Profits at nearly a third of the 500 leadingcompanies in the economy - those with the largest turnover - were hitin 2008 by the recession that gained momentum in the second half oflast year, compared with 9 percent in the previous year, Business DataIsrael reported on Sunday.
"The increase in the companies making losses canbe attributed to the fall in the dollar rate in 2008, which has mainlyhit exporters, coupled with the steep drop in exports in the fourthquarter of last year hurting the profitability of companies," said BDIeconomists.
On Sunday, BDI Coface published its fifth annual ranking ofIsraeli companies, which showed that 28% of the 500 leading companiesreported losses last year, compared with 9% in 2007. At the same time,though, the combined revenue of the 500 companies grew by 7%, to NIS853 billion in 2008, from NIS 797b. in the previous year.
The combined turnover of the 100 leading companies increased by 8%, to NIS 611b., from NIS 565b. a year earlier.
"Thereason for the overall increase for the year is a result of positivegrowth the economy saw in the first half of 2008," said BDI economists.
The number of workers at the 500 leading companies rose by 5.7% last year, to 822,000, compared with 777,600 in 2007.
BDI economists said that the findings pointed toa strong correlation between a company's turnover ranking and itsranking as of the best companies to work for. All 62 companies at thetop of the list of the best places to work for were also ranked amongthe 100 leading companies. Another strong correlation was detectedbetween a company's ranking as rated by managers and its turnoverranking. The first 67 leading companies were also among the 100 mostappreciated companies in the economy.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. secured its spot at thetop of the 500 leading companies, followed by Israel Chemicals, whichmoved up three places from last year to second place, taking the spotof the Israel Electric Corporation, which came in third on the list.Delek Petroleum moved down one spot to fourth place on the turnoverranking, followed by Bezeq, which climbed from 11th place to fifthplace this year.
BDI's ranking of top 10 companies
1. Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
2. Israel Chemicals Ltd.
3. Israel Electric Company
4. Delek Petroleum
5. Bezeq Corp.
6. Bazan Oil Refineries
7. Israel Aviation Industry
8. Delek Alon Group
9. Elbit Systems
10. Paz Oil Company
(Source: Business Data Israel)