GRAMPET Group: The 2020 economic test validated the strategic infrastructure we have built over the last 20 years

Financial estimates show that most of the losses caused by the pandemic in the first part of the year have been recovered

Bucharest, January 19, 2021 – 2020 came with unique economic challenges for the GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Român (GFR), the largest private rail freight and logistics operator in Romania and Central and South Eastern Europe, but its structure of integrated services and strategic infrastructure developed at regional level has favoured a rapid recovery in the second half of the year.

“For us, 2020 was a test year confirming what we have built over the last 20 years – a multinational company with a strategic infrastructure for the entire economy,” says Gruia Stoica, President and founder of the GRAMPET Group. “We are getting more and more signals that the GRAMPET Group is attracting the attention of large investors and interest groups in the global industry, at a time when the market is aligning with the new economic paradigm and the consolidation trend in the transport industries is accelerating. This international validation honors us, especially since it comes against the background of a lawsuit that is unjustly causing us harm at home. It is unfortunate that we are seeing such treatment of an entrepreneur who, beyond the economic and social responsibility he has assumed, takes Romania’s name abroad. Still, we keep our commitment to continue building in Romania, for Romania. We are aware that the economic contribution of our companies is a substantial one, and that any imbalance may pose a systemic risk for the transports industry and also for the economy as a whole.”

GRAMPET Group is the largest railway group and private logistics operator in Romania and South-Eastern Europe, employing some 7,000 people. Founded more than 20 years ago, it became the first multinational with Romanian capital, expanding in turn in Bulgaria (2004), Hungary (2005), the Republic of Moldova and Germany (2010), Austria and Slovakia (2012), Croatia (2016), Serbia (2018), and Greece (2019). It is currently considering expanding to six other European markets – Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and the Netherlands (map attached).

It is the first European company to have joined the Middle Corridor Association – Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, part of the New Silk Road project, making a firm commitment to this strategic alliance that creates a new route between China and the European Union.

In the summer of 2019, an international jury nominated the GRAMPET Group as Regional Champion of the Year at the Emerging Europe Awards hosted by the London headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The award covered all industries in 23 emerging countries.

A retrospective of the GRAMPET Group in 2020

Financial estimates for 2020, a year marked by the economic consequences of the pandemic, rely on a slightly increasing turnover at about 285 million Euros (compared to 281 million Euros last year), respectively a net profit decreasing to about 7.3 million (compared to 11 million in 2019). The results also reflect the impact of a growing investment budget (Euro 23.2 million compared to Euro 21.3 million in 2019).

The year was marked by notable performances for the companies in the group:

  • In April, Grup Feroviar Roman received the first Single Safety Certificate from the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) allowing it to operate in two countries, namely Romania and Greece. This was the first single safety certificate in the European Union granted for more than one country.
  • In June, the prototype of the first train produced by Electroputere VFU Pașcani came out of the factory in a new look, wearing traditional Romanian motifs to celebrate the National Day of the Romania Ia. The train is already in the final stages of testing and will enter the local and international market in the first part of this year.
  • In July, Roserv Oil took over the industrial platform of RAFO Onești refinery with an objective to develop the largest logistics center in Moldova area, which could generate up to 600 jobs.
  • At the same time, GRAMPET Group consolidated its division in Hungary, where it completed the acquisition of the land on which the Debrecen Vagongyár plant is built, while also preparing important investments for the modernization and refurbishment of the plant.
  • At the end of 2020, Assologistica (a representative association for the logistics industry in Italy) and the profile publication Euromerci acknowledged the GRAMPET Group for Innovation in Business Internationalization with the “Logistics’ Group of the Year” award (details here).
  • The comprehensive digitalization process at group level has advanced considerably in 2020, being accelerated by the pandemic. Currently, companies in the group are using almost 20 internally-developed digital solutions. Another 18 such projects are under development.
  • Separately, the team of the Polisano Pharmaceuticals drug factory in Sibiu is getting close to launching its first solid oncology drug – a very important step for the entire Romanian pharmaceutical industry.

2020 has also doubled its social responsibility efforts to support, on one hand, national efforts to fight the Coronavirus pandemic and, on other hand, the traditional work of the TOFLEA and GRAMPET Foundations.

