30 April 2001

Fewer companies are compensating their debts (Romanian Business Journal)

The Government changed, by emergency ordinance EO 95/2000 regarding the writting off of some debts of economic agents supplying products and performing services for the public institutions in the national defence system, public order and national security, as well as the annexes of this regulating document. The maximum value of the purchased products and services from all the 141 companies included on the list amounts to 2,182 billion lei, as compared to 6134 billion lei as provided in Ordinance 95 (Ministry of Internal Affiars -1,027 billion lei, MApN - 830 billion lei, SRI - 38.3 billion lei, SIE - 48.4 billion lei, SPP - 24.5 billion lei, STS - 104.8 billion lei, DGP - 109.2 billion lei).

The list including the suppliers of products and services paid by writting off some debts to the state budget counting 141 companies also has SC ARO Sa Campulung (with a maximum value of bought products and services of 49.1 billion lei), SC UAMT SA Oradea (with 37.5 billion lei), Tractorul UTB SA Brasov (with 46.2 billion lei), SC Roman Sa Brasov (with 72.5 billion lei), SC Romcif Sa Fieni (with 24.2 billion lei), SC Acumulatorul SA (with 21.045 billion lei), Conel/SC Electrica SA (with 272 billion lei ), SC Tofan Group SA (with 42 billion lei), SC Turbomecanica SA (with 23 billion lei), SNP Petrom (with 700 billion lei), SN Romgaz/Ditrigaz Sud B (with 398.2 billion lei). Companies such as Daewoo Auto Trading, Zerox Romania, Romtelecom, Ericsson Romania, General Electric, Radet, RGAB, SNCFR are no longer on the new list of the emergency ordinance.

According to the Emergency Ordinance 232/2000, the debts to the state budget due until December 31,1999 and unpaid by the economic agents supplying products and services for the public institutions of the national defence system, public order and national security will be written off by compensation with the sums afferent to the purchase of goods and services contracted with these public institutions until December 15,2000, within the limits provided for each supplier and beneficiary institution.


JOURNAL-CODE: WRBJ
LOAD-DATE: April 30, 2001

16 April 2001

Michelin agrees to buy Tofan assets (Rubber and Plastic News)

PARIS--Groupe Michelin has agreed to buy two tire plants, a retread facility and a domestic distribution network in Romania from Tofan Grup.

Michelin's bid for the assets of Tofan--the Romanian company that took over most of the state-controlled tire industry after the collapse of communism in 1990--was accepted over competing bids from other international tire manufacturers, according to Nomura International Inc. The merchant banking group holds a "substantial" equity stake in Tofan.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. When it is completed in a few weeks, Michelin will take over passenger tire operations at the Victoria S.A. plant in Floresti, Romania; the Silvania S.A. truck tire factory in Zalau; a Bandag Inc. retread facility in Bucharest; and 20 warehouses. The deal also taps Michelin into Tofan's 2,000-outlet Automaxima retail network.

"The Romanian transport and car sectors are markets with strong potential for development," said Michelin Chairman Edouard Michelin. He said Tofan's Montana passenger and Tofan truck tires control majority market shares in Romania.

Michelin didn't comment on the expected sales volume of Tofan's businesses. Tofan has reported total annual sales of about $200 million for the past few years.

Tofan retains its agricultural and implement tire businesses and plans a major expansion of these, primarily at the Danubiana plant in Bucharest, Nomura said. Tofan was an off-take supplier of farm tires to Finland's Nokian Tyres P.L.C. from 1997 to 1999, but Nokian canceled the contract, citing quality problems.

Michelin's purchase "will further raise the quality of Romanian exports and introduce more competition to the developing domestic tire sector," said Declan Walsh, director of Nomura's merchant banking group.

Nomura will continue as a shareholder in Tofan, along with the Tofan family and six other independent Romanian stakeholders, Nomura said. Nomura got involved with Tofan in 1996 when it arranged $100 million in financing for Tofan's purchases of control of Victoria and Silvania.

Tofan formed in 1991 as a handful of retail stores directed by Gheorghe Tofan. It established a Bandag retread shop in 1993 and bought a share of Danubiana in 1995.

Bruce Davis, Rubber & Plastics News staff, contributed to this report.

