IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Trend in the financial structure and results of firms in 2003

Listed author(s):
  • David Vivet

    (National Bank of Belgium, Microeconomic Information Department)

Registered author(s):

    Each year, in the 4th quarter’s Economic Review, the Bank examines the situation regarding the annual accounts of Belgian non-financial corporations. By that time, the Central Balance Sheet Office has already collected a representative number of annual accounts for the preceding year. The article is in three parts. The first part describes the methodology used and the sample. The second part studies the main developments in the profit account. Finally, the third part contains a financial analysis of Belgian companies; this analysis is completed by the interpretation of the results of the default model developed by the Bank. The main findings of the study can be summarized as follows. In 2003, the total value added created by Belgian non-financial corporations increased by 3.4 p.c., which is the best result since 2000. At the same time, the operating costs (mainly personnel costs and depreciation) almost stagnated. So, unlike in previous years, value added growth far exceeded the rise in operating costs. As a result, the net operating profit increased by 23 p.c. After taking into account the other elements of the results, and particularly the financial result, which once again was largely positive, non-financial corporations made a net profit after tax of 24 billion euros, representing growth of 96 p.c. If this is confirmed by the final figures, this doubling of the growth rate after two years of steep decline will constitute a historical record. As far as the financial situation of the companies is concerned, it improved overall in 2003, after having clearly suffered from the weak economic situation in 2001 and 2002. In particular, the return on equity, which had been severely eroded in large companies and actually collapsed in SMEs, recovered strongly in 2003. Finally, a default model developed by the Bank has made it possible to evaluate the financial risks run by Belgian companies. After having reached a peak in 2001, financial risks declined in 2002. This trend continued in 2003, especially in large companies. Yet, according to the model, a large number of companies are distressed : the proportion of companies experiencing problems amounts to 17 p.c. for large companies and 20.5 p.c. for SME’s. These distressed companies employ 217,000 workers.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by National Bank of Belgium in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (2004)
    Issue (Month): iv (December)
    Pages: 69-88

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:nbb:ecrart:y:2004:m:december:i:iv:p:69-88
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Boulevard de Berlaimont 14, B-1000 Bruxelles

    Phone: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 25 34
    Fax: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 31 62
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbb:ecrart:y:2004:m:december:i:iv:p:69-88. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.