How to Turn $140,000 in Sales Into 4,000% in Stock Gains

  • Hungary’s Konzum relied on tangle of investments for profit
  • Company controlled by tycoon close to Premier Viktor Orban

The company with the world’s best-performing stock this year reported sales of just $140,000 for the first half, but a web of investments from tourism to finance helped generate earnings more than 100 times that.

Konzum Nyrt., in which a tycoon close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is one of the biggest shareholders, reported net income attributable to owners of the parent of 3.9 billion forint ($14.8 million) in the January-June period, according to a report published late Friday. Konzum’s shares have risen more than 4,000 percent this year, the most among actively traded companies with a market capitalization of more than $100 million tracked by Bloomberg.

The earnings report provided the first detailed glimpse for investors into the company’s performance since Lorinc Meszaros, the mayor of Orban’s hometown who describes the premier as a friend, first bought a stake in February, touching off the world-beating rally. The company has since acquired diverse holdings from lakeside campgrounds to asset managers via a web of subsidiaries in which Konzum has a minority stake, in addition to a hotel chain acquired last year.

“The goal is to become central and eastern Europe’s leading holding and investment company,” Konzum said in an emailed statement.

Tourism Investments

Konzum shares rose 5.1 percent by 12:09 p.m. in Budapest to 2,324 forint, taking its year-to-date gain to about 4,460 percent. The stock reached a record high 3,178 forint on July 12.

Konzum’s revenue of 37.2 million forint came entirely from its asset management business while its main sources of earnings in the first half were its tourism investments as well as its holding in Opus Global Nyrt., a conglomerate controlled by Meszaros and whose valuation was included in Konzum’s first-half report.

Opus, whose own shares have returned 480 percent this year, on Friday separately reported 17.4 billion forint in revenue and profit of 2 billion forint for the first half of 2017.

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