Gazprom named biggest Russian moneymaker

Russia’s business and government elite gathered on Wednesday to honour the country’s biggest businesses based on the top 400 ranking issued by Expert rating agency.

For the seventh straight year Russia’s state energy company Gazprom on Wednesday won the Expert 400 award.

Expert rating agency examines Russia’s biggest companies to find the fastest-growing, the most innovative and the best managed. This year, the rating reflects not only the trends within Russia, but also the way the country’s largest businesses react to the fast-changing situation on the international markets.

Over the past year, Russia’s top companies re-invested one-fifth of their revenues – a record figure in the country’s post-Soviet history. Russian Railways says it’s not surprising that state-owned companies lead the investment boom.

“It has to do with the fact that state-owned companies are for the most part infrastructure companies – energy, railroads, etc. So, it only makes sense that they lead in terms of investment,” Vladimir Yakunin, the head of JSC Russian Railways, commented.

But when it comes to growth, it’s the consumer sector that drives the economy. That’s one of the reasons why services and retail companies strengthened their positions in this year’s rating.

“Demand for consumer products keeps growing, and companies in the sector try to keep up with it. That’s prompting them to significantly expand their businesses. This year, total investment for the first time exceeds 20 % of Russia’s GDP. If our goal is to grow the economy by 7 % every year, then investment has to reach 25 %,” says Arkady Dvokrovich from presidential expert department.

Russia is one of the world's fastest-growing car markets, which explains why automakers such as GAZ feature prominently in the Expert 400 ranking. But retaining their positions will require serious commitments.

“It’s quite clear that in order to be competitive in Russia, today you need to be competitive on a global scale. So, it’s only a matter of time before all Russian automakers or machine-building companies need to produce products that are absolutely on top of the scale,” Eric Eberhardson, Gaz Group Chairman, believes.  

According to experts, in addition to Gazprom, the top five most profitable companies in Russia include LUKOIL, RAO UES, TNK-BP and Norilsk Nickel.