Turkey’s global 30

Major Turkish groups are establishing firms abroad either to make it easier to trade or to secure an advantage in production costs. Today there are Turkish companies with turnovers in excess of bil...

1.04.2006 03:00:000
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Major Turkish groups are establishing firms abroad either to make it easier to trade or to secure an advantage in production costs. Today there are Turkish companies with turnovers in excess of billions of dollars in various countries. They are headed by the trading and financial giant Kofisa and the polyester yarn producer Advansa. All of the major groups, including Koç, Sabancı, the Anadolu group and Eczacıbaşı, have companies with massive turnovers in every corner of the world.

In these days of global competition Turkish companies are not just chasing after opportunities in trade but also in production. All Turkish companies which have grown to a certain size are looking for opportunities abroad and making new investments. Large Turkish companies are opening up to the outside world both in order to be competitive on a global scale and because they might not be able to protect their own market.

Even if this movement has become more noticeable in the last 5-10 years, Turkish companies first began to open up to the outside world much earlier. There are some major groups which have companies which now have turnovers in millions of dollars in countries they first entered 20-30 years ago. Capital reveals this incredible strength of the Turkish business world with its survey of “The Largest 30 Turkish Companies Abroad”.

Profile of the leading companies
The survey shows that, as in a lot of fields in Turkey, Koç and Sabancı are the leaders. Kofisa, one of the Koç Holding companies, ranks first. Second comes Advansa which is a Sabancı Holding company. They are followed by Grundig, which was bought by Arçelik last year.

Kofisa, the largest Turkish company abroad, had a turnover of US $1 billion last year. Kofisa was established in Geneva in 1973 and describes itself as a ‘trade finance’ company’. The company offers its customers services such as factoring, forfeiting, insurance, barter and buy-back.

The second largest Turkish company abroad is Advansa which had a turnover of US $900 million in 2005. In fact, up until last year this company was a 50-50 joint venture between Sabancı Holding and Dupont. But at the end of last year Sabancı bought all of the shares that DuPont de Nemours held in the company, which is the polyester leader in Europe, and changed its name to “Advansa”. The company is active in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

There may be a race for third
The first two companies are followed by Grundig, Ramenka and Efes Breweries. But in 2005 the turnovers of the third, fourth and fifth companies were very close to each other. As a result, there may be a real contest for third place over the next few years.

In mid-2004 Grundig which was bought by Koç Holding’s Beko Elektronik, is a well-known brand which is active in the field of household electronics such as TV and home theatre. In 2005 the company’s turnover reached US $524 million.

Ramenka, which is another Koç Holding company, had a turnover of US $510 million in 2005. Ramenka opened its first shopping center in Russia in 1997 and now has eight shopping centers, 40 super and hypermarkets and two trade centers.

The Anadolu Group’s Efes Breweries, which has managed to slip in between the Koç and Sabancı companies and secure a place for itself in the top five, had an estimated turnover of US $500 million in 2005. The Anadolu group runs its foreign brewery-related business through Efes Breweries International N.V. which is a publicly owned company traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Sabancı and Koç’s other companies
When one looks at the top ten one sees that it is dominated by Koç and Sabancı Holding companies. This is confirmed by the fact that immediately after Efes comes Kordsa International. Kordsa is active in the tire cord fabric sector in which Sabancı is particularly strong and in 2005 had turnover of US $387 million. It achieved this figure through its nine plants in seven countries. This performance means that the company ranks sixth out of the biggest Turkish companies abroad.

Kordsa is followed by two Koç companies. In seventh place comes the UK-based Beko PLC and in eighth comes the Germany-based Beko Deutschland. These two companies manage the sales and marketing activities of Beko in these countries.

A surprise entry at ninth is Ülker’s company in Iran, Shirin Asal, which had a turnover of US $160 million. The UK-based Exsa, which handles the sales and marketing of the Sabancı Group’s products abroad ranks in tenth place. Universal Trading handles the procurement of raw materials, machinery and equipment for Sabancı.

What is the turnover of the 30 largest companies operating abroad (million dollars)?

Company                         Group             Operating in   2004          2005                    
                                                                                                           turnover   turnover
1 KOFISA  Koç Holding  Switzerland
2 ADVANSA  Sabancı Holding Hollanda
3 GRUNDIG Koç Holding  Germany
4 RAMENKA  Koç Holding  Russia
5 EFES BREWERIES* Anadolu Group  Russia, Kazakhstan , Moldova, Romania, Serbia
6 KORDSA  Sabancı Holding Germany, Egypt,
 Iran, USA, Brazil, Argentina
7 BEKO P.L.C Koç Holding  Britain
8 BEKO DEUTSCHLAND  Koç Holding  Germany
9 SHIRIN ASAL   Ülker  Iran
10 EXSA Sabancı Holding Britain
11 UNIVERSAL TRADING Sabancı Holding  Britain
12 EFES SINAİ YATIRIM* Anadolu Group  Kazakhstan , Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, Iraq
13 YADEX  Yaşar Holding  Germany
14 RUSCAM GOROHOVEST** Şişecam Russia
15 VİTRA BAD  Eczacıbaşı Group Germany
16 SODI** Şişecam Bulgaria
17 FMC  Ülker  Saudi Arabia
18 AZFEN JV Tekfen Holding Azerbaijan
19 VİTRA USA Eczacıbaşı Group USA
20 VİTRA UK  Eczacıbaşı Group Britain
21 HMB Tekfen Holding Germany
22 AKROM* Akkök Group  Romania
23 SUNSET   Boydak Group USA
24 VİTRA IRELAND  Eczacıbaşı Group Ireland
25 RUSCAM POKROVSKY** Şişecam Russia
26 MİNA** Şişecam Georgia
27 HAMLE  Ülker  Kazakhstan 
28 PINAR FOODS Yaşar Holding  Germany
29 ALFA MOBEL Boydak Group Germany
30 AKSA EGYPT* Akkök Group  Egypt

* The figures for these companies are for net sales
** Comprises sales from production
*** Bought in 2004
**** Not active
***** Estimate

Fadime Çoban


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