The Greek economy enjoyed a year of recovery in 2014, according to recent research by the ICAP Group that incorporated the corporate results and the financial reports of 22,993 Greek enterprises in the years 2013 and 2014.
At the beginning of 2014, the drop in the country’s gross domestic product began to ease for the first time after a six-year recession, from 2008 to 2013. It then reversed its southbound course to complete the year with a modest growth.
A total of 22,394 enterprises (excluding credit sector companies) posted an average 2.3 percent increase in turnover in 2014 compared with the year before, amounting to 148.9 billion euros.
Seven out of the nine broader economic sectors enjoyed growth in the last year before the government change, in January 2015.
Those that posted the biggest growth in sales were construction, hotels/restaurants and mines/quarries, all at double-digit rates.
In contrast, the sectors of energy/water and manufacturing registered a marginal decline.
Alongside the increase in sales, the efforts to contain costs had a positive impact, assisting the achievement of a favorable result:
Gross earnings posted a 5 percent annual rise in 2014, climbing 28.5 billion euros, while profit margins expanded to 19.12 percent, from 18.64 percent in the previous year. These changes led to the quadrupling of operating results, although that alone was not enough to lead to an overall return to profit.
The total net result remained negative for the fifth consecutive year, but losses were contained by 42.1 percent on a yearly basis to 467.2 million euros in 2014 – significantly lower than in the first years of the crisis (3.1 billion in 2010 and 6.7 billion in 2011).
ICAP Group chief executive officer Nikitas Konstantellos commented that “it is clear it will take a far greater effort by all parties, i.e. public and private sectors, for [companies] to revert to conditions of sufficient and sustainable profits.”