28 percent of 500 top local companies lost money in 2008

Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. secured its spot at the top of the 500 leading companies.

Teva 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Teva 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Profits at nearly a third of the 500 leading companies in the economy - those with the largest turnover - were hit in 2008 by the recession that gained momentum in the second half of last year, compared with 9 percent in the previous year, Business Data Israel reported on Sunday. "The increase in the companies making losses can be attributed to the fall in the dollar rate in 2008, which has mainly hit exporters, coupled with the steep drop in exports in the fourth quarter of last year hurting the profitability of companies," said BDI economists. On Sunday, BDI Coface published its fifth annual ranking of Israeli companies, which showed that 28% of the 500 leading companies reported losses last year, compared with 9% in 2007. At the same time, though, the combined revenue of the 500 companies grew by 7%, to NIS 853 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. "The reason for the overall increase for the year is a result of positive growth 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 to a strong correlation between a company's turnover ranking and its ranking as of the best companies to work for. All 62 companies at the top of the list of the best places to work for were also ranked among the 100 leading companies. Another strong correlation was detected between a company's ranking as rated by managers and its turnover ranking. The first 67 leading companies were also among the 100 most appreciated companies in the economy. Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. secured its spot at the top of the 500 leading companies, followed by Israel Chemicals, which moved up three places from last year to second place, taking the spot of the Israel Electric Corporation, which came in third on the list. Delek Petroleum moved down one spot to fourth place on the turnover ranking, followed by Bezeq, which climbed from 11th place to fifth place 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)