The manufacturer of Köber varnishes and paints from Piatra Neamt, controlled by the businessman Aurel Köber, purchases 90 % of the raw materials for production from outside the country, given that in the 90’s it was procuring most of the demand locally, said Eduard Köber, the Procurement Manager of the company, to Ziarul Financiar at the “Champions in business” event, organized this week in Iaşi.
“I cannot help but notice how the chemistry industry in Romania is now descending. 90% from the procurements I make are from outside the country, as the researchers we still have in our country are researchers for the sake of research, but they are not implementing practical applicability projects” said Eduard Köber, son of Aurel Köber, founder of the company in Piatra Neamt.
Köber Company was rewarded in the big companies’ category, within this year’s edition “Champions in business” event that took place in Moldavia. Champions in business is a project ran by ZF along with the investments fund Enterprise-Investors BCR, the biggest local bank, the PwC audit and consulting company and the Triple-Helix foundation.
“We bought many of our raw materials from the country in the 90’s, but they preferred to close those factories (…). The regain of trust can be achieved by not involving politics in business. Romania can produce quality products and can be competitive even against China products. European quality at Chinese prices can be done” said Eduard Köber.
Köber has 3 factories presently: a decorative paints one, a interior paints one and a thermal power stations one, totaling 500 employees.
The company registered last year a turnover of about 198.4 million lei (44.9 million Euro) a 3 % growth compared to 2012, while the net profit grew to 14.4 million lei (3.3 million Euro), the dates from the Ministry of Finance show a plus of almost 11 % compared to the precedent year. The turnover and the net profit of Köber reached a maximum last year after the beginning of the crisis.
The varnish and paint market, the Köber company main segment of activity, declined last year with almost 5 %, being valued to 150 million Euro by the players in the field. The renewals topped the bill in the paint industry.
The local varnish and paint market is mainly dominated by players owned by foreign investment funds. Among the few Romanian contractors that survived fighting them we can count, beside Köber, also Remus Aurel Benţa, who owns the Daw Benţa company in partnership with the Germans from Caparol, or Aurel and Marinică Potop, who control the Sarcom business. To maintain their position on the market, two of the top 10 players in the paints sector, Fabryo and Atlas Corporation, decided to merge.
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