KeysFin Analysis: American success coded in Romania. IT, among the most profitable investment sectors for US companies present   in Romania

KeysFin Analysis: American success coded in Romania. IT, among the most profitable investment sectors for US companies present in Romania

The IT industry ranks 1st in the top of the most profitable investment for local US companies, the net profit summed value generated by leading companies including international giants such as Microsoft, Stefanini, Amazon, or Adobe, being over 25.8 million euro

However, the net profit is about 7.5%, based on a total turnover of about 347 million Euros made by IT & C companies in 2017, and about 34% of the total profit of US companies present on the local level, worth 76 million euros.

"The IT sector in Romania has been booming in recent years, and US companies, globally recognized for their rapid ability to see business opportunities, have contributed greatly to this success. We begin to see the results of their strategy to involve Romanian employees in large-scale projects, but we believe that the potential of this industry has not yet been reached, so the coming years will certainly bring higher returns on US investment in Romania in the IT sector " said Roxana Popescu, Managing Director of KeysFin, one of the leading providers of business information solutions in Romania.

The total turnover of the companies controlled directly, mostly by investors from the United States, was around 1.4 billion euros in 2017, which means that the IT industry also accounts for about 30% of all direct investments made by US companies present in Romania.

Increasing importance of IT sector can be correlated with recent qualitative study conducted by AmCham among its members, according to which US investors believe that performance achieved in Romania is due to digital infrastructure (52%) and human capital (50%).

Trade attract US investors alike

The top of the largest direct-ownership companies, mostly American, based on turnover in 2017, consists of CARGILL AGRICULTURA SRL (490,2 million euros), MARS ROMANIA SRL (108 million euros) and MICROSOFT ROMANIA SRL (69 million euro).

Thus, US companies with business in trade dominate the top depending on the turnover recorded locally, trade representing about 50% of the total turnover of the companies controlled directly, mostly by US investors (685.8 million, 48.3% of the total).

The net profit of the majority-US direct-equity companies was nearly 76 million euros, with the most profitable sectors being IT & C, trade and professional activities, which in 2017 generated net profits of nearly 50 million euros (65% of the total).

According to the methodology of the National Bank of Romania, we have an overall increase in foreign direct investment in Romania of 77% since EU accession, to 75.9 billion euros in 2017, and 91% of the amounts in the United States, slightly above 1.1 billion in the same period.

Moreover, according to the National Institute of Statistics, the United States is the 13th state, depending on the value of Romania's exports, with an advance of almost 123% (more than doubling), to 1.3 billion euro in 2018.

Imports from the United States also grew by 30% compared to 2007 to almost 900 million in 2018.

Correlation of these data shows that Romania has registered a trade surplus of 432 million euros in 2018 with the United States, being the fifth largest in the list of countries with which Romania has trade surpluses, after the United Kingdom, France, Egypt and Norway.

The impact of US direct investment in the economy

According to the data published by the companies at the Ministry of Public Finance, out of over 1700 companies holding a US share, about 930 have a direct, majority share (over 50%).

From the territorial-administrative perspective, most American companies prefer the Capital, where they have a turnover of over 1 billion euros (72% of the total), followed by Cluj (122 million euros, 8.6% of the total) and Ilfov (65 million euros, 4.6% of the total).

Companies controlled by US investors had over 14.4 thousand employees in 2017, and staff costs amounted to 352.6 million euros in the same year. The average cost per employee was 24.4 thousand euros, while average productivity per employee was 98.5 thousand euros (cost / productivity ratio of 24.8%) in 2017.

When it comes to taxes paid, taking into account the amount of corporation tax, insurance and social security costs, as well as other taxes, taxes and similar payments, the contribution of these companies to the state budget was almost 90 million in 2017.

The Romanian IT, successful on the entire code line

In 2017, the turnover of local companies with foreign or domestic ownership, but with IT activity, was 4.9 billion euros, over the past 10 years it grew by almost 150%, according to a study conducted by KeysFin last December.

According to KeysFin statistics, in 2017 more than 106,000 IT employees in Romania were active in Romania, but even this value does not cover the need for specialists in the field, which is much higher. Annually, about 7,000 graduates from the universities' banks, who fail to supplement the annual growth of companies in the industry.

The top cities in which IT employees operate are: Bucharest, Iasi and Cluj, this top being similar to the top cities in which American companies are present on the Romanian market: Microsoft and Stefanini in Bucharest, Amazon in Iasi, and the list can keep going.

On the other hand, Romanian companies are encouraged to invest in America: recently, there was a move that included Romanian entrepreneurs with the potential to open offices in the United States of America. Thus, representatives of 20 local companies, including Uipath, Zitec and Tremend, have taken part in an economic mission to promote Romanian IT & C products in the US, having business meetings with US investors.