Upright pianos and grand pianos “Petrof” are known all over the world. You can find them in La Scala or in the Sydney Opera House. They are popular across the world including China. There are many famous names associated with playing them, such as Paul McCartney, Jitka Fowler Fraňková or one of the best Argentine pianists Antonio Formaro. They are bought by private persons, schools, theatres, cultural houses or philharmonic orchestras. Petrof sales approximately two thousands pianos annually. In 2019, the company had a successful year. But then, the pandemic hit the business.
“We suddenly found out that our supply to China on the occasion of New Year celebrations could not be sold on the market due to health restrictions. Subsequently, coronavirus pandemic came to Europe, many showrooms were closed and the pandemic spread all over the world,” CEO Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová describes how the coronavirus heavily affected the business of the company, founded by her great-great grandfather.
In order to overcome the difficult period, the company decided to apply for a guarantee from the COVID II program. “We took it as an opportunity enabling us to save interests paid on the commercial loan, while our financing (commercial) bank could share the risk with the state,” says Ms Petrofová, adding “We signed two contracts in the volume of CZK 10 million – Raiffeisen Bank approved a loan guaranteed by the ČMZRB. It was approximately a half of our initial request. The money came to our accounts in three days.”