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Ricardo Vieira
Managing Director
Reynaers Aluminium Portugal

15 December 2021

Reynaers Aluminium is a specialist in the development aluminum solutions, such as sliding doors, windows and facades. 

Reynaers has a strong presence on the Portuguese real estate market, but how did the company's incipient moments look like and how did it evolve through time?

I started working at Reynaers in 2012 - a dire moment in Portugal's real estate market, struggling with hardly any investment and many companies leaving the country for Africa, Europe or the United States. We only managed to survive by continuing to conduct business with our clients in the new destinations where they were relocating. 

 

In 2016, we decided to invest more in Portugal, since the development and construction markets were showing signs of recovery and growth. Ever since, we registered a booming success. Our trademark consists of clean, modern and sustainable aluminum solutions, with a focus on affordable quality, and the market has been developing a growing appetite for that.

 

How has this high tide that you started noticing in 2016 fared since the start of the global pandemic?

There was a sum of factors that led to this very fruitful situation, mainly prompted by an overall need in Portugal for higher standard living and commercial spaces. Portugal proved itself capable of overcoming the challenges presented by the last two years, standing out as one of the safest in Europe. The Golden Visas program, launched by the previous government, rose the demand for residential further. Fortunately, even during lockdown, construction didn't stop, and our workers carried on with their usual schedule. Nevertheless, all projects due in 2020 froze for a while since investors felt insecure about what the future could bring, so everything amassed in 2021. Due to the raw materials crisis, the workload piled up further this year.

Speaking about the rising price of materials, to what extent did it delay your construction process and how was the final product price affected?

Most of our products are coming from Belgium - where we have an immense stock – and we also secured various sources for the raw materials we use in order to always have a safety net at hand. In the beginning we coped just fine, but after July 2021 we started to experience problems regarding delivery, rather than the stock of aluminum itself. Simply put, we lack the logistics necessary to deliver the materials and, as a result, prices have exploded - one container to the United States increased ten times since the beginning of 2021 until now. We are currently trying to keep the balance between the increased prices from our suppliers and the prices we had already agreed on with our clients.

Reynaers is now focusing on “low carbon aluminum” - what does that mean?

Aluminum is a 100% recyclable material, so it is already sustainable compared to its alternatives. More and more people are becoming aware of climate change issues, so they are taking into account the lifecycle of the material and the maintenance needed for each product they purchase. Foreign real estate investors are especially interested in these aspects. The property market in Portugal is extremely competitive, so we must always differentiate ourselves from the competition. Our capacity to innovate, offer high quality tech services and stay close to clients and partners are the elements that make us unique.

Now that we noted the highlights of the Portuguese market, let's reverse the coin and think about challenges - what are the difficulties a business like yours bumps into?

Accessing the low end of the market is one of the challenges we've faced because we are perceived as a premium brand and, therefore, as an expensive choice. Changing this mindset has been our quest for a while – convincing clients that our products are premium not because they are more expensive, but because they preserve their quality during their lifetime. By taking this element into account, they are not in fact expensive at the end of the day. The context of the global pandemic and the crisis that will probably soon follow, another challenge is being able to reinforce our resources well enough to be prepared for any possible storm that is going to come.

What are your main objectives for the next two to three years?

Our intention is to become an important reference for Portugal’s real estate market. That does not refer to the cliché of reaching "leadership” status, but rather to be known as people who know what solution to provide to architects, developers, constructors. In order to achieve this, we penned a three years’ long consistent growth plan up to 2024.

What is your final message to foreign investors about Portugal’s real estate sector?

Now is the time to invest! Demand is skyrocketing, times are changing, and people are more and more aware of that. Portugal has a geographically privileged position (and is the country with the oldest unchanged borders in Europe), as well as a relaxed lifestyle. It also has an unrivaled link to Africa and its culture, a market investors can more easily access by coming here first.

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