Could you describe Procema’s current presence in Romania and abroad?

Our stronghold in the market centers on our rebar fabrication shop, producing tailored steel for projects. Prefabricated products like welded mesh and pre-assembled steel cages are also prominent in our portfolio. While our offerings cater to distribution and processing firms, our primary focus is the construction industry. Procema is the exclusive supplier of FORTEC coupling systems in Romania, offering a swift and secure bar-to-bar connection through a cold forging process.

Which real estate sector currently experiences heightened demand?

Over the past three to four years, the residential sector, spanning various regions in Romania, including Bucharest & Ilfov, Cluj, Timisoara, Iasi, and Constanta, has dominated the industry. However, the office and commercial segments faced significant setbacks due to the pandemic. While infrastructure projects were anticipated to increase material demand, works slowed down, impacting these expectations.

Procema experienced growth in 2020. What contributed to this success?

The positive outcome stemmed from merging our subsidiary, Procema Metal, which facilitated product sales (including raw materials) to companies in Romania and Central & Eastern Europe, with our primary company. Expansion into new markets through the commercialization of new products also boosted our growth. Remarkably, despite the pandemic, the construction industry in Europe, and notably Romania, thrived.

How do you explain the increase in raw material prices amid international markets?

Global inflation, driven by macroeconomic policies to sustain economies during the pandemic by the EU and the US, contributed to rising costs. Concurrently, a sudden industrial halt during lockdowns, followed by a rapid recovery, led to demand surpassing supply, causing price hikes not only in construction materials but also energy-related products.

Beyond Romania, in which markets does Procema operate, and what expansion plans are in place?

Our presence spans neighboring markets: Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and sporadically in Moldova. We aspire to broaden our portfolio, embracing new product categories, and actively pursuing opportunities for expansion. Three years ago, exports accounted for less than 1% of our turnover; this year, it’s projected to reach 15%-20%, potentially climbing to one third of our total revenue in two to three years.

Procema originated as a research institute. How does this legacy integrate into your present operations?

Our history in construction materials research and seismology is integral to our expertise in reinforcing steel. While the initial research foundation remains, we’ve transformed it into valuable insights for processing. Procema Research still offers services like product approval tests.

How has Procema responded to the trend of integrating new technologies into the industry?

We pride ourselves on leading rather than following trends. For instance, being the first in Eastern Europe to utilize the latest technology for custom welded mesh production showcased our commitment to innovation. This product not only enhanced speed but also offered high customization levels, significantly cutting the time required for reinforcement work.

What are Procema’s key objectives in the next two to three years?

Our focus revolves around boosting sales by innovating our portfolio to deliver preassembled custom products. Continuing turnover growth in both Romania and CEE markets remains a key target for the upcoming years.

Do you have a final message about the Romanian real estate market?

Romania’s construction materials sector has evolved significantly, offering ample opportunities for new investors in a transparent and competitive market.

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