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Rompetrol reportedly expanding into France

Romanian oil group Rompetrol is reportedly moving into the French retail market through establishing the first Rompetrol-branded filling station in the region, according to PetrolPlaza.

The station is expected to be on a highway in France. PetrolPlaza, an Internet portal, tailored exactly to the needs of the Retail Petroleum Business, also reported that Rompetrol has earmarked future retail locations, which will be in under-served areas. The publication cited a Rompetrol representative as saying that hypermarkets control 35% of the French fuel retail market. The company hopes to win customers by focusing on the areas where hypermarkets have not penetrated the market.

Although Rompetrol recently acquired France’s largest independent petroleum operator, Dyneff, a move that furnished it with more than 200 filling stations, PetrolPlaza reported that the retail unit of the company was a relatively insignificant part of the acquisition. As a result, Rompetrol is still looking to properly establish itself on the French retail market. According to PetrolPlaza, the success of Rompetrol’s move depends on the reception that French consumers give the company’s brand.

"For now, we are just testing out the brand in France," said Eric Kish, marketing and retail vice-president with the Rompetrol group, cited in PetrolPlaza. The site revealed that Rompetrol intends to set aside E1 million in 2007 for the re-branding of five petrol stations in France. The industry publication also reported that Rompetrol is looking to enter the Serbian and Ukrainian markets in 2007. (