The business year 2022 was a year of inflation, but also of real growth

Podgorica, June 1, 2023 The business year 2022 was very successful for Montenegrin companies, despite the key challenges continuously facing the domestic economy – it was announced at the press conference where the business magazine TOP BUSINESS MONTENEGRO was presented, along with the most successful Montenegrin companies as the award winners of the TOP BUSINESS MONTENEGRO (TBM).

Ratko Nikolić, Founder of BI Consulting, a business information provider and analytical partner of the TBM initiative, assessed that the business year 2022 was the first post-pandemic year, which in terms of results, both nominally and realistically, exceeded the record year 2019.

He stated that, based on the data from the duly submitted financial reports, it can be concluded that the operating income of the Montenegrin economy in 2022, excluding the financial sector, amounted to around 12.5 billion EUR, which is nominally 25.76% more than in the year 2021.

“If the effect of inflation is excluded, the real growth was 13.3%. According to business activities, the highest growth was achieved in IT services, 99.41% (real growth 78.84%), followed by Real Estate Management 77.14% (real growth 53.37%), Restaurants and cafes 48.39% ( real growth 29.04%) and Hotel industry 46.49% (real growth 27.38%)”, said Nikolić.

According to him, in addition to the growth of business income, there was also a significant increase in net results/profits, which is almost eight times higher than in 2021.

“Profit was achieved among small-sized, medium-sized and large companies, while micro-sized companies, seen in aggregate, operated at a loss. “We have had a negative business result in the micro segment for the past five years, which should be an alarm that this segment needs additional support,” said Nikolić.

Along with the business growth, as he added, employment in business entities grew by 5.4%, and therefore in 2022, an average of 148,226 workers were employed in the companies, of which about 2/3 in micro-sized and small-sized companies.

“Despite such excellent results, we wish to emphasize that we should not be misled, because the key challenges of the Montenegrin economy are still present, from the unfavourable structure and high exposure to the service sector, through import dependence, to the mismatched supply of labour with the needs of the economy. These challenges cannot be resolved by individual or several successful business years, but by a serious, multi-sector coordinated strategy that includes precise and agreed goals, clear and achievable measures and procedures, as well as consistent and disciplined implementation in the medium and long term period,” stated Nikolić.

In terms of operating income, he said that Elektroprivreda Crne Gore ranked first among large companies, Plus d.o. o. Podgorica among medium-sized ones, Euro Petrol CG Podgorica in the small-sized category, while Datika Podgorica in the category of micro-sized companies.

The first-ranked company in Trade is Voli Trade Podgorica, and in Hotel Management – Hotels Group Montenegro Stars Budva, in Restaurants and Cafes – Panevivo Podgorica, Real Estate Management – Azmont Investments Herceg Novi, Real Estate Agencies – CMM Budva, Auditing and Accounting – Ekonomik Accountants Podgorica, Construction – BEMAX Podgorica, Food and beverages – Meso-Promet Bijelo Polje, Other production and processing – Gradir Montenegro Pljevlja, Telecommunications – MTEL Podgorica, Trade in IT equipment – Comtrade Distribution Podgorica, IT services – Kodio Podgorica, Oil and derivatives – Jugopetrol Podgorica, Pharmacy – Glosarij Podgorica, Medical services – Moj Lab Podgorica. Voli Trade is the largest employer, while the first-ranked newly founded company is Epam Systems Montenegro Podgorica.

Nikolić also stated that the business year 2022 was sublimated in the TBM business magazine, both through the analysis and presentation of the results of the Montenegrin economy as a whole, and through reviews and displays of the business achievements of the partners of the TBM initiative, without which it could not have been realised.

“Our approach to monitoring the results of the Montenegrin economy has been significantly invigorated in many segments. In addition to highlighting some important activities, in this, first edition of the magazine, we presented the key results trend, qualitative and quantitative indicators in the last five years, the economy as a whole, micro, small, medium and large companies, as well as 15 activities that we’ve been following. Additionally, we provided an average Montenegrin company profile,” he said.

Nina Drakić, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, also believes that the Montenegrin economy in 2022, despite the numerous challenges faced, performed very well, recording a real growth in business income of 13.3 percent.

“This indicates the fact that the resilience of our economy does exist, that its creative potential is evident, and that the economic substance defies external and internal shocks. That is the result of the economy itself and its business partners, including the associations within which the economy is moving and securing its place. Therefore, the improvement of the business environment, as well as adequate and timely economic policy measures, remain a requisite and demand of the economy towards the institutions,” she stated.

Nikola Perišić, Member of the Board of Directors of CKB, responsible for Corporate Business Division, said that the bank is pleased with the real growth of the business income of companies, as well as the increasing quality of publicly available data.

“The fact that we are recording significant progress when it comes to the number of companies submitting financial reports, improves the overall business environment in the country and assists us in creating adequate service and support mechanisms. We see the results of the awarded companies as a chance to open up new opportunities for the Montenegrin economy, which the local companies, supported by CKB, will know how to utilise,” he said.

Pešić added that CKB, as a leading bank in the segment of corporate business, has shown the necessary commitment and strength to adequately empower clients in overcoming the challenges that arose as a result of the pandemic and global political-economic circumstances.

“This kind of approach was of immeasurable importance not only for our clients, but for the entire Montenegrin economy,” he believes.

Ana Martinović, PR Manager of MTEL, assessed that this company, with its experience in telecommunications, as well as the most modern services it provides, can deliver unique value for the business sector of Montenegro.

“Such an approach to business has certainly led us to a leadership position in the telecommunications sector. Our vision is to create a business community in Montenegro that will be recognised for innovation, creativity and successful business. With the support of the TOP Business Montenegro initiative, we want to strengthen these values and contribute to the further development of the business sector in our country,” she said.

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