10 April 2001

Gelu Tofan bets on bread and communications (Ziarul Financiar)

Gelu Tofan, the owner of Tofan Group, will head towards other activities, such as bakery and agricultural equipment assembling, after Michelin, the world's leader in the field of tyre manufacturing, takes over the largest share of the tyre business developed by Tofan over the past years.
Michelin is to take over Victoria Prahova and Silvania Zalau plants, Tofan Recap, 20 distribution warehouses and the entire network including 2,000 franchised Automaxima points of sale.
The transaction was announced and presented on Friday and the sale contract will be signed over the next weeks. Both Michelin and Tofan representatives announced they would not disclose the transaction value.
Sources close to the negotiations told Ziarul Financiar that the transaction value amounted to 100 million dollars, beside the investments Michelin will run at the Romanian plants.
The seller of the heftiest stake was Japanese investment bank Nomura, through its London-based subsidiary. In 1997, Nomura invested more than 100 million dollars in Tofan by loans and stock take-over. As all financial investors usually do, Nomura decided to get out of the business after several years.
Gelu Tofan, the owner of the Romanian group, still holds the Bucharest-based plant Danubiana, which manufactures tyres for tractors and agricultural machines, the tyre logistics transport business and Rotras plant, which manufactures huge tyres. According to the above-quoted sources, Nomura also holds shares in these businesses.
Gelu Tofan stated that he would further focus on developing the domestic and international transport network, the bakery business Unipan and the satellite communication system.
Moreover, Tofan will develop other three major projects: a plant for agricultural equipment assembling, a Biodiesel fuel plant with an annual capacity of 70,000 tonnes and a network of car and truck fast service to operate 300 stations over the next years.

Cristian Hostiuc

Michelin compra la compania rumana Tofan Group pr 18.600 millones (Cinco Dias)

La compania francesa Michelin comprara la mayoria de las acciones del grupo rumano Tofan, fabricante de cubiertas de este pais. El valor de la transaccion podria situarse en 18.600 millones de pesetas (100 millones de dolares). Michelin adquirira tres de las seis fabricas del grupo Tofan, fundado en 1992 por el rumano Gelu Tofan. Iste se asocio a la compania Nomoura International que contaba a fines del ano passado con un beneficio de explotacion de cerca de 558 millones de pesetas (tres millones de dolares), una cifra de negocio de 37.200 millones de pesetas (alrededor de 200 millones de dolares) y 7.000 trabajadores.

09 April 2001

Gelu Tofan mizeaza pe paine, masini agricole si comunicatii (Ziarul Financiar)

Gelu Tofan, patronul grupului Tofan, se va indrepta spre alte activitati, cum ar fi panificatia si asamblarea de masini agricole, dupa ce Michelin, liderul mondial al anvelopelor, va prelua cea mai mare parte a afacerii cu anvelope dezvolate de Tofan in ultimii ani.

Michelin cumpara de la Tofan fabricile Victoria Prahova, Silvania Zalau, activitatea de resapare - Tofan Recap, 20 depozite du vanzare, precum si intreaga retea de 2000 de puncte de vanzare in franciza - Automaxima.

Tranzactia a fost anuntata si prezentata vineri, iar contractul de preluare a activitatilor Tofan urmeaza sa fie semnat in urmatoarele saptamani. Atat reprezentantii Michelin cat si Tofan au afirmat ca nu vor dezvalui valoarea tranzactiei.

Surse apropiate negocierilor au declarat Ziarului Financiar ca valoarea tranzactiei s-a ridicat la aproape 100 milioane dolari, fara a lua in calcul investitiile pe care Michelin le va face in fabricile din Romania.

Vanzatorul celei mai mari parti din afacere a fost banca de investitii japoneza Nomura, prin filiala de la Londra. Nomura a investit in 1997 peste 100 de milioane de dolari in grupul Tofan, prin acordarea de imprumuturi si preluarea unui pachet de actiuni. Ca orice investitor financiar, Nomura a decis dupa cativa ani sa iasa din afacere.

Gelu Tofan, patronul grupului roman, a ramas din toata afacerea cu anvelope cu fabrica Danubiana din Bucuresti (anvelope pentru tractoare si utilaje agricole), activitatile de transport logistic al pneurilor si cu fabrica Rotrans (anvelope gigant). Conform surselor citate, Nomura mai detine si in aceste afaceri o parte din actiuni.

Gelu Tofan a afirmat ca in continuare se va concentra in continuare pe dezvoltarea retelei de transport auto intern si international, pe activitatea de morarit si panificatie - Unipan, pe sistemul de comunicatii prin satelit.

