Sunday, November 18, 2018
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Record sales for eMAG in the first half of Black Friday; estimates of RON 440 million total sales by midnight

eMAG had record sales after the first 9 hours of the 2018 edition of Black Friday, with more than RON 355 million and over 930,000 products ordered. 35,000 customers have ordered online through eMAG for the first time. Last year’s Black Friday sales were overtaken at 16:20 today. Promotions will be added until midnight.

More than 15 percent of Black Friday orders have been prepared for delivery from eMAG warehouses. The couriers will work on Saturdays and Sundays, so that as many deliveries as possible reach customers.

“Black Friday orders reached a record level within the first 9 hours of the event opening. We have an unprecedented interest that will lead us to an increase of almost 30 percent over last year and 10 percent above our target for this year. We estimate sales of over RON 440 million for the whole day,” said Tudor Manea, eMAG general manager.

Donations for education

eMAG customers have donated constantly throughout the day and we estimate that by the end of the day the amount will reach RON 100,000. All of these donations go to education projects managed by the eMAG Foundation.

Black Friday’s recordings at eMAG:

  • Average of the first hours: 77 products ordered per second.
  • The first million RON ordered in 12 seconds.
  • RON 10 million sale after 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
  • RON 100 million after 37 minutes.

eMAG Black Friday results at 4 pm:

  • Orders worth more than RON 355 million.
  • Over 930,000 ordered products.
  • Over 6,100,000 visits since the start of the event.
  • 75 percent of traffic from mobile devices.
  • The share of card orders over 34 percent, rising from the average of 30 percent in 2017.
  • One in 11 orders has a baby product.
  • The most complex order has 26 products and includes TV, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, sports goods, blender, iron, microwave, chairs, mattress and more.

Most ordered brands on product categories:

  • TVs: Samsung
  • Refrigerators: Arctic
  • Washing machines: Beko
  • Phones: Samsung, Huawei

Quantity on the best-selling product range:

  • Household and home care products: 108,000 pieces.
  • Small household appliances (mixers, mixers, coffee makers and others): 83,000.
  • Personal care: 49,000.
  • Clothing and footwear: 42,000.
  • Televisions: 40,000.
  • Phones: 38,000.
  • Tires: 36,000.
  • Toys: 31,000.

New products ordered online:

  • 122 cars.
  • 3.9 KG of gold.
  • 1,800 Nights accommodation.
  • 410 event tickets.
  • 275 Subscriptions to medical services and dental subscriptions, Queen Maria, Medicover, Just Smile.
  • 159 Luxury Watches and Jewelry.

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Dragos Anastasiu developing TravelBrands tourism agency for low-income customers

Eurolines group is developing a new tourism agency brand called TravelBrands, meant to cover clients with low incomes, according to Profit.ro. The company owned by Dragos Anastasiu wants to open 40 locations across the country in the next 2 years.

Six agencies are already open in Bucharest, Cluj, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Targu jiu and Vaslui, and the brand wants to become one of the top 5 tour-operators after opening the rest of the planned locations.

TravelBrands sells holidays in Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania. The agency is present at the Romanian Tourism Fair taking place between November 15 and 18 at Romexpo. At the fair, the agency offers early-booking holidays with lower prices.

The post Dragos Anastasiu developing TravelBrands tourism agency for low-income customers appeared first on Business Review.

Dragos Anastasiu developing TravelBrands tourism agency for low-income customers

Eurolines group is developing a new tourism agency brand called TravelBrands, meant to cover clients with low incomes, according to Profit.ro. The company owned by Dragos Anastasiu wants to open 40 locations across the country in the next 2 years.

Six agencies are already open in Bucharest, Cluj, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Targu jiu and Vaslui, and the brand wants to become one of the top 5 tour-operators after opening the rest of the planned locations.

TravelBrands sells holidays in Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania. The agency is present at the Romanian Tourism Fair taking place between November 15 and 18 at Romexpo. At the fair, the agency offers early-booking holidays with lower prices.

The post Dragos Anastasiu developing TravelBrands tourism agency for low-income customers appeared first on Business Review.

Vodafone Romania CEO “confident” that EC will approve acquisition of UPC by next summer

Vodafone Romania CEO Murielle Lorilloux says she expects the process to acquire UPC Romania to be approved by the European Commission by the middle of next summer, and that the total fusion of the two companies could take a few years, according to Economica.net.

“UPC and Vodafone’s operations don’t overlap and I don’t think we’ll have any problems in terms of competition. I’m very confident that the European Commission will approve the fusion, which will be a success story on the market,” Lorilloux said.

