“In 2009, when we entered the Romanian market, the ceramic tiles segment was expected to fall 30%. Producers and distributors were caught with excess stock in the supply chain. Nonetheless, we brought new products and we reached our annual revenues target for 2009”, Catalin Rotaru, country manager KAI Romania told NewsIn.

Notwithstanding the 5-10% drop forecast for 2010, KAI Romania plans to increase revenues by 50%.

Catalin Rotaru said in September that the local ceramic tile market value was estimated at €210-240 million in 2009, 20-30% below 2008-levels, with modest decline in terms of volume due to the decrease in tile prices. Rotaru added the demand in Romania was 75% covered from imports, versus ten years ago when ceramic tiles demand was 70% met from the national production.

KAI Romania, fully-owned subsidiary of global manufacturer of ceramic tiles and glazed and unglazed porcelain tiles, joined the Romanian market in spring 2009. The company was predicting revenues of €8-10 million for 2009.

KAI Group, one of the largest ceramic tiles producers in Eastern Europe was acquired in 2007 by Advent International. The US-based buyout fund holds 70% interest in the company. KAI has two production centers in Bulgaria in which it invested more than €40 million.

Nearly 50% of the wall and floor tiles production is exported to 19 European countries, such as UK, France, Germany, Italy and Romania.