De asemenea, trei proiecte majore vor fi dezvoltate in viitor de catre grupul Tofan: o uzina de asamblare a masinilor agricole, o uzina de combustibil Biodiesel, cu o capacitate de 70.000 de tone pe an si o retea de service-uri rapide pentru autoturisme si camionete, cu obiectiv de dezvoltare a trei sute de statii in urmatorii trei ani.


Michelin vrea sa dubleze productia in fabricile achizitionate de la Tofan

Sosirea firmei Michelin in Romania si decizia de a se implica in investitii pe piata romaneasca este legata de strategia grupului de a se dezvolta cat mai aproape, intr-o zona geografica cu un real potential de crestere, au anuntat oficialii companiei franceze.

"Sectorul roman al transportului si al automobilelor este o piata cu un puternic potential de dezvoltare. In plus, pneurile Montana pentru autoturisme si Tofan Steel pentru camioane, foarte apreciate de consumatorul roman, reprezinta inca mai mult de jumatate dintr-o piata pe care concurenta va fi din ce in ce mai puternica", a declarat Edouard Michelin, presedintele grupului francez.

Tofan a avut a sfarsitul anului 2000 o cifra de afaceri de 5.365,7 miliarde de lei, cu un profit operational de 70 de miliarde de lei. Grupul detinea 70% din piata romaneasca de anvelope.

Exporturile se derulau in 52 de tari in intreaga lume, iar nivelul lor a crescut considerabil de la 685.255 de pneuri in 1996 la 1.647.962 pneuri in 2000.

Tofan a investit in tehnologie peste 55 milioane dolari, iar in informatizarea sistemului grupului 4 milioane de dolari. Fabricile care faceau parte din grup au fost achizitionate pe parcursul mai multor ani de la FPS.

Acum, activitatile care fac obiectul tranzactiei Michelin-Tofan vor fi reunite in cadrul unei noi companii de tip holding.

Michelin Romania isi propune o productie de 4 milioane de cauciucuri pentru autoturisme, dublu fata de volumul actual, la care se vor adauga 450.000 de anvelope pentru autocamioane, de trei ori mai mult fata de realizarile din acest moment, a declarat Juan Pradera, directorul general Michelin Romania.

Cifra de afaceri a companiei va atinge in 2004, un nivel mai mult decat dublu, respectiv 160 milioane dolari. Principalele parghii care vor fi utilizate pentru atingerea acestor tinte vor fi promovarea unei oferte multi-marci, dezvoltarea profesionista a retelei de distributie, precum si cresterea nivelului de calitate si de productivitate al uzinelor.

Pe termen scurt, Michelin nu va produce cauciucuri cu aceasta marca in Romania. "Noi nu avem pe termen scurt posibilitatea de a fabrica cauciucuri cu marca Michelin in Romania, tinand cont de nivelul tehnicii de aici, dar probabil ca va veni si ziua aceasta", a afirmat Thierry Coudurier, director pentru Europa al grupului Michelin.

Strategia Michelin pentru Romania vizeaza mentinerea grupului Tofan in pozitia de lider al pietei. "Pozitia noastra de lideri pe piata romaneasca trebuie privita in termeni comerciali.

De asemenea, vrem sa profitam de rata de crestere a pietei regionale, de circa 7% pe an, adica dublu fata de piata occidentala", a precizat Coudurier.

Cristian Hostiuc

Rumania - Michelin compra mayor productor rumano de cubiertas, Tofan Group (Spanish Newswire Services)

Bucarest, 9 abr (EFE).- La compania francesa Michelin, lider mundial en la produccion de cubiertas, comprara el paquete mayoritario de acciones del grupo rumano privado Tofan, principal productor de cubiertas de este pais, informa hoy lunes el diario "Ziarul Financiar".

El valor de la transaccion es calculado por fuentes autorizadas en unos cien millones de dolares sin tener en cuenta las futuras inversiones de Michelin, si bien los representantes de las dos companias no han divulgado hasta ahora la cifra.

Michelin compra el paquete mayoritario de acciones de tres de las seis fabricas del grupo Tofan, creado en 1992 por el rumano Gelu Tofan, asociado a la compania Nomoura International Plc y que contaba a fines de 2000 con un beneficio de explotacion de unos tres millones de dolares, una cifra de negocios de 200 millones de dolares y 7.000 trabajadores.

