21 Sep Tulea, Crescendo: We would have done it worse if we were dependent on contracts with the state
Companies are reluctant to start large-scale projects and prefer to focus on acquiring equipment and services to better optimize existing ones, said ZF Marius Tulea, general manager of Crescendo’s IT services, solutions and applications provider, with businesses worth 18.4 million euros last year.
“As the crisis deepened, customers did not invest in major projects, but preferred to deal with the current ones and sustain them. The trend is sustained, “said Tulea, 43, who has been CEO of CRESCENDO for 11 years. The company recorded a 6% decrease in turnover last year from 19.6 million euros in 2008 to 18.4 million euros last year, but an increase in lei from 72 million lei to 78 million lei (Romanian Currency). Tulea explained that this increase was due to the fact that there were several projects with a large share of services. The company also recorded a profit increase of 1.8 million euros last year from 1.3 million euros a year earlier.
CRESCENDO offers services such as project management or IT outsourcing, but also enterprise resource management (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. As far as contracts with the state are concerned, Tulea claims that they represent less than 5% of the company’s business. “Even in our good years the state contracts did not exceed 15%. If we were focused on the relationship with the state, we would have made it harder,” he said. According to CRESCENDO’s General Manager, at this moment there are very few contracts in the public environment and there are no investments in important projects. He said that in the first semester the company’s business was down compared to the same period last year, without giving more details.
The company now has 93 employees and plans to hire up to five people. “We want to engage in the commercial field, we are interested in people who are able to promote our products,” Tulea said. He added that, mainly, the company does not plan massive hiring, but to organize the current structure. “We’re trying to focus on customer relationships, we’re focusing on helping them better optimize their costs.” That’s the trend, “says Tulea.
Regarding the local software and services market, Tulea said this year is more difficult than last year and the return depends very much on the last quarter of the year. The local IT and software market last year was estimated at 550 million euros. CRESCENDO’s CEO added that the exit from the crisis will most likely occur in the autumn next year.
CRESCENDO’s main competitors on local market are S & T Romania, with last year’s turnover of 48 million euros, IBM or HP. The two last almost doubled last year’s net profit for operations in Romania, according to data submitted by companies to the Trade Register. HP increased its net profit by 71 percent, to a record high of 9.3 million euros, while IBM retained its revenue but had a net profit of 8.8 million euros, up 120 %.
Article published in printed edition of Ziarului Financiar in 21.09.2010