Turkey’s biggest companies seeing return to profit growth

Turkey’s biggest companies saw an overall recovery in profitability in the third quarter of the year, led by the nation’s largest banks.

Net income at firms traded on the main BIST 100 share index grew by an annual 31 percent in the quarter to 25.7 billion liras ($4.5 billion), Dünya newspaper reported on Tuesday. That performance meant profit for the first nine months of the year grew by 2.2 percent to 62.6 billion liras, it said.

Turkish companies have been paying down debt, laying off workers and making other efficiency gains after a currency crisis last year led to a surge in interest rates and the cost of imported goods. But the central bank embarked on a series of rate cuts from July, making it cheaper for businesses and consumers to borrow.

Twenty companies traded on the exchange made a profit of more than 1 billion liras in the year to September, Dünya said. They included four of the biggest banks -- Garanti Bank, Akbank, İş Bank and Yapı Kredi Bank - as well as Koç Holding, Turkey’s biggest industrial group, steelmaker Ereğli, Sabancı Holding, mobile phone operator Turkcell, and Turkish Airlines.

Seventy-four out of 96 companies who released their financial reports made money in the first nine months, but 42 reported a decline in net income. Twenty-two made a loss. Garanti Bank’s profit of 4.94 billion liras was the largest, followed by Akbank with 3.76 billion liras, İş Bank with 3.34 billion liras and Yapı Kredi with 3.28 billion liras. 

Enka İnşaat, a construction firm, saw its profits almost quadruple to 2.83 billion liras.

Şekerbank reported the biggest loss of 231.9 billion liras. Anadolu Grubu made a loss of 227.9 billion liras and supermarket Migros lost 202.5 billion liras, Dünya reported.