Schweighofer, Kronospan and Egger are three Austrian companies with wood processing operations in Romania. Their cumulated business exceeded EUR 1 billion in 2013, a double amount as compared to 2009, according to the Romanian financial daily Ziarul Financiarul.
The overall timber production in Romania was 5 million cubic meters in 2013, an impressive increase over the 2000 output (1.4 million cbm). Of the total production, the three Austrian companies purchase by far the largest amount of wood, mainly through their provider Romsilva, the Romanian state company managing local forest areas.
Some companies from the Romanian timber market complain over the Austrian companies activities, which cause a lack of raw materials for the small entrepreneurs. "People are unhappy because big firms in the industry buy large quantities of wood from Romsilva, so for the others who can not afford these amounts there isn't sufficient raw material," said Marin Vîrciu, mayor of Gîrda de Sus, a local town from eastern Romania.
Others complain over price pressure issues. For example, Aurica Sereny, the president of Furniture Producers Association in Romania (APMR), says that the price of wood increased tremendously due to the large companies running strong productivity and exports and that this impacts the competitiveness of furniture producers in Romania. Ms. Sereny added that the price of wood increased by 30 to 40 per cent since the beginning of the current year, while the price for furniture products increased with a maximum 2 per cent.
Financial data show that Schweighofer reached a turnover of EUR 470 million and a profit of EUR 100 million in 2013, while Kronospan Sebes achieved a turnover of EUR 250 million and EUR 0.3 million loses in 2012. In the fiscal year of 2013, Egger attained a turnover of EUR 209 million and a profit of 14 million.