Business news from Ukraine

OKKO plans to build biodiesel plant – Danyliak

OKKO is planning to build a biodiesel plant after the bioethanol plant, said Vasyl Danyliak, CEO of the group.

“Over the past two years, we have been working on building a biofuel processing strategy, and we have made good progress in this regard. At the end of last year, we approved the concept of our bioethanol plant… And now we have a biodiesel plant in development,” he said during the Money for Victory forum organized by Forbes Ukraine.

Danyliak said that preparatory work has already begun for the construction of a bioethanol plant in Ternopil region with an annual production capacity of 83,000 tons within two years.

He explained that the group’s entry into crop production is due to the need to partially provide its own raw materials. “With the construction of the bioethanol and biodiesel plants, we will be a very large consumer of raw materials from crop production,” the CEO said.

In addition, according to him, the recent purchase of stakes in a number of enterprises also includes livestock (cowsheds), which will allow OKKO to produce biomethane.

As reported, in mid-May 2024, the AMCU granted permits to the holding company of OKKO Group, GNG Retail Limited (Cyprus), to purchase shares in Gadz-Agro LLC with a land bank of 25 thousand hectares and Ukrpolfrukt LLC (both in Ternopil region), majority owned by businessman Petro Gadz.

“Gadz-Agro currently leases about 25 thousand hectares located in one area in three districts of Ternopil region. The company is engaged in the production and sale of basic and certified seeds, cultivation and storage of grain and industrial crops, their trade, production of flour and cereals, and breeding of dairy cattle.

“Ukrpolfrukt specializes in growing berries, nuts, pome and stone fruits, fruit trees and shrubs, and nursery farming.

OKKO Group unites more than 10 diversified businesses in production, trade, construction, insurance, maintenance and other services. The flagship company of the group is Galnaftogaz, which operates one of the largest filling stations in Ukraine under the OKKO brand, with about 400 filling stations.

The group’s founder and ultimate beneficiary is Vitaliy Antonov.


OKKO plans to install solar panels at 70 more filling stations in 2024

By the end of December 2023, the OKKO chain installed solar panels at 122 filling stations, its founder Vitaliy Antonov said.

“In total, solar power plants (with the previously installed ones, we already have 122 of them) this year generated 2 million kWh of electricity and partially covered the needs of filling stations. We also reduced the load on the country’s energy system,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

According to him, in 2023, solar panels were installed at 56 OKKO filling stations, and next year it is planned to install them at 70 more stations. “In other words, we will cover almost 50% of the entire network,” Antonov said.

As reported, in 2022, 65 rooftop solar power plants in the OKKO network generated a total of 1.7 million kWh of electricity, saving the company more than UAH 7 million on energy purchases from external sources.

OKKO filling stations network is a part of OKKO Group. It is one of the largest filling stations networks in Ukraine, with about 400 filling stations.

The majority shareholder of the company is Vitaliy Antonov. Minority shareholders include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).


Fuel trade, energy, tuton: which companies became the leaders of Ukrainian wholesale during the great war?

How has the full-scale war changed the top 10 Ukrainian wholesalers?

According to the Opendatabot Index, almost half of the top 10 most successful Ukrainian wholesalers are businesses that trade in solid, liquid, gaseous fuels and similar products.

The top 10 of the Index in the wholesale trade sector includes Okko, WOG, West Petrol Market (fuel) and DTEK Trading, which trades in energy products. The list also includes businesses that sell tobacco (Tedis Ukraine and Philip Morris Sales and Distribution). Only two companies on the list sell food: MHP (meat) and Kernel Trade (grain). The Index also includes Optima Pharm and Metinvest-SMC. Together, these businesses earned UAH 458.95 billion last year.

For the second year in a row, Kernel Trade, a part of Andriy Verevsky’s Kernel Group, has been the unchanging leader in wholesale trade. In 2022, the company’s revenue amounted to UAH 67.92 billion, down 21% compared to 2021 (UAH 85.79 billion).

