The Slovenia Times

Petrol looking to become leading fuel retailer in Croatia


Zagreb - Nada Drobne Popović, the CEO of energy group Petrol, has told the Croatian newspaper Večernji List that, following last year's takeover of Crodux, Petrol aims to become the leading provider of motor fuels in the Croatian market. She projects that sales in Croatia will exceed those in Slovenia by 2025.

With the acquisition of the Croatian chain of petrol stations, the Slovenian group has become the second largest provider in Croatia in terms of the number of service stations, and has taken the leading position in the region overall.

In an interview with Večernji List, published on Monday, Drobne Popović noted that Petrol currently had 593 petrol stations in South-Eastern Europe, with the number planned to be increased to 627 in line with the latest strategy.

Petrol has acquired 93 Crodux petrol stations, and it currently operates 202 petrol stations in the country. "With last year's acquisition of Crodux, our market share in Croatia increased from 12% to 23%, and we are currently ranked second."

This is our largest acquisition in the last decade and it is also the largest one-off expansion of the retail network," Drobne Popović said, adding that Petrol felt great responsibility although it was a foreign company in Croatia.

"It means something that we are neighbours, after all," added the Petrol CEO in what is her first major interview with the Croatian media.

Drobne Popović also discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Petrol's operations and the group's future plans, saying that, for instance, sales had halved in the second quarter of 2020 as a majority of countries had restricted movement.

"Although we did not achieve the planned goals by the end of 2020, the situation forced us to make some positive changes. We started reorganising and optimizing costs, which made us fitter," she added.

As for business strategy, she noted that Petrol was the leading energy company in Slovenia, and the goal was to improve the market position in other countries where the group was present - Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.

The strategy focuses on the expansion of core business in the region, energy transition encouraged with major investments, and optimisation of costs and business processes.

The incorporation of Crodux into the Petrol group has been taking place since last November last year, and this will be followed by a merger with the core company Petrol, which is expected to take place by the end of the year.

"We continue our presence in the Croatian market with both recognised brands: Petrol and Crodux. Our key guideline is to transfer the successful business model established in Slovenia to the Croatian market," Drobne Popović said.

Petrol, which has 6,295 employees following the acquisition of Crodux, of whom 2,324 in Croatia, wants to become the leading provider of motor fuels and sustainable energy solutions in Croatia by 2025.

"We have assessed that the volume of business in Croatia in 2025 will exceed that in Slovenia," the Petrol CEO concluded.


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