The most indebted companies in Serbia

Public enterprise Elektroprivreda Srbije (the Electric Power Industry of Serbia – EPS), tops the list of companies that ended the 2021 financial year with the largest net losses in Serbia, with a loss of almost 15 billion dinars (-14,948,733,000 dinars, or -127,134,428 euros).

The case of EPS is unique because only a year earlier this company had the highest revenue and net profit in the country, at least on the basis of the annual balance sheet data.

Other loss-generating companies include public enterprise Putevi Srbije (Serbian Roads), as well as Belgrade Airport, Mei Ta and Mercator-S. Other highly indebted companies include Telekom Serbia and Petroleum Industry of Serbia (NIS).

Economist Danilo Šuković says that companies that take out large loans do not automatically have to be generating, i.e. that the relationship between loans and profit is never linear.

“They borrow money to improve their business and consequently increase their profits – these are two separate streams,” commented Šuković. However, among the most indebted companies, there are still nine companies that are majority or partly state-owned, such as Serbian Railways and Serbian Railway Infrastructure.

‘The problem with Serbian Railways, and other state-owned companies, is several decades old and indicates that the state is a bad owner, regardless of who was in power. Serbian Railways had to be restructured a long time ago, to ascertain what is still economically sound and what needs to be privatised. As it is, it has been in debt for years,’ says Šuković.

“Many manufacturing companies have had problems on the demand side, but also on the supply side, due to crises in the supply chains. For example, in the case of car and automotive component manufacturers (FCA, Continental), this certainly had an impact on business results. Nobody could have foreseen this,” Šuković concludes.

(, 02.09.2022)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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