Vodafone announced in the spring that it would take over cable giant Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic, in a transaction worth EUR 19 billion. In Romania, Liberty Global owns UPC, through UPC Holding in the Netherlands.

Lorilloux said that the biggest challenge in the merger will be the integration of the two IT systems.

“Integrating the IT systems will be the most complicated part because both companies have their own systems, as a group as well as locally, for every country. In order to have a total conversion of fixed and mobile services, the biggest challenge will be related to the speed of the process. Judging by the experience of other integration processes we’ve been through in Spain or Germany, it will take at least six months and up to 2-3 years, depending on the company sizes and the complexity of the operations,” she explained.

She added that a team is already working to prepare the fusion on  the HR, IT and financial sides and that UPC Romania employees will be important to Vodafone, which needs their expertise.

Vodafone is one of the largest mobile telecommunications operator in Romania, while UPC is one of the most important players on the fixed communications segment – cable TV and internet. Taking over UPC will allow Vodafone Romania to launch convergent fixed-mobile services. The transaction will not include UPC’s satellite television operation, Focus Sat.  

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Romania cedes to Estonia the first place in the EU in terms of inflation

Romania fell in October on the second position in the European Union in terms of inflation, behind Estonia, with an annual inflation rate of 4.2 percent measured by Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP), Eurostat data showed on Friday.

Romania has posted the highest inflation rate in the EU for eight months in a row until September.

“The highest annual rates were recorded in Estonia (4.5 percent), Romania (4.2 percent) and Hungary (3.9 percent). Compared with September 2018, annual inflation fell in eight Member States, remained stable in five and rose in fourteen,” EU’s statistical branch said.

The HICP index used by Eurostat measure price with a unified basket of consumer products and services for the 28 member states.

But the Romanian basket of consumer products and services, which includes a higher percentage of food products, shows a different picture.

According to National Institute of Statistics (INS) data, the annual inflation rate, measuring the evolution of consumption prices in the last year, declined to 4.3 percent in October, from 5 percent in September, mainly due to slower food prices’ increases.

Compared with October 2017, the prices of food products rose by 3.7 percent on average, while non-food products increased by 5.3 percent. The prices of services went up by 2.7 percent.

Compared with September, consumer prices in Romania increased by 0.5 percent, as food prices rose by 0.6 percent, while non-food products’ prices went up by 0.5 percent, and services’ prices rose by 0.35 percent.

 

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Romania’s electronics and home appliances market to exceed EUR 2 billion in 2018

The electronics and home appliances market could exceed the EUR 2 billion (RON 9.5 billion) threshold this year, amid Romania’s appetite for Black Friday purchases and the Christmas shopping season, according to an analysis conducted by KeysFin.

“The trade of electronics and home appliances is very well-centered around some major investors. Although there are over 600 companies at the national level in this sector, only a few of them are able to survive alongside the big players, which explains why the number of companies dropped last year by 8 percent compared to 2016 and by 15 percent compared to 2013. We expect the consolidation process to continue, with major investments in retail networks, in logistics and especially in the online segment, which will contribute to the coagulation of the market,” shows the report.

The analysis, which took into account the evolution of companies whose main activity is the retail trade of household appliances and electronics in specialized stores, shows that this market is highly concentrated, with five companies accounting for 93 percent of the total turnover at the national level.

According to the data for 2017, the market leader is Dante International (eMag), with a turnover of RON 3.31 billion, which represents 39.7 percent of the total national business. Also among the top retailers are Altex Romania, with a business of RON 3.28 billion (39.4 percent), Flanco Retail (RON 983 million, 11.8 percent of the total), Euro GSM Impex (RON 113 million lei, 1.4 percent of the total) and Gorenje Romania (RON 77.6 million, 0.9 percent of the total). As seen, the difference between the first two retailers and the fourth or fifth is huge.

“As Dante International SA (eMag) focused on significant investments, announcing the launch of the largest warehouse in Romania, the most profitable company was Altex Romania, with a profit of RON 48.7 million. The ranking of the most profitable companies in the sector is completed by Domo SRL (RON 6.4 million), Flanco Retail (RON 5.2 million), Nordic Romar SRL (RON 4.9 million) and Euro GSM Impex SRL (RON 4.3 million) The most profitable five companies generated 70.3 percent of the total market profit,” shows KeysFin.

According to the analysts, Bucharest and Ilfov County attracted the largest businesses in this sector, exceeding RON 7.7 billion in 2017. The hierarchy is completed by the counties of Cluj (RON 127.8 million), Botosani (RON 56.4 million) and Constanta (RON 50.6 million). The top five counties generated over 95 percent of the total national turnover.

