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Sunday, October 17, 2004
Business in Romania blog
It is a very good news to see that private companies in Romania have started to be more cmopetitive and more powerful that state-owned companies. With new pirvatisations going on as we speak, this trend is very likely to continue and even grow in the future.

Below you will find the full article about this, published originally and copyrighted by Ziarul Financiar.

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More than twelve billion euros. That was the combined turnover last year of Romania's top twenty companies, which includes both state-owned and private businesses. 2003 was the first year the combined results of the 20 biggest companies showed overall profits.

The main change to the Top 20 has come in the form of the growing number of private companies. In 2002, eleven of the top twenty companies were state-owned, only nine were private. Things changed last year, however, and there are now only seven state-owned companies on the list.

This can be partly explained by last year's "complete" privatisation of RomTelecom, in which Greek telecommunications group OTE increased its stake in the Romanian operator to 54%. Moreover, some of the larger state-owned companies, such as Termoelectrica (which had a turnover of 646 million euros in 2002), were split up.

On the other hand, many private companies had an outstanding year in 2003. Sidex, Metro Cash & Carry, Mobifon, Orange Romania, Interbrands, Dacia and the tobacco companies Philip Morris and BAT Trading - all saw turnover grow by between 10 and 30 percent in real terms.

Some companies, such as Lukoil Downstream, almost doubled their turnovers in 2003. The ranking has also become accustomed with the presence of mobile telephony operators Orange and Connex, which have the highest profit per employee ratios (over 86,000 euros in net profit per employee for Orange and more than 66,000 euros per employee for Mobifon).

According to data from the Finance Ministry's website, SNP (National Oil Company) Petrom remained Romania's largest company last year, despite a 20% decline in turnover.

Excepting the two Distrigaz companies (Sud and Nord) and the National Lignite Company Oltenia, all the state-owned companies in the Top 20 saw their turnover fall last year. This trend, however, brought about improved profit performance: not counting Electrica and Hidroelectrica, who together made losses of 100 million euros, all the state-owned companies broke even. Paradoxically, last year's biggest losses were incurred by two private companies - Rompetrol Rafinare (290 million euros in losses) and Dacia (97 million euros).

This new trend whereby an increasing number of private companies are making their way into the Top 20 is set to continue this year. The change in the shareholding structure at Petrom (which is being bought by Austrian group OMV) and the current retail boom (the opening of new stores in many cities) will attract more new companies to the Romanian market next year. The retail market is poised for further growth in 2005.

Furthermore, two Electrica subsidiaries and the two Distrigaz will also become private property next year. Under the consequences, only three-four state-owned businesses are expected to remain on the Top 20 list next year, unless significant changes occur.


Posted by Mihai Botea : 10/17/2004 03:58:00 pm More private companies in Romania's Top 20
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