Cristina Bóia in DA Economia

10 mai 2021Back

“The strategy for this year is to continue to satisfy our customers with cutting-edge technological solutions”.

In conversation with Cristina Bóia. In addition to the national market, Extrusal has customers on three continents: Europe, America and Africa. This year, Extrusal expects to exceed the turnover of 2018.

It was 1972, when Carlos Lourenço Bóia founded Extrusal, now based in Aveiro. The company, which began operating in 1974, emerged when, in the course of his own home, he detected a lack of aluminum window frames, a product that “was already common in Europe”.

According to Cristina Bóia, manager of Extrusal, the company specializes, as the name implies, in extrusion, machining and surface treatment of aluminum profiles and parts for the industrial sector, and in the development of aluminum systems for areas of architecture.

“The quality and innovation of our solutions, developed by us or with our customers, the excellent service and our continuous environmental concern are some of the differentiating elements of our products in the market”, he advanced. For years, the company has been accredited by European entities. In 1983, it received Qualanod surface treatment certification , and in 1995, Qualicoat surface treatment certification .
In 1997, Extrusal was the first Portuguese company to be certified in the field of die manufacturing, extrusion, anodizing and thermo lacquering of aluminum profiles. Shortly after, in 2002, Extrusal obtained the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification; in 2003, by ISO 9001; in 2005, the Qualideco wood-effect surface treatment ; and in 2007, the Seaside surface treatment . Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company's administrator explained that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt, especially between March and June 2020. “We had to readjust and implement measures to minimize these impacts” , he said. Among them, the following stand out: availability of several channels to inform and alert the internal community, creation of an isolation room, readjustmentof  the “layout” of the offices to allow social distance, lag in the use of the cafeteria, availability of additional cleaning, adoption of phased schedules and telework regime, limitation of travel and visits and reinforcement of cleaning and disinfection of spaces. “We feel a slowdown in the industry sector in general, with a special focus on the automobile. However, and so far, the construction sector remains immune to the effects of the pandemic”, she added.

During the first phase of confinement, Extrusal was in partial lay-off (40%), from April 13 to June 30, 2020. The weekend shift went into total lay-off in this period, having resumed work two months later. In the second phase of confinement, which began on January 14 of this year, Extrusal chose to work on a telework basis. However, the productive part was always working on a normal basis, but in compliance with the guidelines dictated by the World Health Organization (WHO). For Cristina Bóia, “the satisfaction of our commitment to customers and partners forced us to choose this path. We resort to moratoriums on bank financing and lines and other measures to support the recovery”.

In addition to the national market, Extrusal has customers spread across three continents: Europe, America and Africa. It exports 70% of its industrial production to Europe and America, and 30% in architecture to Europe and Africa.
Direct exports represent 30%, and we estimate that total exports, including indirect exports, account for around 70 to 80% of sales volume. It should be noted that Extrusal has logistics centers in Cape Verde, Mozambique and Angola to respond more promptly to local customers.

In 2019, turnover was 43.9 million euros, 5% less than the figure for 2018, which was 46.5 million euros. “Our turnover depends not only on the quantities produced and sold, but is strongly influenced by the cost of the main raw material. Which means that we can have a more or less high volume of business, without this necessarily meaning an increase or decrease in the quantities produced and sold”, she explained.

This year, Extrusal expects to exceed the value of 2018, which is justified by the increase in the price of raw material.
Market evolution over the years According to the company itself, market and customer evolution is a constant challenge and, at the same time, a motivating force to improve. “The evolution of the market requires changes, which are not always easy, but it is up to each company to anticipate, be proactive and define its strategy”, she said, recalling that “the larger the company structure, the greater the number of employees and the greater the industrial park of the same, sometimes, this change is more complex”.

Over the course of 49 years, Extrusal has witnessed drastic changes in the consumption paradigm, in mentalities and ways of being that have had repercussions on the method and organization of work and on the type of product and service to be presented to the market. “If we go back to 1972, the transport and communications network were completely different realities from the current ones, however, Extrusal has always evolved, hand in hand, with these changes, responding to the challenges that were posed”, she stressed. The company went through several challenges, among them, the large investments from 2006 to 2008, with a view to preparing the future and entering the automotive sector, and the “ subprime ” crisis in 2008, which brought down the value of the raw material. in an amount identical to the margin, which was added to the crisis in the banking sector in the country, in 2011 and in the following years. “We would say that the biggest challenges were the creation of a completely innovative company at the time between 1972 and 1974, later, the creation and management of the commercial group from 1986 and, later, overcoming the crisis almost continues between 2008 and 2013, which , unlike many companies, we overcame it”, she observed.

Perspectives for the future The company is currently carrying out a study with the aim of analyzing the best way to respond to the demand for its products and services. With its 50th anniversary scheduled for 2022, the company revealed that its strategy will continue to be to satisfy its customers, with cutting-edge technological solutions, subject to high criteria and quality standards, but always focusing on our social and environmental responsibility. . “Our posture will remain guided by rigor, trust and transparency”, she concluded.

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