EU Accession Produces Four New Euro Billionaires among Romanian Companies

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EU Accession Produces Four New Euro Billionaires among Romanian Companies

Within Romania's first year in the European Union, the thirty biggest players in the economy conducted 34.5 billion euros worth of business (about 30% of GDP), an increase of 17% compared with 29.5 billion euros in the previous year, Ziarul Financiar (ZF) reported.

Whereas the Romanian economy had ten billionaires in euros in 2006, at the end of last year, fourteen companies had overshot the billion-euro mark, according to data revealed in the "Biggest players in the economy" Yearbook by ZF.

Moreover, whereas Petrom, the biggest Romanian company, was the only business to exceed 2 billion euros in 2006 (3.7 billion euros), last year, Automobile Dacia and Arcelor-Mittal Galati joined the over 2 billion-euro business club, and Germany's Metro Group came within 50 million euros from this threshold.

The Renault-held carmaker also registered one of the best performances, after it became one of Romania's largest companies - second only to Petrom, while three or four years ago, Dacia was not even among the top five. With total sales worth more than one million units since 2004, the Logan model, the driver of the annual business of Automobile Dacia, saw the highest operating margin (8%) out of the entire Renault group.

Five of the biggest Romanian companies (Petrotel Lukoil, Interbrands, Romtelecom, Electrocentrale Bucuresti and Oltchim) slipped into the red in 2007, after they posted profit in previous year, while Rompetrol Downstream was the only one to see this trend reversed, according to data centralised by ZF in its Business Yearbook.

Rompetrol Downstream also posted an over 42% increase in turnover. The companies whose turnover went up by more than 40% include Tiriac Auto, Carrefour, British American Tobacco and Interagro.

The average number of employees of the top 30 companies remained almost the same, after the level dropped by merely 1%. Some of these companies, however, hired a lot of people, while others made employees redundant. Therefore the number of Carrefour employees doubled, while Petrom made more than 6,000 staff redundant.

Productivity-wise, the top industry is the automotive industry and in particular importer Porsche Romania, which conducted an around 1 billion-euro business with a staff of 180. Therefore, each employee generated 5.5 million euros on average, which is about 15,000 euros a day. In July 2007, the company separated its distribution and import operations, and established Porsche Inter Auto (which has its own dealer network), which took over most of the employees of the Austrian group in Romania. Other high-productivity players are Petrotel Lukoil and MOL Romania, both in the energy business.

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