In its new annual report, the Association of Knitwear and Clothing Companies describes 2003 as a «good year» for the sector, based on the financial figures of its members. In spite of the difficult international environment and the fierce competition encountered by Greek clothing companies in foreign markets, 2003 was a successful year in terms of financial results, with companies reporting increased profitability as well as wider profit margins. Export-oriented businesses hold special interest as their higher profitability proved their particular vigor within the highly competitive international environment. The following statistics are based upon the facts and figures of financial results reported by 200 ready-to-wear clothing companies: – Turnover by all 200 companies increased in 2003 by 1.8 percent, to 1.548 billion euros, compared to 1.521 billion euros in 2002. – Of the 200 businesses, 107 (53.5 percent) increased their turnover during 2003. – The average turnover was 4.7 million euros. -One-hundred-and-forty-four companies (72 percent) posted a turnover higher than 3 million euros. – The 10 largest companies studied, that is the top 5 percent, claimed 31.1 percent of the total turnover and 31.2 percent of the total net profits, proving once more the sector is a two-tier one. In fact, the progress of the largest groups of companies or individual businesses influenced the whole sector. – For the second year running, companies which focus on the local market were able to achieve much higher profitability increases – an average of 3.1 percent – compared to only 0.7 percent for those which are export-oriented. – The companies with the highest turnover in 2003 were: the Hadzioannou Group, with 122.3 million euros, a decline of 6.4 percent; the Fanco Group, with 92.2 million euros, a decline of 5.3 percent; the Sex Form group, with 64 million euros, an increase of 20.1 percent; the Fiera Group, with 50.2 million (a decline of 14.1 percent); Triumph International SA, with 31.8 million euros, up 4.3 percent; and the ELVE Clothing group, with 29.1 million euros, an impressive increase of 42.2 percent. – Reversing the dire picture of 2002, when the net pretax profits of the 200 companies decreased by an average of 16.6 percent, last year they increased by an impressive 21.3 percent, rising to 74.9 million euros from 61.7 million euros in 2002. – Sixty-one percent of the companies included in the study, that is a total of 122, increased their profits in 2003, while only 18, that is 9 percent, incurred losses. – The profit margins of the 200 companies increased last year to an average 4.8 percent from 4.1 percent in 2002. As in 2002, the profit margin of the largest companies of the sector, with a turnover of more than 3 million euros, was higher, amounting to 5 percent, compared to only 3 percent for the smaller businesses. – A full 74.7 percent of all profits was made by companies focusing on the domestic market. Yet export-oriented companies increased their profitability by an average of 45.7 percent compared to only 14.8 percent for companies focusing on the domestic market, thus making up for their great profit decreases recorded in 2002. – The following companies secured the highest net pretax profits in 2002: The Hadzioannou Group led, with 11.4 million euros, reflecting an increase of 20.2 percent. It was followed by the Sex Form group, with 4.8 million euros, an increase of 3.5 percent; the TOI & MOI Co. with 4.8 million, an increase of 61 percent; the BSB Co. with 4.2 million euros, an impressive increase of 100.4 percent; Triumph International SA, with 3.1 million euros, an increase of 18 percent; and the ELVE Clothing group, with 2.8 million euros and an extraordinary increase of 231.5 percent. – The 200 companies’ financial obligations increased last year by 6.2 percent, with short-term debt rising by 9.2 percent and long-term outlays by 13.8 percent.