  • In May, the GRAMPET Group started a national campaign donating a state-of-the-art testing device and 1,000 tests each to Public Health Directorates in centers where the group operates – Deva, Craiova, Iași, Constanța, Galați, Ploiești, Timișoara, Bucharest, and Debrecen – Hungary. Two such COVID-19 testing devices were donated to the Victor Gomoiu Children’s Clinical Hospital and to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Prof. Dr. Matei Balș in Bucharest. At the same time, member companies with GRAMPET Group have donated 9,000 protective masks to the National Museum of Art and the Bucharest Ambulance Service, and other thousands of protective masks in the cities where the group operates.

In parallel, the TOFLEA Foundation has continued the educational and social projects that improve the lives of tens of thousands of people in disadvantaged categories from Galati County.

  • In addition to the 300 scholarships it awards each year, the Foundation is currently running two projects funded through the Human Capital Operational Program (POCU). Thus, the project Integrated Measures for Reducing School Dropout aims to reintegrate 590 people in the education system, as well as improving the skills for 80 teachers in Toflea, Brăhășești and Gohor. Separately, the project Inclusion and development through social economy, developed together with Euzone Consultancy Network SRL and the Center for Nonprofit Legislation Association, supports the social and economic integration of people from vulnerable categories by supporting the establishment of social enterprises.

In its turn, the GRAMPET Foundation carried out several support actions for employees of companies in the group, supporting social cases, medical cases and talented children who practice professional sports.

About GRAMPET Group

Established almost 20 years ago, GRAMPET is today the largest private rail freight and logistics operator in Romania and Southeast Europe. Its 16-company structure is strategically designed to span the entire chain of rail transport solutions and products, thus offering clients an integrated experience at the highest level of competence: freight railway transport, building, repairs and upgrading of rolling stock, spare parts production, lease of rolling stock, freight transhipment, logistic services, as well as innovative IT solutions for railway operators.

With a declared objective to connect the Atlantic Ocean through the North Sea, to the Pacific, through the South China Sea, GRAMPET Group is one of the main drivers for the development of transport corridors that connect Europe to Asia.

Its flagship company Grup Feroviar Român (GFR) is one of the main rail freight operators in Romania and Southeast Europe. Currently, over 20% of traffic is international, with GFR offering complex logistic solutions to rail sector customers.

GFR is a member of all representative international organizations and has cooperation agreements with both state railway operators (BDZ Cargo, UZ, CFM, PKP Cargo, ZK, RCH, HZ Cargo, ZBIH) and private railway operators from Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, and Germany.

The Group’s companies Reva Simeria, Electroputere VFU Pascani, Reloc Craiova, and Electroputere VFU Craiova account for an important share of the Romanian rolling stock repairing market

In parallel, the group has an intense research and development activity, aimed at developing technical solutions that provide clients with a transparent and real-time experience. In 2017, GFR launched the E-CLIENT GFR portal, a first for Romania and Southeast Europe, which facilitates the management of the traditional carrier – customer-company relationship, from posting of orders to service invoicing, while going through essential stages such as ordering empty wagons, drafting transport contracts, providing unhindered access to process information, intelligent alert systems for decision-makers, and automated reporting.

About the TOFLEA Foundation

Toflea Foundation is a non-governmental, apolitical and non-profit organization, established in 2004. It is fully funded by the GRAMPET Group, the annual budget for the programs being approximately one million RON. The foundation was initially created to support the citizens of Toflea locality (Brăhăşeşti commune, Galati county), which has a predominantly Roma population (around 8,000 people). The main target segment is that of young people, the aim being to promote education as a means to change the community. After 16 years of activity, the Foundation counts a total of 2,000 direct beneficiaries, students and high school students from Roma and other nationalities, from disadvantaged backgrounds. The scholarship program is one of the most effective programs for the Roma community in Romania, generating recognition at national and European level. The children from Toflea have graduated from prestigious universities such as the University of Bucharest, Alexandru Ioan Cuza – Iași, Babeș – Bolyai – Cluj, Dunărea de Jos University – Galați, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy – Bucharest, Sorbonne, University College Birmingham – Business Management and Affairs or Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne – Switzerland. Graduates now have careers as engineers, lawyers, doctors or financiers in Romania or in other countries such as Russia, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, France.

About the GRAMPET Foundation

GRAMPET Foundation is a non-governmental, independent, private non-profit legal entity that has been operating since 2009. The main objective is to select and promote young people with skills, and train them in areas like rail transport, production and repair of rolling stock, as well as tourism. Part of the Foundation’s objectives is to support the employees of the GRAMPET Group companies, encourage cultural, scientific, educational, charitable and social assistance activities, and the development of social projects. The funds of the GRAMPET Foundation come from donations and sponsorships from individuals, the vast majority being the redistribution of 2% of income tax.