While some of the leading Croatian exporters had a bad business year, the top 10 list of Croatia’s largest exporters features new names which promise that current positive trends will be continued. However, the recent increase in exports is mostly the result of numerous small and medium-sized companies which have successfully turned to foreign markets, reports tportal.hr on 14 July 2017.
In addition to personal consumption growth, exports are the primary driver of the recovery of the Croatian economy. Last year, Croatian companies exported goods worth 92.8 billion kunas, which was 5.7 percent more than in 2015. However, leading Croatian exporters did not follow this general trend. The export of the ten largest exporters declined by 1.85 percent, suggesting that the drivers of the export boom are mostly small and medium-sized companies.
The top 10 exporters list, which also includes exporters of services, underwent significant changes as compared to 2015. Prvo Plinarsko Društvo, Podravka and AD Plastik have left the top 10 list, replaced by Končar Energetski Transformatori, Uljanik and Croatian Electric Company (HEP).
The top 3 remained unchanged, but with a significant drop in export results. INA is still the leading exporter with 5.5 billion kuna worth of exports, which is far below earlier results. Under MOL's management, INA’s exports have been continuously decreasing. Thus, compared to 2015, the exports of petroleum products and gas declined by 13 percent, and in the last five years, they were almost halved.
The second place belongs to Pliva, which exported medicines and drugs worth 2.7 billion kunas. The company sells more than 80 percent of its production abroad, and its largest export markets are the United States and Russia. Still, Pliva's exports last year declined by 10 percent.
Despite the drop in exports of 16.5 percent, third place was retained by Boxmark Leather company, the largest Croatian textile producer. The factory located in Varaždin manufactures car seat covers for passenger vehicles and upholstered interior parts, and almost entire production is sold to the world's leading vehicle manufacturers.
With exports growth of 21.7 percent, Valamar Riviera, the largest hotel group in Croatia, jumped from the fifth to the fourth place. Thanks to the increase in capacity, Valamar has been recording double-digit growth of exports in recent years. The growth of exports was also recorded by its main competitors Maistra, Plava Laguna and Istraturist, but at significantly lower rates.
Petrokemija from Kutina is still the fifth largest exporter. However, due to severe financial problems, this state-owned petrochemical company is increasingly struggling with competition, which resulted in last year's drop of exports of nearly 30 percent.
Končar Energetski Transformatori returned to the list. The most successful company in the Končar group, which operates in partnership with Siemens, jumped to sixth place, thanks to the export growth of as much as 80.8 percent. It has left behind Ericsson Nikola Tesla, the leading manufacturer of electronic equipment and ICT solutions, which last year had the export growth of 31.6 percent.
Uljanik is also one of the largest exporters. Uljanik’s success confirms the recovery of the Croatian shipbuilding industry after a successful restructuring process, as evidenced by the strong growth of Brodosplit's exports as well.
The top 10 list also includes national air carrier Croatia Airlines and the Croatian Electrical Company.