Last year, the turnover in the electronics and electronics trade sector increased by 21 percent compared to 2016, to RON 8.35 billion, and by 120 percent compared to the one recorded five years ago.

The post Romania’s electronics and home appliances market to exceed EUR 2 billion in 2018 appeared first on Business Review.

Theresa May under threat of no-confidence vote over Brexit deal

British PM Theresa May is struggling to get her own party to support her and pass the draft Brexit agreement in Parliament, while she insists that she will “see this through,” the BBC reports.

After she obtained the support of the cabinet for the deal on Wednesday, two senior ministers and other members of her cabinet resigned due to the disagreements they had with the deal she had brought back from Brussels.

Leading backbench Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg submitted a letter of no confidence in Mrs May to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tories’ backbench 1922 Committee. A vote will be triggered if 48 Tory MPs write letters to Graham, but that does not appear to have happened yet.

Asked if she would carry on as prime minister if she won a no-confidence vote by a single vote, Mrs May said: “Leadership is about taking the right decisions, not the easy ones.”

“I understand fully that there are some who are unhappy with those compromises but this deal delivers what people voted for and it is in the national interest,” May said, warning that “nobody can know for sure the consequences that will follow” if the UK doesn’t move forward with the agreement.

One of the letters of no confidence has been published, written by MP Marc Francois, who writes: “The Prime Minister has been surrounded throughout this process by a Pretorian Guard of highly pro-European senior civil servants who, I believe, have never accepted the result of the referendum. Instead they have helped to steer the negotiations in such a way that means, quite simply, we will not in fact leave the European Union but effectively remain within it.”


 

 

 

 

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BR Exclusive. Oltchim privatization approved by anti-trust body and Supreme Council of Defence; the sale of assets to be completed within the next month

Romanian state-own fertilizers producer Oltchim received on Friday the last two approvals it needed from the anti-trust body and the Supreme Council of National Defense (CSAT) in order to complete the sale of assets to Romanian private-owned company Chimcomplex.

“We received the approvals today. The buyer has now 20 working days – that means 30 calendar days – to pay the price and then he becomes owner of assets,” Oltchim’s special administrator Bogdan Stanescu told Business Review.

He mentioned that the sale of assets should be completed until December 17th.

Earlier this week, Oltchim posted a net profit of RON 84 million (EUR 18 million) for the first nine months of this year, a record level since the opening of insolvency procedure, on higher turnover.

The turnover of Oltchim increased by 16.4 percent year-on-year in the first nine months up to RON 855.6 million.

The company is in the final stage of its privatization process through sales of assets to Romanian private-owned company Chimcomplex.

In July, the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission issued a letter of comfort regarding the acquisition of assets from insolvent company Oltchim.

Chimcomplex, company owned by Romanian businessman Stefan Vuza, will buy six asset packages from Oltchim and keep up to 1,200 employees from current 1,900 employees of the petrochemical plant.

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Prime Kapital to sell apartments with just 5 percent deposit over 30 years, beating banks’ mortgage offers

Real estate developer Prime Kapital has launched a financing solution for purchasing homes that’s better than the classic mortgages offered by banks, in the context where the central bank decided last month to limit the population’s indebtedness rates, according to economica.net.

From January 1, 2019, individuals will be able to take out RON loans with a monthly payment reaching a maximum of 40 percent of the net income, and 20 percent of net income for foreign currency loans.

Generally, developers demand a deposit between 20 and 50 percent of the property value, with subsequent payments split in various ways over the following years. Prime Kapital, however, wants to compete with banks’ mortgages offers and sell properties with deposits of just 5 percent with 30-year payment periods.

“We understand the BNR’s objectives of maintaining the integrity of the Romanian financial system, we don’t intent to criticise it at all, but a mix between the rules imposed by the central bank and those by the commercial banks creates unintended consequences, especially for clients who don’t obtain incomes from salaries, who can’t access traditional financing either because they don’t have the deposit they need, which is quite large for young people, or because their incomes don’t come from traditional salaries and are not taken into account. With this in mind, we’ve developed a financial product called FlexAssist, which allows those who can’t afford a large deposit or those with other types of incomes to be able to acquire a residential property on a 30-year period. As long as you have the 5 percent deposit, you’ll have the same owners’ benefits as those who access a regular loan,” said Martin Slabbert, CEO Prime Kapital, for Economica.net.

Interest rates will be similar to those practiced by commercial banks for mortgages requiring a 25 percent deposit, and the evaluation of the buyers’ credit score will take into account incomes from all sources, including business profit, collaborations or providing services, professional fees, bonuses or dividends.

The developer says it won’t sell more than 20 percent of the apartments it builds in a single projects through this method.

