Croatian Orbico Group Takes Over Large European e-Commerce Platform

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the owner of the Croatian Orbica Group, Branko Roglic, confirmed this recently, adding that this record achievement is simultaneously accompanied by integrative processes that have affected the entire system this year.

In all 20 countries in which Orbico operates, the integration of the group’s components has been carried out, so that the business is run by over 20 companies on the principle of one company in each country, instead of the 47 that previously operated within Orbico.

Although the structure of sales is changing with the movements of the coronavirus pandemic, with e-commerce reigning strong and standing at around 10 percent for Orbico, trade isn’t slowing down either. The growing trend of demand for all types of goods is met by the transformation of business through the processes of digitalisation and robotisation, including investments in logistics.

Over the past five or six years, the Croatian Orbico Group has practically doubled its revenue, and today, as Roglic himself points out, they’re the second largest Croatian company (after Fortenova), as well as in terms of total revenues, as in 2020 they even exceeded INA by 4 billion kuna.

They ended the first pandemic year at 18.2 billion kuna (about 2.5 billion euros) in revenue, with the growth trend, which normally ranges from 5 to 10 percent per year, continuing. According to the business plan for this year, the level of total revenues is set at a record three billion euros, and Roglic says that the realisation so far confirms that the Orbico Group will fulfill their target with no issue.

“We’re growing the most in the market of Romania, where the revenue is around 750 million euros, and Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and of course here in Croatia. But Orbico’s recipe for success in all markets is the same – it’s a move away from politics and a commitment to engaging in clean business with a focus on employee satisfaction. Politics “feeds” on the surplus value that business people create and thus reduces the possibility of the development of the company, as well as society as a whole,” explained Roglic, adding that the generator of progress is the surplus value created by companies with their employees, preferably at the lowest cost possible.

Plans for further expansion into new markets include the market of Azerbaijan, and as far as acquisition-based growth is concerned, the plan is to take over a strong European digital e-commerce platform. Obviously, the next target for the Croatian Orbico Group is to strengthen their share of online sales, which has been flourishing during the pandemic, and Roglic has since announced the purchase of a large distribution company that has strong activities on online platforms. This is planned to be done in 2022, which would bring Orbico’s share of online traffic to a mark which will exceed 20 percent.

They’re also expanding their logistics capacities with constant investments, with a low indebtedness rate (1 percent EBITDA), and this year they have joined new logistics centres in Poland and Bulgaria with investments of around 25 million each kuna, with their warehouses covering areas of around 200,000 m2.

Next week, Roglic will travel to Bulgaria himself to open a new logistics centre near Sofia, with a strategic emphasis placed on the process of the automation and robotisation of the logistics services. A new logistics centre spanning 23,000 m3 has already been opened in Poland this year, which is also automated and robotised entirely.

“When it comes to our new projects, the focus will be placed on cooperation with developers who are building new logistics capacities, while through the lease, we pay for the investment and with the expiration of the contracted lease we can extend or take over the centre,” explained Roglic.

The Croatian Orbico Group’s tender for the construction of a logistics centre that will cover the needs of both Croatia and neighbouring Slovenia is underway in Zagreb, and will emerge according to the aforementioned model. It will be their fifth logistics centre and will be worth about 20 million euros in total.

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