OKKO (Vitaliy Antonov, Universal Investment Group – UIG) moved up to the 2nd position in the ranking with revenue of UAH 67.29 billion. The company’s earnings grew 1.6 times year-on-year in 2022.

Tedis Ukraine, a tobacco company owned by Borys Kaufman, rounds out the top 3. Last year, the company increased its revenue by 7% and earned UAH 64.95 billion. It is worth noting that at the same time, the revenue of another company in the Index that specializes in tobacco wholesale, Philip Morris Sales and Distribution (the Ukrainian branch of the international tobacco manufacturer Phillip Morris International), decreased by 15% in 2022.

Yuriy Kosyuk’s MHP ranks fourth in the Index. This company specializes in the wholesale of meat and meat products. Its revenue in 2022 amounted to UAH 46.73 billion and remained almost unchanged compared to 2021 (UAH 46 billion).

Andriy Gubsky’s Optima Farm took fifth place in the list. In 2022, the company’s revenues decreased by 4% to UAH 44.34 billion.

DTEK Trading, owned by Rinat Akhmetov, saw the largest revenue increase – 1.8 times over the year. The company’s revenue of UAH 36.68 billion allowed it to rise from 18th place in the 2021 ranking to 7th in the 2022 ranking.

But another Akhmetov company in the top 10, Metinvest-SMC, saw its revenues decline by 42% (2021 – UAH 51.39 billion, 2022 – UAH 29.86 billion),

Who did the full-scale war push out of the top 10 Ukrainian wholesalers?
It is worth noting that in 2022, the top 10 Ukrainian wholesalers underwent significant changes compared to 2021.

Last year, 2 companies specializing in energy trading dropped out of the list.
We are talking about United Energy, a company associated with Kolomoisky, which was the second largest earner in the country before the outbreak of full-scale war. Last year, United Energy earned 3.6 times less revenue than in 2021 (UAH 17.24 billion) and lost 19 rating points.

Chemical Trade (owned by Dmitry Firtash) also did not make it to the top. Having reduced its revenue by 1.4 times, the company dropped to the 12th position in the ranking.

Also, two businesses specializing in grain wholesale dropped out of the top ten:
– Nibulon (Andriy Vadatursky) and Nibulon (Andriy Vadatursky). The company’s revenues last year decreased 2.7 times by 2021, and a significant share of its facilities and equipment is still under occupation.
– ADM-Ukraine (a subsidiary of the international agro-industrial corporation Archer Daniels Midland Company): their revenue decreased by 1.5 times by 2021.
It is worth noting that the total revenue of the top 10 wholesale companies in 2022 decreased by 10% compared to the top 10 in 2021.

The OpenDataBot Index is an analytical tool for assessing the real situation and geography of Ukrainian business, based on data from state registers, OpenDataBot registers, financial statements of companies, information on relations with Russia, sanctions lists, and other analytical tools of OpenDataBot.

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OKKO network has installed solar panels at more than 100 filling stations

As of the beginning of October, the OKKO network has installed solar panels at more than 100 filling stations, and construction work is underway at several more.

OKKO’s press service reminded that the panels are placed on the roofs of the operator’s filling stations and allow them to compensate for part of the electricity costs for their own needs.

In 2023, in particular, 14 new solar power plants were installed at stations in Lviv region, and another six in Vinnytsia, Zakarpattia and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

In total, solar power plants with a capacity of 15 to 50 kW generate electricity at OKKO filling stations in 15 regions of Ukraine.

The total amount of investments that the company has allocated for the construction of rooftop solar power plants in 2023 will be about UAH 40 million.

In 2022, 65 rooftop SPPs in the OKKO network generated a total of 1.7 million kWh of electricity, saving the company more than UAH 7 million on energy purchases from external sources.

OKKO filling stations network is a part of OKKO Group. It is one of the largest filling stations networks in Ukraine, with about 400 filling stations.

The majority shareholder of the company is Vitaliy Antonov. Minority shareholders include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).