Although the 5 percent deposit is similar to the one required by the Prima Casa program, Slabbert says he didn’t have the program in mind when developing his solution, even though Prima Casa addresses the same issues, but has other limitations.

“We think it will be difficult for others to copy our model. Banks won’t do this and will go forward with their own model, and other developers are not ready to invest in the same way we do,” the CEO says.

Available properties in Prime Kapital projects

The FlexAssist financing is offered by the developer for homes in the projects it is currently building. One of them is Avalon, which will have almost 800 dwellings located between Aviatiei and Pipera areas in Bucharest. Works will start in mid-2019.

Prime Kapital has put up 39 apartments for sale in the complex, of which half have already been pre-contracted. The developer encourages the sale of apartments to the final buyers and has imposed a limit: one customer can’t buy more than one apartment for now.

The company’s second project will be built on the land of the former Marmura factory, near the Jiului metro station. Another project by Prime Kapital will be developed in Iasi, with 2,500 apartments, on the land of former factory TEBA.

 

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The “wonder kid” of Romania’s IT industry gets USD 4 million in funding for revolutionary AI-based cancer diagnosis solution

Emil Gal is a 32-year-old Romanian entrepreneur (from Satu Mare city) running a million dollar IT company he founded. In 2012 he was called by local press “the wonder kid of the IT industry” or the “Mark Zuckerberg of Romania.” He started doing business when he was only 10, by making and selling business cards to his teachers. His new medtech start-up just got a USD 4 million funding and promises to revolutionize cancer diagnosis. 

He got his first job when he was 15, when he worked as a website developer for a local company. Three years later, when he was 18, he started his own company in his parents’ apartment. By the time he graduated high school he had gained several clients from the US. Today, his company – Brainient – has offices in Romania, the US and the UK.

Ezra is his fresh medtech start-up that provides a new, less expensive and pain-free solution to cancer diagnoses by using artificial intelligence to scan MRI slots in bulk. The company wants to replace blood tests and biopsies with MRIs as the new standard of care. Ezra has raised USD 4 million in financing, according to Techcrunch.

Ezra launched v1 of its MRI prostate cancer screening subscription service in New York City. For $999 per year, patients get one MRI, access to medical staff and educational guides, and ongoing support if the test finds they have cancer.

For now, human radiologists still analyze the scans. However, Ezra is working to get FDA approval next year for its AI analysis that was initially found to be 90 percent as accurate as medical experts, and could turn Ezra into a lucrative and scalable medtech company.

“One of the biggest problems in cancer is that there’s no accurate, fast, painless, way to scan for cancer anywhere in the body,” says Ezra co-founder and CEO Emil Gal, for Techcrunch. He hopes that eventually, Ezra could offer full-body MRIs that make screening for all types of cancer easier to stomach so more cases can be caught early and more patients can survive.

To build out its team and market to potential patients at risk for prostate cancer, Ezra is also announcing it’s raised a $4 million seed round led by Accomplice, the health-focused VC that funded PillPack before it was acquired by Amazon for nearly $1 billion.

The firm was attracted by Ezra’s 50 percent gross margin on subscriptions that could get even higher at lower subscription prices once its AI is approved. “We’re not losing money on every sale” Gal said. And while USD 999 might sound expensive, he says a prostate MRI will cost you USD 1500 if you book it yourself.

Ezra’s Superhero Origin

Gal has one of those startup founder superhero origin stories that gives him the grit necessary to see the problem through. “I developed hundreds of moles as a child that put me at very high risk of melanoma. Every year I’ve had to check for abnormalities and do a couple of biopsies,” he candidly revealed. “I’ve been acutely aware of the importance of cancer screening from a very young age.”

Ezra co-founder and CeO Emi Gal

After studying computer science and applied math in his home country of Romania, he built an adtech company at age 20 and sold it at 30. While working with terminally ill cancer patient charity Hospices Of Hope, he seized on the need for better cancer screenings and began his research about different methods. “The more scientists I spoke to, the more convinced I became to build a new screening modality” he recalls.

Magnetic Resonance Innovation

Rather than wait around, Ezra has partnered with the leading MRI facility network RadNet. It buys MRI time slots in bulk for a cheaper rate, starting with a location in Lenox Hill, Manhattan. Next year it will expand to more RadNet locations beyond New York City. If the AI gets approval, there’ll still be human medical experts involved. The AI eliminates the grunt work of doing measurements and annotating MRI scans so the human can focus on just making the cancer/not cancer call. And if the diagnosis sadly is positive, “What we don’t want to do is just drop a report on people that says ‘you likely have cancer’. We want to help with the treatment process and recommend the best urologists,” Gal tells me.

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