A study published by ICAP CRIF titled ‘Profit Champions in Greece’ for the years 2022 and 2021 highlights the surge in profits of businesses in the industry and commerce sectors during the period of the energy crisis, as well as the explosion of prices during the same period.

Findings based on the financial data of 500 companies indicate that the top five industrial sectors in 2022 (petroleum and coal products, food products, metallic products and constructions, pharmaceuticals – cosmetics – detergents, and metallurgical products) achieved EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) of 5.1 billion euros compared to 2.4 billion euros in 2021. It is worthy to note that profits for the petroleum and coal products sector rocketed to an increase of 273.13%.
[Note that in the ICAP CRIF survey, the fifth sector refers to ‘tobacco products’.]

Profits for food industries increased by 50.7% with those related to the production of metallic products and constructions seeing an astounding increase of 80.95% to their profits compared to 2021.

As for the trade sector, their EBITDA profits were also impressive amidst the 2022 crisis. The top five commerce sectors (supermarkets – department stores, fuels – lubricants – liquefied petroleum gas, various goods, transportation means, and clothing – footwear – leather goods) reached 1.6 billion euros in 2022 from 1.495 billion euros in 2021.
However, supermarkets and department stores saw a decline in EBITDA profits by 9.06% to a 613.3 million euros in 2022 compared to 674.5 million euros in 2021, as this sector had experienced unprecedented profits during the pandemic period of 2020-2021.

This economic environment had an impact on the Greek society as a whole. Greek households were faced with soaring inflation rates with inflation reaching 7.2% in Dec.2022. Prices in food and non-alcoholic beverages skyrocketed by 15.5% on a 12-month basis in December 2022.

Unfortunately, government interventions had very little effect in protecting consumers and alleviating the burden of the cost of living for Greek citizens. The government has announced that new measures will be implemented in the forthcoming period with citizens remaining skeptical regarding their effectiveness.