The turnover of the Romanian food trade will exceed this year the record level of 100 billion lei, according to a KeysFin analysis sent to AGERPRES on Monday.
The next two weeks are announced to be the most profitable for food retailers in the whole year 2018. The Christmas shopping will push companies' turnover above the level of 103 billion lei, rising by almost 6 billion lei compared to the result of 2017.
The turnover of food business rose last year by 7.7pct from 2016 and 135pct from 2007 to 97 billion lei. Net profit advanced by 16.8pct compared to 2016 and by 174.5pct from 2007 to 3.5 billion lei in 2017.
Statistics show that there are 18 large companies active in the food retail business, with turnover of 55.9 billion lei in 2017, 235 medium-sized companies (10.8 billion lei), 2.469 small businesses (15.6 billion lei) and 49.258 micro-enterprises (14.5 billion lei).
"The main players in the market, Kaufland, Carrefour, Lidl, Auchan and Mega Image, have strengthened their networks and geographic expansion has reached a very high level. Significant investments in opening new units and especially in advertising have, in fact, shattered the competition for small players, independent shops. Faced with financial difficulties, caught in the growing constraints of food and drink distributors, many of the small shops closed or were taken over by the big players," shows KeysFin analysis.
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The top 10 companies together have over 2,500 hypermarkets, supermarkets, modern convenience stores, discounts and cash&carry and generate over 53pct of total turnover.
The market leader continues to be Kaufland Romania, with a turnover of more than 10 billion lei in 2017, which represents 10.4pct of the total national turnover.
Carrefour Romania ranks second with a turnover of 6.7 billion lei (7pct), followed by Lidl Discount (6.5 billion lei, 6.7pct of the total), Auchan (5.2 billion lei, 5.4pct of the total) and Mega Image (4.9 billion lei, 5.1pct of the total).
"Foreign investors have come to dominate the Romanian food retail market, controlling over 72pct of the local companies' equity. From the perspective of their own capital, German investors are at the forefront, followed by the Dutch, Luxembourg, French, Cypriot and Turkish ones. Together, the top five players in the retail food market, all controlled by foreigners, generated more than 45pct of the sector's profit last year," reads the KeysFin analysis.
More than 223,000 employees work in retail, down 2.3pct from 2016 and 1.4pct from 2007, when companies invested heavily in optimizing operating costs.
The most important employers in the food retail sector are Kaufland (13,519 employees), Profi (11,662), Carrefour (9,939), Mega Image (9,313) and Auchan (9,290 employees).