The Business Year

Portugal's construction and real estate sectors are rallying on the back of a multi-year growth trend, enticing both experienced and new investors.

José Rui Meneses e Castro

Administrator, MAP Engenharia

We are completely focused on the real estate sector and not interested in doing public projects. Generally, construction is not known as a professional sector and this is exactly what we set out to change. When we started, the real estate and construction market was still in crisis, but we didn’t give in to market sentiment. We had a background in construction and real estate development and knew how to organize a construction company as our team had previously worked with the biggest construction companies. We started with four people and by 2014, we had grown to 14 people. 2015 ended with 35 people, 2016 with almost 50, 2017 with 60, and at present, 70 people are part of the company. On average, we have 15 sites under construction, and each site requires around 70 people per day, meaning almost 1,000 people are working daily on our projects. In 2019, we hope to achieve EUR50 million in invoices, which will be a growth from EUR32.5 million in 2018. MAP is renowned in the private sector, with average contracts between EUR3 and EUR8 million. The entire team is ambitious and focused to work on the Portuguese market, because we want to keep delivering a good product to maintain our positive growth rate. Once our growth in Portugal is stable, we will look for opportunities in other markets in North Africa, Latin America, and Dubai. For example, MAP was invited as one of the three companies to build the Portuguese pavilion in Dubai’s Expo 2020, and we are waiting to see if that goes through.

Martim Tomé

Director, Tecniarte

Urban rehabilitation sector is the core business of Tecniarte, though we also do all kinds of construction, such as offices, hotels, schools, and hospitals. We have grown significantly since 2003, passing the USD2-million turnover mark to reach USD20 million per year. We no longer want to grow because we want to pay more attention to our main business. For our projects in the old town areas of Lisbon, 60-70% are foreign investors; however, an area that is residential will have a more mixed ratio of investors. The whole market is not moving merely due to foreign investment; Portuguese investors are investing as well. In terms of expansion, we are only looking at Angola. We have been in Angola as a subsidiary of Tecniarte with two different businesses, working in the private sector in rehabilitation because there are many residential projects that need to be rehabilitated there. We do not work directly for the government or the private sector, but for multinationals that are involved with government projects. Our yearly turnover in Angola is around USD10 million, and we expect that to grow in 2019. The main goal is working on maintaining USD20 million in turnover and on improving our profitability margin. Internally, we want to work with our teams to become more efficient, professional, and doing things the right way. We also want to change the mindset in the sector to work at a higher level of quality.

José Luis Castro

President, José Luis Castro

SOTECNISOL is a group of companies and its activities are fairly diverse because it works in the renewable energy, water, agriculture, and metals sectors. After growing in Mozambique, we expanded into Algeria since it also has strong connections with Portugal. We also began to work in Cí´te d’Ivoire and seek to further expand into Latin America. In Portugal, we are the largest olive producer and we continue to make investments in terms of innovation in the olive sector. We want to foster northern Portugal’s economic development because it is a poor region. For Portugal’s solar industry, the main driver at the moment is mobility. As an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company, we carry out the construction and development of large solar projects. Every year, we make investments and look for new opportunities with different investors to invest in Portuguese photovoltaic projects. In terms of innovation and digitalization, we were one of the first companies to use e-commerce platforms. We changed our profile and are now an e-commerce platform working for both B2B and B2C markets. Equally important, we now have a social media management, web designers, and IT support staff. We are a company supported by IT solutions and are continuously changing our profile for a rapidly evolving world. Moving forward, we are looking into scalability of all the projects we are involved in.

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