The best company in Estonia is Tallink Grupp

Tonight, on the evening of 25 September, the entrepreneurship prize winners for this year were festively announced at the Estonia Concert Hall. It was the first time that one and the same company – Tallink Group – was declared the best in the Enterprise Award 2007 competition, organised by Enterprise Estonia, as well as in the Most Competitive Estonian Companies Ranking 2007 contest, organised jointly by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Estonian Employers’ Confederation.

In addition to the two main prizes, the winners in seven prize categories were announced in the competitions held in the framework of a joint project between Enterprise Estonia, the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Estonian Employers’ Confederation, and the most competitive enterprises were determined by areas of activity in 12 categories.

According to Viljar Jaamu, Chairman of the Board of Enterprise Estonia, the winner of the Entrepreneurship Award 2007, Tallink Group, was unanimously selected by a representative jury. “Tallink Group is a good example of an Estonian company that is capable of being successful in international competition. The purchasing of Silja Line, bringing of new ships to the line, and opening of the Tallink Hotel – all of this demonstrates the fast development of Tallink. I believe that its important role as a developer of the Estonian economy, and notably the tourism sector, will also continue in the future,” Jaamu said. In addition to the main prize, Tallink Group was declared the winner in the prize category Tourism Innovator 2007.

The aim of carrying out the Entrepreneurship Award competition is to give state recognition to successful enterprises in Estonia and to increase entrepreneurship awareness.

The winner of the Exporter 2007 category prize, granted by Enterprise Estonia, was Krimelte. The manufacturer of joint sealants and building foams successfully sells its products under its trademarks, both to the east and west of Estonia. The export turnover of the company was MEEK 684, it increased by 28% in 2006 in comparison with the previous year.

The Foreign Investor 2007 prize was given to ABB. As of today, the industrial company belonging to the international group already employs over 650 people in Estonia, and has factories in Keila and Jüri. One-third of the wind park generators in the world are produced in the factory in Jüri. The turnover of the company is BEEK 1.37 and the total amount of investments MEEK 500; more than 90% of its output is exported.

Elion was selected as the winner of the Innovator 2007 award, owing to the development of its Digi-TV video rental system. It is a system which all Digi-TV clients can use to rent films and broadcasts via their TV sets by using their remote control, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The winner of the Industrial Enterprise 2007 prize was VKG Oil, whose main products are various fuel oils, oil shale phenols, antiseptic wood impregnation oils, and oil shale bitumen. The turnover of the company in 2006 was over BEEK 1, and nearly 400 people were employed. In 2006, VKG Oil earned MEEK 345 in profit.

The winner of the Area Developer 2007 prize was Viking Window, which in addition to a good financial performance also plays an outstanding role in the development of Järva County. The company employs 190 people, and its sales revenue in 2006 was over MEEK 230. The company supports several athletes and sports clubs in Järva County and engages in active cooperation with local vocational schools.

The winner in the Developer of the Year 2007 category was Nova Haus, a company from Viljandi that engages in the production and assembly of wall modules for wooden framework houses, and also provides designing services. The turnover of the company increased in 2006 by almost five times, reaching MEEK 52.

The aim of compiling the competitiveness ranking is to give entrepreneurs the possibility to compare themselves with competitors and to assess the success, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of Estonian companies, on the basis of specific methods. The competitiveness ranking is compiled as a general ranking and by areas of activity.

As already mentioned above, the Most Competitive Enterprise 2007 title was awarded to Tallink Group (consolidated), which was also declared the most competitive tourist company.

This year, in addition to the overall winner, the most competitive small and medium-sized company was also selected – Betoonimeister AS, a company founded three years ago. The competitiveness ranking of small and medium-sized companies included companies with no more than 49 employees (on average in a year), whose annual net turnover did not exceed MEEK 150 and whose parent company or subsidiary is not a large enterprise.

According to areas of activity, the following enterprises were announced as the most competitive:

Catwees AS (consolidated) – the most competitive retailer
Mazeikiu Nafta Trading House OÜ – the most competitive wholesaler
BLRT Grupp AS (consolidated) –the most competitive industrial and energy enterprise
A. Le Coq AS – the most competitive food industry enterprise
Merko Ehitus AS (consolidated) – the most competitive construction enterprise
EMT AS (consolidated) – the most competitive communication and IT company
Ekseko AS (consolidated) – the most competitive agricultural and forest management enterprise
Artig KV OÜ – the most competitive business service and real property enterprise
Hansapank AS (consolidated) – the most competitive financial intermediation enterprise
Tallinna Vesi AS – the most competitive service enterprise
Tallinna Sadam AS (consolidated) – the most competitive transport and logistics enterprise

Nearly half of last year’s winners were also able to maintain their place and a high competitive level this year. We are pleased to acknowledge that the winners include many new successful companies.

For the second successive year Mazeikiu Nafta Trading House OÜ, and for the third successive year A. Le Coq, were the best in their respective categories. And for the fourth consecutive year these three enterprises maintained their positions: Hansapank, Merko Ehitus and BLRT Group.

“Competitiveness is a long-term ability and several Estonian companies have also proven this over the last five years in which we have been preparing this ranking. Those who have invested in innovations are certainly also competitive under more stable conditions,” Siim Raie, Director General of the Chamber and Commerce and Industry said, when commenting on the results.

The average age of the enterprises in the Most Competitive Estonian Companies Ranking 2007 is 11 years, excluding A. Le Coq Tartu Õlletehas, which was founded in 1826. The youngest winner is Betoonimeister AS. When we view how the equity capital of the best enterprises in the ranking is distributed, nearly 75% of all winning enterprises are Estonian private capital-owned and 25% – foreign capital.

Altogether 455 Estonian companies participated in the Most Competitive Estonian Companies Ranking 2007 contest and 426 of these were included in the final ranking after qualifying in accordance with the methodology used. Participation was voluntary.

The complete Most Competitive Estonian Companies ranking can be found at: www.ki.ee/edetabel

Source: Enterprise Estonia

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