Home Business Romi, a giant in capital goods, faces hard times

Romi, a giant in capital goods, faces hard times


Romi begun 80 years ago as a small company in the interior of the State of São Paulo but today it is one of the largest machine tool companies in Latin America, with a turnover of 586 million reais (169 million dollars) in 2016, 155,000 installed equipment in more than 60 countries and 11 factories – nine in Brazil and two in Germany – which employ more than 1,750 employees worldwide. “We can not say that we work with a specific sector,” explains Luiz Cassiano, its CEO. “If the agricultural sector is going well and needs equipment, we are there, if it is the oil industry, also, if it is the aerospace, the same.”

The company mainly has three lines of business: construction and molding of precision metal parts, machine tools for the manufacture of these parts, and molding equipment for plastics and resins. “We work with the automotive industry, but not with the big companies, which, as the name suggests, are more automakers than manufacturers,” says Cassiano. “We sell to small and medium suppliers.”

But the economic crisis in Brazil –  whose GDP has fallen for eight consecutive quarters – and the mere changes in production processes have hit hard on the firm’s bottom line, which ended in 2016 with worrying figures: a fall of 3, 5% in turnover and a negative ebitda of 44.4 million reais (12.8 million dollars). Since the Brazilian economy began to show signs of weakness in 2014, the company has reduced its workforce by at least three occasions. (By Thiago Ferrer Morini)


Full story (El País, in Spanish)