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Slovenia, Serbia have highest number of "hidden champions" among cos in SEE

Slovenia, Serbia have highest number of "hidden champions" among cos in SEE Photo: EBRD

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), October 8 (SeeNews) – Slovenia and Serbia have the highest number of "hidden champions" - successful and innovative but hardly known small and medium-sized companies - in Southeast Europe, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Tuesday, citing a new report by Slovenia-based IEDC-Bled School of Management.

“The report is based on field research in 2018 and 2019 in 22 countries in the central, eastern and south-eastern Europe (CESEE) region,” the EBRD, which has co-financed the report, said in a press release.

The concept of “hidden champions” describes companies that are among the best in the world in terms of market share in their respective niche or among the top two in a region.

“Their revenues do not exceed $1 billion (911 million euro) and they tend not to be well known or known at all by the wider public,” the EBRD said.

The highest number of “hidden champions” was identified in Poland (11), followed by Belarus (10), Serbia (10) and Slovenia (10), the lender noted, adding that the report provides information about 45 companies, 105 of which are considered to be “hidden champions” and 40 of which are seen as “potential hidden champions”.

“The highest number of “potential hidden champions” was identified in Albania (4), Estonia (4) and Moldova (4),” according to the report presented at the EBRD's London headquarters.

According to the report, a large majority of the so-called “hidden champions” are active in the manufacturing industry (69), followed by information and communications (20). 

The report is an update of a 2011 survey. The press release gave no names of the companies included in the report.

“These little-known companies are the real story behind the dry numbers of GDP growth. This important report is a result of our cooperation with the IEDC-Bled School of Management, and it sheds light on the dynamism of private companies in the CESEE region,” the EBRD managing director for economics, policy and governance, Mattia Romani, said in the press release.

Hidden and potential hidden champions in SEE countries, 2018-19:

Country Hidden champions Potential hidden champions
Albania 3 4
Bosnia and Herz. 6 2
Croatia 3 1
North Macedonia 5 0
Romania 0 3
Serbia 10 0
Slovenia 10 2
Bulgaria 1 2
Kosovo 1 2
Moldova 0 4
Montenegro 2 0

($ = 0.91072 euro)