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Sep 27, 2007 13:53 EEST
BUCHAREST (Romania), September 27 (SeeNews) – Romanian furniture producer and retailer Mobexpert Group expects its turnover to increase by 15% in each of 2007 and 2008 on the back of expansion in neighbouring Serbia and Bulgaria and on the domestic market, the president of the group, Dan Sucu, said.
“We expect a 15% increase in 2007, but the results from the first half encourage us to expect even more, an increase of some 20%. It means a turnover of 172-175 million euro. In 2008, we hope it will exceed 200 million euro [$282.9 million]," Sucu told SeeNews in an interview.
Mobexpert has five hypermarkets and 27 stores in Romania. The company opened its first hypermarket abroad in the Bulgarian capital Sofia last week. It also has an office furniture store in Sofia and another one in Serbia’s capital Belgrade.
Mobexpert’s turnover rose by 7.0% to 150 million euro last year. The company disclosed no profit figures.
The company aims to operate 26 hypermarkets by the end of 2011, including four in Bulgaria and two in Serbia. The planned investment in new outlets is 40 to 50 million euro.
“In Bulgaria we aim to operate a chain of four hypermarkets for home furniture and decorative products," said Sucu. The company plans to open a second outlet in Sofia, then one each in Plovdiv and Varna, which are the largest cities in Bulgaria after the capital.
"Next year, depending on our results, we will decide what our growth priorities and pace will be,” Sucu said.
The company targets a market share of 15% to 18% in Bulgaria in the next four years.
“Mobexpert medium- and long-term strategy is to become a strong regional brand. Mobexpert thinks about its development as a regional one. The reason [...] is the similarities on these markets: the pace of economic development, the consolidation of the middle class, similar incomes, the same tastes for furniture,” Sucu said.He added the company will include the products of seven Bulgarian manufacturers in its offer but currently Mobexpert does not consider setting up its own plant in Bulgaria.
“In the longer term, that is 2012-2013, we would think about a possible expansion to other countries in eastern Europe, like Ukraine or the Republic of Moldova," said Sucu.
Mobexpert says it holds an 18% share of the Romanian home furniture and decorative products market and 30% of the office furniture segment.
ROMANIAN FURNITURE MARKET SEEN ON THE RISE
The president of Mobexpert Group estimates the Romanian furniture market at about 700 million euro with an annual growth rate of some 10%. “I expect the rise to continue in 2007, along with the development on the real estate market. […] People will continue to move into new houses ant they will want to furnish them.”
Other factors that influence the furniture market in the EU newcomer are the rise in personal incomes and the consolidation of the middle class, Sucu explained. Romania joined the EU in January together with Bulgaria.
“The furniture retail market in Romania has continued to mature and the process of segmentation has become clearer; it comes natural, together with the economic growth, ” Sucu said. Stores specialized in selling just one type of products, for bathroom or kitchen for example, have appeared in Romania, thus creating increasing competition in the various market segments.
“All these favourable factors made international players think about entering the Romanian market,“ Sucu said.
Mobexpert Group was set up in 1993 and now employs some 4,500. It comprises 10 furniture factories, five import and logistics companies, and a real estate investment firm, Domus Mex. Mobexpert exports its output to western Europe, including France, Germany and the Netherlands. The company is not listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
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