"El inversor frances necesita capacidades productivas, mientras que nosotros necesitamos mercados de venta y acceso al circuito internacional" dijo Gelu Tofan, presidente del grupo rumano.

"Nuestra experiencia y tecnologia contribuiran a mejorar la competencia de las fabricas rumanas" senalo por su parte Edouard Michelin, presidente de la compania francesa.

Las cubiertas Michelin con la inscripcion "made in Romania" estaran destinadas en primer lugar al mercado europeo y al norteamericano, asi como a los automoviles Dacia, producidos en este pais por Renault. EFE

Michelin übernimmt 3 Reifenfabriken (Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung)

Bukarest (ADZ) - Der französische Reifenkonzern Michelin kauft drei Reifenfabriken der rumänischen Tofan-Gruppe. Die Transaktion wurde gestern auf einer Pressekonfefernz bekannt gegeben. Der Michelin-Konzern übernimmt die Mehrheitsbeteiligung an Silvania SA Zalåu (LKW-Reifen), Victoria SA Floresti (PKW-Reifen) und Tofan Recap (Rundumerneuerung), indem er die 49 Prozent Anteile der Investmentgruppe Nomura International Pcl. an den drei Fabriken sowie das Aktienpaket von Gelu Tofan, Vorsitzender der Tofan Gruppe, erwirbt. 1997 hatte Nomura 100 Millionen US-Dollar für die 49 Prozent Tofan-Aktien bezahlt. Die Tofan-Gruppe entstand 1992 als 100-prozentig rumänische Gesellschaft, einige Reifenfabriken wurden vom Staatseigentumsfonds (FPS) gekauft, andere wiederum gebaut. Im vergangenen Jahr 2000 erwirtschaftete die Gruppe 75 Milliarden Lei Gewinn bei einem Umsatz von 5000 Milliarden Lei. Continental war bislang der einzige ausländische Reifenkonzern, der in Rumänien produzierte. In die Reifenfabrik (eine Greenfield-Investition) in Temeswar/Timisoara investierte der deutsche Hersteller bislang 120 Millionen DM. Bis Ende 2002 soll das Investitionsvolumen auf 200 Millionen DM steigen. Continental produziert in Temeswar vor allem für den Export.

06 April 2001

Pe cauciucurile Tofan scrie de astazi Michelin (Ziarul Financiar)

Grupul Tofan, cel mai mare producator de anvelope din Romania, va anunta astazi in cadrul unei conferinte de presa, finalizarea negocierilor cu compania franceza Michelin si semnarea unui contract de vanzare a pachetului majoritar de actiuni la trei din cele sase fabrici de anvelope aflate in proprietatea companiei romanesti.

Producatorul de anvelope pentru camioane Silvania Zalau, de anvelope de autoturisme Victoria Floresti si fabrica de pneuri resapate Tofan Recap vor fi vandute pentru o valoare care nu a fost data inca publicitatii, spun surse din piata.
Michelin va cumpara pe de o parte pachetul de 49% din actiuni detinut de investitorul financiar Nomura International Plc la cele trei fabrici, dar si un pachet de actiuni detinut de presedintele grupului, Gelu Tofan. In urma acestei tranzactii, Michelin va detine pachetul de control la cele trei fabrici de anvelope.

In 1997, Nomura a platit 100 milioane de dolari pentru 49% din actiunile intregului holding, astfel ca respectivul investitor va continua sa ramana actionar la celelalte divizii ale grupului.

Oficialii Tofan Group au refuzat sa comenteze informatia privind vanzarea celor trei fabrici, dar au anuntat ca vor face declaratii astazi, in cadrul unei conferinte de presa.

Tofan Grup a reusit sa cumpere recent prin doua oferte publice desfasurate pe piata Rasdaq, actiuni ale Victoria Prahova si Silvania Zalau in valoare de 125 miliarde de lei (aproximativ 5 milioane de dolari n.r.).

Grupul Tofan este o companie romaneasca cu capital integral privat creata in 1992 de catre Gelu Tofan. Fabricile de anvelope care fac parte din grup au fost unele achizitionate de la Fondul Proprietatii de Stat, altele construite, in 1996,1997 si 2000.

In anul 2000, profitul din exploatare a fost de aproape 75 miliarde de lei la o cifra de afaceri de peste 5.000 miliarde de lei. In momentul de fata, grupul are 7.000 de angajati.

