A new study by Coface Romania on the sector of “Dairy products and cheese manufacturing” indicates a negative evolution of revenues in 2018, which decreased with approximately 18 percent compared to 2017, with a slightly increased profitability. The study aggregated the data of 448 companies that submitted their financial situation for 2018 and generated a consolidated turnover of RON 3.8 billion. The weight of the cumulative market share held by the most important 10 players is 58 percent, which indicates a high degree of concentration.
The companies operating in this sector registered a current liquidity of 0.97 during 2018, the working capital being exposed to negative shocks and volatility (lower revenues or non-collection of receivables). The average duration of debt collection in the analyzed sector decreased from 68 days, the level registered in 2014, to 51 days in 2018, while the national average over the same period decreased from 104 days to 90 days.
The consolidated net result at sectorial level for 2018 was 4.3%, higher compared to the level of 2017 (3.3 percent). However, 44 percent of the companies had a net loss at the end of 2018, 26 percent of the companies registered losses of more than -20 percent and 5 percent of the companies generated more than 20 percent profit. The 55 percent level of indebtedness in the sector is decreasing compared to the previous years (62 percent in 2017, 63 percent in 2016, 67 percent in 2015 and 69 percent in 2014). It is worth mentioning that 39 percent of companies have a negative capitalization degree (equivalent to a debt level of over 100 percent), and for 17 percent of the companies the debt level exceeds 80 percent.
“During 2018, the companies in the analyzed sector have allocated significant investments for the expansion of fixed assets. The ratio between capital expenditures (CAPEX) and depreciation ratio was 120% in 2018, which means that investments in fixed assets covered the depreciated fixed assets. Almost half of the companies (46 percent) made investments in 2018, with a supraunitary Capex/ Amortization report. The business environment in the dairy industry tries to compensate for the lack of public investments (70 percent of the public budget being strongly oriented towards salaries and social benefits, the maximum in the history of Romania and the EU), in order to try to cope with the competition. Unfortunately, without public infrastructure this is very difficult, the revenues of companies in this sector decreased by 18 percent in the last year, while dairy imports increased by almost 20 percent”, stated Nicoleta Marin, Senior Financial Analyst, Coface Romania.
Regarding the payment behavior, respectively, the debts to the State Budget, according to the data published by ANAF, once with the decrease of the number of companies that have registered the debts, the value of the debts has not decreased, reaching the maximum of the period in 2018.
„Only 1 liter out of almost 4 obtained is delivered to milk processors, context in which although Romania is ranked 10th in the EU as raw milk production, it is only the 20th in terms of milk sent for processing. This aspect is determined by the low purchase price, but also by the competition from cheaper imported products. At the same time, the price of the milk in stores is 5 times higher than the purchase price, which is justified by the processors through transportation costs (fuel costs, excises, vignettes, poor infrastructure, etc.). Thus, we conclude that the Romanian peasant is oriented towards self-management, and when he sells the dairy production, he receives an extremely low price compared to the final price from the shelf. Probably similar situations can be found in other product segments (vegetables, fruits). This shows that Romania urgently needs massive investments in road and logistics infrastructure, in order to reduce the cost of transferring the products on the production – distribution – retail flow. Otherwise, we have no chance in the face of imported goods, obtained through advanced technological processes and low costs”, declared Iancu Guda, Services Director, Coface Romania.
According to Eurostat, in the European Union the first three countries for milk production and processing are Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Poland ranks 5th in terms of quantity produced and 6th in processing (10 times larger than Romania, although it only produces 3 times more milk).