“2008 was the most profitable year for Kraft Foods Romania so far. We recorded double-digit increase in revenues, due to the solid brands we have under management. The market share increased across the board and it was a good year in terms of profit as well”, said Lachlan Grave (photo), managing director of the company.

2009 will be a difficult and challenging year not only in terms of sales but also from the standpoint of the consumers.

“All product categories slowed down their growth pace. But despite the grim economic conditions, we are confident we will continue to grow but at a slower pace. If last year, the chocolate industry accelerated 20%, now we stand at merely 5%. We see the remainder of the year under a shroud of uncertainty. The key is flexibility”, said Grave.

As for the chocolate and coffee manufacturing facility in Brasov, the company said the first round of layoffs took place mid this year, and said it planned to close it by year end or early in 2010 and to relocate it to Bulgaria.

“Of all the 436 employees, 169 were included in the first round. Currently, 20% still seek a job, and the remaining have already found one or retired”, said Kraft Foods Romania.