Companies of the Orbán family slowed down but they keep churning out hefty profits

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The annual reports of the companies owned by the father and two brothers of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán were released on Tuesday. The records show that the firms, which have benefited from state projects and grew spectacularly in the past few years, slowed down in 2016 but still produced significant profit for the Orbán family.

The families’ main companies – Dolomit Ltd, Nehéz Kő Ltd, and Gánt Kő Ltd -, which deal with mining, production of concrete items, and transportation, produced 3.5 billion forints (11.3 million euros) in revenues in 2016. Of this, the profit was 644 million forints (2 million euros). The owners decided to take out almost double of that, 1.2 billion forints (3.8 million euros), as dividend from the companies. Most of that, 730 million forints (2.3 million euros), is coming from Gánt Kő and will be paid to the owners by the end of 2017.

Direkt36 has recently revealed that the Orbán family’s companies have secretly benefited from EU-funded public projects. Documents showed that Dolomit Ltd. participated in at least three large-scale sewerage system projects in recent years. According to sources involved in the projects, the contractors ordered building materials from Dolomit Ltd. despite the fact that they were more expensive than the competitors’ products (some sources added that Dolomit Ltd.’s products are of better quality).

Other details also suggest that the Orbán-companies have ties to state projects. By tailing trucks loaded at the mine in Gánt we discovered that Colas, one of the biggest players in Hungary’s state-funded constructions, is among the clients of the Orbán-companies. A freight company owned and managed by the PM’s younger brother Áron Orbán mostly lists public projects among its work references.

The Orbán companies nearly doubled their revenues between 2013 and 2015 and their profits were rising even faster. While in 2013 they gained only 15% of profit on their total revenue of 2.7 billion forints (8.6 million euros), their profit increased to 30% on 5.2 billion forints (16.7 million euros) of revenue by 2015. The profit gained during these three years was fully withdrawn from the companies. After deducting the share of the partners, Orbán’s family members received nearly 2 billion forints (6.4 million euros) in dividends.