“OKKO” plans to launch new projects in autumn

OKKO Group (OKKO Group) plans to start practical implementation of an agro-processing plant expansion project and a renewable “green” energy project worth about $120 million and $200 million respectively in western Ukraine in the fall of 2023, CEO Vasyl Danilyak said.
“We have not abandoned the large projects with large investments that we had previously planned. We are continuing them. We want to start a big agro-processing project this fall,” – he said in “Business Dialogue” in Kiev on Thursday, organized by NV Media Holding.
Danylyak specified that in 2021-2022 this agrarian project, which is directly related to the business of the group, had been working with consultants, Ukrainian and international projectors, and it has not yet required investment.
CEO specified that geographically the enterprise is located in Ternopil region, where “OKKO” previously had a huge production site and managed to transform it for this project.
According to him, the renewable “green” energy project was bought from partners at the Ready To Build stage.
“Geographical “stops” for investments we have set ourselves, geographical safety we want to get,” Danilyak explained the choice of western Ukraine for the implementation of these projects.
OKKO Group includes more than 10 diversified businesses in manufacturing, trade, construction, insurance, services and other services. The agricultural business unit “OKKO-Agrotrade” and the concern “Khlibprom” work in the sphere of agriculture. The flagship company of the group is Concern Galnaftogaz, which operates one of the largest petrol filling networks in Ukraine under the brand “OKKO”.
The majority shareholder of the company is Vitaliy Antonov. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is among the minority shareholders.


Ukrainian networks of filling stations managed to develop European market of motor fuel after loss of Russian and Belarusian – “OKKO” CEO

Ukrainian networks of filling stations have managed to master the European market of motor fuel after losing Russian and Belarusian fuel with the beginning of full-scale invasion of Russia thanks to the offer of competitive prices and fast contracts, Vasyl Danilyak, СЕО of OKKO group, said.
“Ukrainian companies did not enter their supply market, where everything was contracted a long time ago. Accordingly, they could outbid on price and fast contracts. Despite the unacceptable price, we started contracting 100 percent of possible resources in all corners of Europe,” he said at the Kiev International Economic Forum on Thursday.
At the same time, Danylyak noted that such decisions were made, among other things, emotionally, although they were not always economically justified.
He explained that the European chain of deliveries is much longer than the ones from the East and North directions, when “pipe deliveries were 3-4 days, by rail from the nearest Belarusian refineries to the average tank farm, the fuel took seven days at most.
“And in Europe the chain could stretch for two months or more. For example, we bought in the region of Amsterdam-Antwerp a fairly expensive resource. Supply logistics are complicated: first by small (because of the low level of the Rhine) barges to Germany, then it pours into big terminals, and then you wait for shipping windows because there are queues. So, in the middle of April we made an advance payment, and the last shipment arrived, if I’m not mistaken, in October,” Danilyak described the situation.
He noted, however, that even if the company had known in advance how difficult the delivery would be, it would still likely have made the contract.
“There was such a shortage that the decision was obvious. The fact that it would not be very profitable was not thought of then,” the CEO of “OKKO” assured.
He also stressed that changing the logistics of petroleum products as the war began was the biggest challenge not only for OKKO, but for the entire industry.
“It was the biggest challenge in the first month of the war that companies focused on. The whole market was confronted with the fact that on one day all deliveries were zeroed out, everyone fixed their losses at the time of February 24, who had prepayments, to whom the goods had not arrived in large quantities. Accordingly, everyone began to refocus on Western supplies. And in about three months, in June, the consumers felt a significant improvement, and in July everything was as if nothing had happened,” said Danilyak.
In addition, he expressed the opinion that dispersed business has more flexibility in crisis situations.
“Big and in one place is not always a good thing, although perhaps more cost-effective. Our business, where there are a lot of small businesses, has proven to be more resilient to stress than, for example, the steel industry, when the loss of two key businesses took out seventy percent of the business,” he argued his opinion.
In this connection Danilyak marked that “OKKO” would adhere to the policy of diversification in future too, that, in principle, the essence of the company business allows.
He also paid attention that war experience will teach many companies to follow fire safety rules strictly in accordance with all the requirements that “earlier they looked through the fingers” to some extent.

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