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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: ISQ group sees 40% fall in billing in Portuguese-speaking markets




Lisbon, Sept. 28, 2020 (Lusa) - 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.

In the Brazilian oil and gas sector "ISQ works with the Brazilian oil company Petrobras, but also with other companies that are prospecting or exploring for oil and gas".

But the group has also "been operating in Angola for about 20 years. We have even had about 200 people working in the country," Pedro Matias said.

"The ISQ has the capacity to adapt" and is even hired by the government of "any of these countries, to help them structure what are the foundations of a certain type of sector or activity, (...) that the state has to guarantee to the industry so that it can function," he assured.

"It is more a job of preparing standards and rules and then training trainers, training local teams, so that they can then implement and carry out these kinds of activities themselves," he explained.

ATR/ADB // ADB.

Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-09-29 09:35:38







 

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