The president of the Portuguese ISQ business group said on Monday that the engineering, certification and consulting consortium, present in five Portuguese-speaking countries in addition to Portugal, will have a drop in turnover of between 30% and 40% in those markets, caused by Covid-19.
This year, as a result of the pandemic, “many works and projects have been suspended,” and the group estimates that there will be “a reduction in turnover of around 30% to 40%,” in the five Portuguese-speaking countries where it is present, as well as Portugal, Pedro Matias said in an interview with Lusa.
For the same reason, the Portuguese group is reducing the number of employees in those countries, he admitted.
Before the pandemic, “ISQ had around 500 workers in the Portuguese-speaking markets, in the various operations,” he said, but now, “there are much fewer,” because of the limitations in terms of travel and trips, but also because “there are clients who, because of the pandemic, have suspended some work, some of the projects and works, even avoiding external teams being present in their facilities,” he explained.
Thus, “we are reduced to about half of the people” in these markets, about 250 people, the manager admitted.
Some of the employees keep their contracts, but cannot go to the field to do their work. But between “10 and 15% are out of contract” he acknowledged, because the ISQ had to reduce staff.
Despite the context, Pedro Matias still considers that the Portuguese-speaking countries are a good bet in terms of investment abroad.
“They are usually interesting markets, which provide good results when things go well (…), they provide good rates of return on investment and the bet that is made. But they are obviously very specific markets”, he added.
ISQ has been in Brazil and Angola for more than 20 years, because the group, which works with large industrial companies and with more than 50 years of activity, “always had in its DNA the issue of internationalisation,” Pedro Matias said.
This article is available in: Português