piraeus bank group

Is the recovery of small and medium-sized entrepreneurship temporary or sustainable?

For the 4th consecutive year, we present an analysis of the prospects of 50 essential sectors of the Greek economy based on financial statements data of over 18 thousand enterprises. For this study, as with any study based on analysis of data of financial statements, there is a lag of over a year in the publication of the necessary data, so this analysis is based on 2013 data. As a counterbalance to this time lag, we have a very detailed coverage of small and medium-sized enterprises SA and LTD from all sectors of economic activity.

Before we move on the detailed presentation of our findings, the “big picture” in respect to the scoring and assessment of the sectors is that after five years of significant recession and worsening of the financial statements of Greek enterprises, 2013 marks the first year since 2007 that there has been a mild improvement in the performance of the Greek economy. Overall, the average rating of the 50 sectors has improved to “b” in 2013 from “c” in 2012, although it was “a-” in 2007.

The big question of course is whether this improvement will be maintained so that 2013 will be the turning point in efforts to recover from the recession and move towards the development and growth of Greek enterprises or, on the contrary, whether it will be a temporary high spot which will succumb to the weight of the continuing uncertainty and volatility on the economic and political scene.

BIC Index: Sectors with the best performance, 2013

The water supply and waste management sector (E) continues to be the sector with the best performance, while telecommunications (61) are highly ranked once again. The sectors of manufacturing vehicles (29) and real estate (68) seem to recoup some of the “lost territory” of the last few years, exhibiting good performance in 2013. Resilience has been shown by sectors that have to do with technology, such as those associated with the manufacture of electrical equipment (27) and IT services (62+63). Finally, the shift in the food and beverage services (56), which in many cases has been the “safe haven” activity during the period of crisis, seems to have created positive performance in the sector.

BIC Index: Sectors with the poorest performance, 2013

Sectors based on private consumption expenditure continue to record poor performance. These include the media (59+60), entertainment (R), the trade of vehicles (45), furniture manufacturing (31) and the tobacco industry (12). It is worth noting that accommodation (55) and the primary sector (A), two of the most important sectors of the Greek economy, are included in the sectors with the poorest performance, even though their performance has improved considerably compared to the previous year - especially in terms of efficiency. This is simply due to the fact that other sectors reinforced their position more strongly.

BIC Rating System 2013: Key findings

  • More than 2/5 of the sectors over-performed, achieving an “a-” rating in 2013
  • The upgrades in 2013 that are of particular interest are:
    • the sectors of air transport (51) and land transport (49) from “d+” and “c+” to “a-” respectively;
    • the sectors of publishing activities (58) and printing (18) from “d+” and “c-” to “a-” and “b+” respectively and
    • travel agency (79) from “d+” to “b”.
  • On the other hand, while the majority of sectors exhibited better performance in 2013 than in the previous year, the BIC Index score of the water transport sector (50) fell towards levels of past years, recording a significant deterioration from 2012 from “a-” to “d+”.


Ilias Lekkos

Group Chief Economist


Paraskevi Vlachou

Economic Analyst

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