Interbrands more optimistic about growth rate

Rand Sherif, CEO of Interbrands, the largest distribution company in the consumer goods industry, with turnover worth over one billion euros, says the Romanian market still has a “privileged” status compared with Central European countries, which are seeing sales for food and non-food products decline, informs Ziarul Financiar daily on September 8.
 “Overall, I think the Romanian market is still privileged, considering that markets such as France, Germany and Spain have seen declines, while in Romania we can still talk about double-digit increases (over 10%), as consumers buy increasingly more. People are still turning towards the premium segment, although migration towards the high-price segment is not as strong as a year ago,” says Rand Sherif, CEO of Interbrands Marketing & Distribution.
According to Sherif, the medium price segment is seeing the lowest growth on the FMCG market at present.

“We noticed that the Romanian consumer usually either goes for the premium segment, or for the lower segment, so the medium price segment is not very dynamic. This happens both in urban and rural areas,” adds Sherif.
Interbrands has revised this year’s sales forecast upwards, after recording a 27% growth in the first half of the year, compared with the same time in 2007.
“The trend of the market in the first six months of the year was above our beginning-of-the-year expectations, so we are more optimistic about the growth rate,” says the head of Interbrands.
The company posted sales worth 2 billion lei (545 million euros) in the first half of the year, up 27% on the same time in 2007.
At the beginning of the year, Sherif expected on an around 10% growth rate, much lower than the rise reported in 2007 on the previous year.
However, the major price increases operated this year led to a slowdown in the rise of the FMCG market, with the consumers’ budgets being affected by the significant increases in fuel and food prices, as well as by the increase in interest rates.
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