Michelin incearca sa castige "suprematia" anvelopelor

Compania franceza Michelin este considerat in acest moment pe primul loc in topul productorilor mondiali de anvelope, dar lupta este extrem de stransa cu principalul concurent, Bridgestone-Japonia. Bridgestone a avut anul trecut mari probleme intrucat vehiculele echipate cu anvelopele produse de aceasta companie au suferit mai multe accidente. Comisiile care au anchetat cazul au afirmat ca anvelopele au fost cauza accidentelor.

Piata mondiala de anvelope este extrem de concentrata, competitia fiind foarte stransa. Valoarea pietei este estimata la 70 miliarde de dolari, cu un ritm de crestere anual de 2-3%.

Afacerea anvelopelor este dominata de trei mari jucatori (Michelin, Bridgestone si Goodyear-Japonia) care detin 60% din piata mondiala. Patru jucatori de talie mijlocie detin 17% - Sumitomo-Japonia, Continental-Germania, Pirelli-Italia, Yokohama-Japonia. Restul pietei (23%) apartine unor producatori mici. Principalele piete pentru lideri sunt Europa-Michelin, America de Nord-Goodyear si Asia-Bridgestone.

In ultimii 20 de ani, 50% din cele mai mari companii producatoare de anvelope au disparut. Michelin a achizitionat BF Goodrich si Uniroyal, Bridgestone a cumparat Firestone, Continental a preluat General, iar Goodyear a inghitit Dunlop.

Conform unor analize, Michelin are nevoie de noi capacitati de productie, avand in vedere cresterea cererii de anvelope.

Acesta este si unul dintre motivele pentru care a achizitionat producatorul roman, Tofan. Compania romaneasca se afla pe locul 34 in lume, fiind un important jucator in zona. Din Romania, Michelin ar dori sa exporte 80% din productie. De asemenea, compania franceza intentioneaza sa devina principalul furnizor al lui Renault, pentru echiparea masinilor Dacia.

Tofan a pierdut destul de mult in ultimii ani in echiparea masinilor Dacia. Pe acest lucru s-a interpus si caderea economiei romanesti, care a afectat grupul Tofan. Grupul german Continental este al doilea producator de pe piata romaneasca. Mai intai, Continental a venit cu importuri, pentru ca din 1999 sa inceapa constructia de la zero a unei fabrici la Timisoara.

Michelin, o istorie a inovatiei

1832Doi veri, Aristide Barbier si Nicolas Edouard Daubree incep, in localitatea franceza Clermont-Ferrant o afacere de productie de utilaje agricole si pompe industriale. Constienti de viitorul cauciucului vulcanizat, ei incep sa foloseasca fabrica pentru productia de valve, garnituri etc.

28 mai 1889Infiintarea Michelin. Edouard Michelin, asistat de fratele sau Andre Michelin, preia fabrica creata de bunicul lor, Aristide Barbier. Edouard Michlein a fost, practic, cel care a transformat mica fabrica locala intr-un grup international. El a fost managerul companiei 51 de ani, timp in care compania a ajuns la 25.000 de angajati.

1891Edouard Michelin, inspirat de un biciclist care a venit sa isi repare rotile la fabrica din Clermont-Ferrant, se gandeste sa inceapa productia de anvelope care sa poata fi montate si demontate. O luna mai tarziu Michelin cere patentul pentru inventie.

1895Aparitia automobilului. Datorita cauciucurilor, pe atunci rigide, motoarele si performantele masinilor erau contestate puternic in lumea afacerilor. Pentru prima data in istoria lumii si a automobilului, Michelin echipeaza cu anvelope pneumatice o masina proiectata si produsa chiar de el.

1898Nasterea lui Bibendum, mascota Michelin. Bibendum devine simbolul inconfundabil al companiei si contribuie la promovarea grupului pe plan international

1899"Never Happy", un automobil echipat cu anvelope Michelin, "sparge" bariera simbolica de 100 de km/ora.

1903 Lansarea primei anvelope Michelin pentru motociclete

1906Incepe expansiunea mondiala a Michelin. Prima fabrica Michelin in exteriorul Frantei este construita la Torino, in timp ce la Londra este deschisa reprezentanta "Michelin Tyre Co Ltd."

1908Fabrica Milltown din Statele Unite produce primele anvelope Michelin in America de Nord. In acealsi an, constienti de potentialul industriei aviatiei fratii Michelin lanseaza doua concursuri de aviatie anuale, cu premii de 100.000 si 20.000 de franci.

