Profits set to all but evaporate

The average profit of Greek enterprises for 2013 is expected to be just 7,000 euros on annual basis, while turnover is seen shrinking by 15.8 percent from last year to no more than 270,000 euros, according to a survey by the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE). Furthermore, retail businesses are set to see their average turnover contract by about 30 percent from last year.

ESEE’s quarterly survey, whose results were forwarded on Monday to the prime minister as well as the ministers of finance and development, estimates that the average turnover per commercial enterprise this year will amount to 267,839.26 euros, against 318,046.88 in 2012. In 2009 – the year before Greece entered the bailout mechanism – average turnover had stood at 425,294.38 euros, 37 percent more than is expected for this year.

The data confirm that retail enterprises will be hit hardest, as their turnover is set to drop by 30.3 percent from 2012 and by 54.6 percent from 2009, amounting to an estimated 120,037.50 euros. Wholesale commerce will be significantly better off as its turnover will shrink by just 4 percent from 2012 and by 27.4 percent from 2009, the survey predicts.

The enterprises that do manage to survive another year will only have an estimated one-seventh of the profits they had in 2009, amounting to 7,090.60 euros, which alone defeats the purpose of entrepreneurship – turning a decent profit. Four years ago, average earnings had stood at 49,212.51 euros and last year at 12,636.02, which means there will be a 43.9 percent drop year-on-year.

In retail commerce, average profits will amount to no more than 4,392.40 euros, down 47.2 percent from last year and wholesale firms will suffer a 39.4 percent decline as their profits will reach 14,044.44 euros.

Seven out of 10 tradesmen expect the contraction in their sector to be greater in 2013 than last year, with just one in 10 expecting an improvement, the ESEE survey found.

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