According to preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2018 the total profit of the business sector reached €2.9 billion, which is 4% more than in the year before.
Compared to 2017, total profits increased in most economic activities. Manufacturing and trade enterprises contributed the most to the total profit of the business sector, while profit growth was slowed mainly by administrative and support services as well as construction.
The profit of manufacturing increased by approximately a fifth compared to 2017, mainly due to an increase in profits in the manufacturing of metal products, fuel oil, machinery and equipment, along with construction materials.
In 2018, enterprises sold goods and services for €61 billion, which is 10% more than in the year before. The biggest increase in turnover occurred in real estate and agriculture as well as in forestry and fishing. The turnover of trade and manufacturing enterprises, which make up the biggest share in the total turnover of the business sector, increased by 9% and 7%, respectively.
Compared to 2017, the total expenditure of enterprises increased by 11%, including a 10% increase in labour costs. The number of persons employed and the number of hours worked increased by 3% and 1%, respectively. In 2018, the labour productivity of the business sector on the basis of net value added amounted to an average of €23,900 euros per person employed, i.e. 5% more than in 2017.
In 2018, enterprises invested €2.3 billion, which is the same as the year before. As in 2017, the investments were made mostly in machinery and equipment as well as in buildings. The main investors were manufacturing, energy and trade enterprises, accounting for nearly a half of the total investments of all enterprises. Compared to 2017, the investments in buildings and in machinery and equipment increased. Other investments decreased, the biggest decrease was in investments in transport equipment.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, enterprises sold goods and services for €16.2 billion, which is 12% more than in the same period of 2017. Enterprises invested €789 million, i.e. 17% more than in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
Editor: Dario Cavegn