The Russian business weekly Expert finds that firms operating in the oil & gas sector continued to dominate in its annual list of Russia’s 400 largest companies. The 21 companies in the oil & gas sector making the Expert-400 list together accounted for nearly a third of net sales and nearly two-thirds of earnings. Profitability in the sector was supported by ruble depreciation that softened the impacts of falling oil prices.
Total net sales of Russia’s largest firms rose 13% last year to RUB61 trillion ($1 trillion). Net sales were up most in the chemicals industry (by nearly 30%) and most sluggish in the machine-building industry (up just over 2%). Machine-building also had the only money-losing firms, which were mainly in Russia’s struggling car industry.
The overall share of state-owned enterprises in the Expert-400 fell slightly to just under 40% in terms of net sales. Foreign firms accounted for just over 10% of large firm net sales. Most large foreign-owned firms operated in consumer sectors such as telecommunications and retail trade.