1910 Michelin iese pe piata cu o alta inovatie: prima harta auto

1910 -1940 Compania se extinde din ce in ce ma mult la nivel mondial, deschizandu-si capacitati de productie in Europa si America de Sud

1938Apare "Metalic", prima anvelopa care combina cauciucul cu firele de otel. Cu o rezistenta sporita, marca este predecesoare anvelopelor radiale

4 iunie 1946 Anvelopele radiale, considerate o adevarat revolutie in domeniu, sunt patentate de Michelin. Aceasta ii va oferi grupului un avantaj competitiv fata de concurenta pentru urmatorii 30 de ani

1955-1969 Grupul isi deschide 15 noi fabrici in toata lumea. Michelin ajunge la 81.000 de angajati.

1969-2000Michelin isi continua expansiunea mondiala, ajungand la o cota de 19,4% din piata internationala de profil si la 130.000 de angajati

2000 Bibendum, mascota Michelin, este desemnat cel mai bun logo al secolului

Dragos Nedelcu , Laurentiu Ispir

Starting today, Tofan tyres read Michelin (Ziarul Financiar)

Tofan Group, the leading tyre maker in Romania, today will hold a press conference to announce the completion of negotiations with French company Michelin and the signing of a contract to sell controlling interests in three of its six tyre factories.

Truck tyre maker Silvania Zalau, car tyre maker Victoria Floresti and recapped pneumatic tyre maker Tofan Recap will be sold for an yet undisclosed sum, according to market sources.
Michelin will buy the 49% stake that financial investor Nomura International Plc holds in the three factories, as well as a stake held by the president of the group Gelu Tofan. The transaction will leave Michelin holding the controlling interests in the three tyre factories.

In 1997, Nomura paid $100 million for 49% in the entire holding, so that it will keep holding a stake in the other divisions of the group.

Tofan Group officials declined to comment on the information about the sale of the three factories, but announced they would have a statement prepared for the news conference today.

Tofan Group has recently bought stakes worth 125bn lei (about $5 million) in Victoria Prahova and Silvania Zalau in two public offerings run through RASDAQ.

Tofan Group is an entirely private held Romanian company set up by Gelu Tofan in 1992. The tyre factories part of the group have either been bought from the State Ownership Fund, or built in 1996, 1997 and 2000.

Operating profit in 2000 reached nearly 75bn lei against turnover in excess of 5,000 billion lei. The group is currently employing 7,000 people.

France-based Michelin is considered to be the world's number one tyre maker with Japan's Bridgestone breathing down its neck. Bridgestone had its handful of trouble last year because of the many accidents involving the vehicles geared with Bridgestone tyres. The commission that investigated the accidents blamed them on tyres.

The world tyre market is highly concentrated with an extremely tight competition. Its value is estimated at $70bn with an annual growth pace of 2-3%.

Tyre business worldwide is run by three big players (Michelin, Bridgestone and Goodyear, Japan), holding 60% of the market. Four medium players hold 17%: Sumitomo (Japan), Continental (Germany), Pirelli (Italy) and Yokohama (Japan). The rest of the market, standing at 23%, is divided among small producers.

The main markets of the leaders are Europe (Michelin), North America (Goodyear) and Asia (Bridgestone).

Over the past 20 years, 50% of the leading tyre makers have vanished. Michelin bought BF Goodrich and Uniroyal, Bridgestone bought Firestone, Continental took over General and Goodyear engulfed Dunlop.

Dragos Nedelcu , Laurentiu Ispir

Tofan Trans reports turnover of over 20 billion lei for first quarter (Mediafax)

BUCHAREST, Apr 6 (MEDIAFAX) - Tofan Trans registered a turnover of over 20 billion lei for the first quarter of 2001 and expects to exceed 100 billion lei by the end of year, managing director Ion Marin told MEDIAFAX.

This year the company intends to buy about 50 vehicles (auto-tractors, trailers and semitrailers) to enlarge the fleet currently comprising about 180 motor vehicles (60 for international traffic and 120 for national traffic).

Tofan Trans registered a turnover of approximately 70 billion lei last year. The company has widened its business area with a unit providing maintenance services for every type of motor vehicles and bought motor vehicles for transport of perishable products.

"Tofan Trans reports turnover of over 20 billion lei for first quarter." Mediafax Economic Service 6 April 2001.