Best enterprises in Estonia are Vertex Estonia and Hansapank

Today, in the evening of September 12, the entrepreneurship prize winners were announced festively at the Estonia Concert Hall. The Entrepreneurship Award 2006 granted by Enterprise Estonia was given to Vertex Estonia and Hansapank was declared the most competitive enterprise in the Most Competitive Estonian Companies Ranking 2006.

In addition to the two main prizes the winners in 6 prize categories were announced in the competitions held in the framework of a joint project of 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 11 categories.

According to Viljar Jaamu, Chairman of the Board of Enterprise Estonia, the winner of the Entrepreneurship Award 2006, Vertex Estonia, was unanimously selected by a representative jury. “Vertex Estonia is a good example of an Estonian mechanical engineering industry enterprise that is capable of designing and manufacturing products of great precision and high quality, such as satellite communications antennae for the European Space Agency. The output of Vertex necessitates a substantial intellectual local contribution as the company itself creates most of the technical solutions used,” said Jaamu. Vertex, manufacturing not only satellite communications antennae, but equipment for the paper and pulp industries as well, also received the Innovator 2006 prize.

The winner of the Internationaliser 2006 category prize granted by Enterprise Estonia was AS Regio. This technological enterprise based in Tartu enjoys successful sales of its mobile communications software in European, African and Asian markets.

The Foreign Investor 2006 prize was given to Enics Eesti AS. The electronics enterprise situated in Elva and currently having already over 500 employees, exported last year over 300 million kroons worth of its output. Enics Eesti is a subcontractor of such large electronic equipment manufacturers as ABB and KONE and it invested a total of some 80 million kroons in the production process.

The winner of the Regional Promoter 2006 prize was Põltsamaa Felix, which plays an important role in the development of Põltsamaa. The enterprise employs 140 people and its sales revenue exceeded 150 million kroons in 2005.

The winner in the Tourism Innovator 2006 category was Otepää Seikluspark OÜ. In the summer of 2005 the company completed the construction of the adventure trail and despite the “young age” of the adventure park, it has gained fame in the Estonian tourism market as it offers versatile hobby options.

Haka Plast OÜ operating in Lääne-Virumaa and manufacturing plastic pipes from polyethylene and other plastic parts was named Best Development of 2006. The best development category is a new one for the contest and it was introduced with the aim of recognising recently founded and quickly developing enterprises. Haka Plast’s turnover increased by 56% in 2005 compared to the previous year, reaching 17.2 million kroons.

The aim of compiling the competitiveness ranking is to give entrepreneurs a possibility to compare themselves with competitors and to assess their success, cost-effectiveness and sustainability. The competitiveness ranking is compiled as a general ranking and by areas of activity in 11 categories in a percentage comparison with the first ones in the ranking. According to Siim Raie, Director General of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, long-term research indicates that the international competitive feasibility of a country depends primarily on its ability to efficiently manage its physical, human and social capital, as well as its ability to control changes. “The same is applicable to competition on the enterprise level,” he added.

By areas of activity the following enterprises were announced the most competitive enterprises:
• Tallinna Kaubamaja AS – the most competitive retailer
• Mazeikiu Nafta Trading House OÜ – the most competitive wholesaler
• BLRT Grupp AS – the most competitive industrial and energy enterprise
 A.Le Coq Tartu Õlletehas AS – the most competitive food industry enterprise
• Merko Ehitus AS – the most competitive construction enterprise
 Eesti Telekom AS – the most competitive communication, transport and logistics enterprise
• Riigimetsa Majandamise Keskus (state-run commercial organisation) – the most competitive agricultural and forest management enterprise
• Domina Management AS – the most competitive hotel and restaurant enterprise
• Falck Eesti AS – the most competitive business service and real property enterprise
• Hansapank AS (as a group of companies) – the most competitive financial intermediation enterprise
• Kuusakoski AS – the most competitive service enterprise
• The most competitive Estonian company of 2006 – Hansapank AS (as a group of companies)

More than half of last year’s winners were capable of preserving their place and a high competitive level this year, too. For the second successive year Tallinna Kaubamaja and A.Le Coq Tartu Õlletehas were best in their respective categories. For the third successive year these three enterprises preserved their positions: Hansapank, Merko Ehitus and BLRT Grupp. Hansapank is into its third year not only as the winner in its category, but as the most competitive Estonian company as well. “Competitiveness is an indicator that shows the long-term ability of the enterprise to generate profit and its ability to maintain and increase its market share. Hansapank has successfully proved this,” said Siim Raie, Director General of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The average age of the enterprises in the Most Competitive Estonian Companies Ranking 2006 is about 12 years when excluding A.Le Coq Tartu Õlletehas, which was founded in 1826. The youngest winner is Mazeikiu Nafta Trading House (founded three years ago). When we view how the equity capital of the best enterprises in the ranking is distributed, almost half of all winning enterprises are Estonian private capital-owned and another half – foreign capital.

561 companies participated in the Most Competitive Estonian Companies Ranking 2006 contest and 513 of these were included in the final ranking after qualification in accordance with the used methodology. Participation was voluntary. The complete Most Competitive Estonian Companies Ranking can be found at: http://www.koda.ee/edetabel/.

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 patron of the competition that was held for the sixth time is the President of the Republic of Estonia, Arnold Rüütel.

Source: Enterprise Estonia

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