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IBL takes second place by crossing the billion-dollar mark of turnover
The 2018-2019 edition of the Top 500 of L’Eco Austral once again sees the group Bernard Hayot, a multinational of Antillean origin, enthroned with the first place with a turnover of more than one billion euros, realized in Reunion. But the second place is now occupied by IBL Group, which has, for the first time in its history, crossed the billion-dollar mark (927 million euros). The retail group Vindémia, a subsidiary of the French Casino, is therefore relegated to third place with an estimated turnover of 910 million euros. A trio of heads that undoubtedly stand out while the fourth in the ranking, the Malagasy group Axian, with the Hiridjee family, posted a turnover of 517 million euros.
In his editorial, Alain Foulon - managing director and founder of L’Eco Austral - emphasizes that only 123 companies, out of 500, achieve a turnover equal to or greater than 50 million euros. This confirms that the economic fabric of the islands of the Indian Ocean is made up of SMEs.
Overall, businesses are rather in a growth phase even if large disparities appear according to the sectors of activity. Growth that reflects that of Gross Domestic Products (GDP). That of Mauritius, estimated at 3.8% for 2017 and 3.9% for 2018, is considered satisfactory by L’Eco Austral, given the low rate of population growth which is only 0.1%. But the weak point, according to Alain Foulon, remains "the insufficiency of private investment, the stagnation of export revenues and a growing trade deficit. Growth is boosted by public investment in infrastructure. "
In addition to the risk of excessive state indebtedness, according to L'Eco Austral, these investments do not generate sustainable growth, as would, for example, investments in the blue economy sector. And the regional magazine cites the model developed by Hawaii where massive public support for this sector has generated a lot of added value.
According to L'Eco Austral, the main challenge is that of inclusive growth in islands where the risk of social fracture is real. "The race for growth and endless consumption is not enough to sustainably develop a country. Without going so far as to choose the decline, it is necessary to identify the good growth. Just as we differentiate between good and bad cholesterol, "concludes the columnist.