaller satellites. "In Slovakia, you have one gas company," Haluška said using an example. "In Hungary, that has been divided into smaller companies."
Of companies in the top 10, VSŽ jumped the farthest to be included in the elite group, rocketing from the 18th spot in D&T Central Europe's 1994 survey to 7th place in new one based on 1995 figures. The steelworks in East Slovakia is the only Slovak entity in the first 10, with Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (Slovak Gas Company) and the oil and gas conglomerate Slovnaft occupying the 12th and 13th positions, respectively. The rubber and tire manufacturer Matador in Púchov made its debut in the Top 100 at 85th place.
The other Slovak firms included in the survey are: Kerametal (trading company - 16th), Slovenské Elektrárne (Slovak Energy - 25th), Sipox Holding (manufacturing - 42nd), Benzinol (oil and gas - 49th), Železnice Slovenskej Republiky (Slovak Railway Authority - 52nd), Petrimex (chemicals - 75th), Zapadoslovenské energetické závody (Western Slovakia Energy - 77th), Stredoslovenské energetické závody (Central Slovakia Energy - 84th) and Slovenské Telekomunikácie (Slovak Telecom - 96th).
The study analyzed the top local national enterprises in each central European country by revenue, and was compiled from published sources of financial data from across the region for 1995. The countries included in the survey were the Slovak and Czech Republics, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
Haluška cautioned that the size of the companies on the list does not necessarily translate into performance. "They're the biggest, but they're not always the strongest," Haluška said. "It's not the same as looking at the top 100 in a stable economy."
6. Nov 1996 at 0:00 | Richard Lewis