The Slovenia Times

GZS optimistic about exports, added value and investments


Revenue generated by companies in Slovenia in 2018 exceeded EUR 100 billion for the first time, with a record EUR 4.2 billion posted in net profit, AJPES figures show.

Presenting the figures at Tuesday's GZS assembly founding session, GZS chief economist Bojan Ivanc attributed the high profit foremost to economic growth of the recent years.

Exports reached EUR 40.7 billion last year, up EUR 24 billion over 2008. In this period, the share of exports in overall sales was up from 31% to 41%.

"This means export competitiveness has actually increased," Ivanc commented on the figures.

While domestic sales were weak, they will grow in the future, "perhaps even a bit faster than sales abroad", he believes.

However, "it would be wrong to assume that the share of exports in overall sales would grow at the same pace as until now."

Ivanc believes gross margins, or the share of value added in overall revenue, should be given more attention with a view to raise them.

Last year, gross margins were close to the 22.9% ten-year average, he said, explaining this was the main indicator of the quality of sold products and services.

Added value totalled EUR 22 billion, up EUR 4 billion from 2008, with Ipavec attributing the growth mostly to a quantitative rise in production rather than better quality of production.

He also believes the trend of productivity lagging behind wage growth, which he said had happened for two years in a row now, should be reversed.

The added value per employee stood at around EUR 35,000 in 2008 and at EUR 44,415 in 2018.

EBITDA dropped to 9.2% in what he said was the second consecutive annual drop, which he believes resulted from higher labour costs.

The companies earmarked 5.3% of their annual sales, or EUR 5.2 billion, for investments, slightly more than the long-term average.

Their relative debt, being 2.3-fold higher than EBITDA, dropped to the lowest in a decade.

The most powerful employers' organisation is also optimistic about future medium-term prospects, for 2019 and 2020.

It believes sales will grow by 7% in 2019 and 6% in 2020, exports by 6.5% and 5%, respectively, and added value by 6% and 5%.

Added value per employee is to go up by 3% each of the two years, and net profit by 5% each year. Investments will also grow further, by 8% and 6%, respectively.


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