With sales of 75.5 million euros, the company from Aveiro, which produces cisterns and bathroom solutions, is betting on new geographies to grow, especially in the high end
The Portuguese brand OLI, which produces cisterns and other bathroom solutions, intends to grow in markets where high-end products are more valued, such as the Middle East. The company is present, for example, in the luxury development Katara Towers, near Doha, the capital of Qatar, a building that houses two hotels, luxury apartments and offices. For this location, which excels in sustainability, the company supplied a water-efficient indoor cistern, which, according to António Ricardo Oliveira, director of OLI, is proof that a Portuguese brand can stand out in the foreign market.
“Being a Portuguese brand, being able to impose ourselves on this type of project is a sign that something is being done well in the national market”, says the administrator to Forbes Portugal.
The company, which registered a turnover of 75.5 million euros in 2022, which represented a growth of 5 million euros compared to 2021, is betting on markets other than Europe, especially in geographies where it is not compete on price, but on the differentiating characteristics of your product. António Ricardo Oliveira explains that, of the total turnover, only 25% comes from the national market, and of the remaining share of exports, around 80% is centered on the European continent.
Although it did not feel a drop in sales during the pandemic years, on the contrary it registered a slight increase, as many customers bought to have stock, last year was already a year of correction, and in the last semester the company saw drops of 20 % in some European markets. This forces it to avoid being so dependent on Europe, as the uncertainty ahead is great, and the construction sector could enter into recession.
In addition to the Portuguese market, the German and Italian markets are those that have the most weight in the Aveiro group’s turnover. North Africa, such as Egypt and Tunisia, and the Middle East, are two regions where the brand has been establishing itself.
For the next few years the investment will be 15 million euros to improve the areas of innovation As a result of the investments he has been making, António Ricardo Oliveira believes that the company, even with the uncertainty of the economy, has room to grow, and estimates that over the next three years it can grow, on average, 8% per year.
During 2021, they finalized an investment of 12 million euros, of which eight million in a storage pavilion, and the rest were channeled towards increasing production capacity, developing new products and strengthening information systems. “We have made important investments in the digitization and strengthening of our internal resources at a technical level”, clarifies the person in charge. For the next few years, investment will also be of this order of magnitude, as OLI applied to the PRR with an investment of 15 million euros to improve the areas of innovation, product development and industrialization with automation and digitalization.
The company also made a significant investment in the production of solar energy, with the installation of solar panels. “We managed to produce about 15% of the energy we consume, which is relevant”, explains the administrator. He also adds that, in the area of innovation, he is betting on the reuse of recycled or regenerated raw materials, and working to have bio-based products. In other words, using organic components, extracted from nature, such as olive pits or rice husks, which are added to the plastic raw material.
“We haven’t launched any product with these features yet, but we’re working on it right now”, he adds.