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Crisis? What crisis? “The 500 biggest companies in Central and Eastern Europe are withstanding the crisis at the moment”, leads Hospodářské Noviny. According to the latest annual report from Deloitte on the economic performance of the top 500 companies found in 18 countries of the region, the profits of these firms rose nearly 30 percent in 2011. The most successful are in the oil, automotive and energy sectors.

The total turnover of the 500 largest companies in the region went from 612 to 707 billion euros, a jump of 16 percent. Their profitability, however, fell by 3.5 percent. “That might announce an impending slowdown, but it can hardly be described as a manifestation of the crisis,” believes a Deloitte analyst quoted by the Prague economic daily. However, warns the journal, the situation could worsen if the euro collapses —

Slovakia and Slovenia, who pay in euros, are currently at the forefront of the countries at risk. Because of the high level of economic integration, all the same, countries that have kept their national currencies would also be in danger.

Deloitte, which has carried out the ranking since 2006, also notes that the crisis could affect still healthy businesses that have already been affected by the economic downturn. The Bulgarian and Romanian companies (such as Petrom or Automobile Dacia) seem the most vulnerable, while the Polish enterprises (such as the petrochemical firms PKN Orlen and Lotos) appear to be standing on more solid ground.

The main economic powers in the Czech Republic – Škoda Auto, the national electrical utility ČEZ and Agrofert (food) – have grown more slowly than the Slovak companies (Slovnaft, U.S. Steel Košice), but they are still growing twice as fast as the region overall.