Portuguese windows startup UK exports success

 In News

A new Portuguese company that makes unique windows has seen its export production soar by 40%.

FWD is the only European company manufacturing fibreglass windows. The startup exports 40% of its total production to the United Kingdom and Germany.

The company was founded at the height of the crisis in 2011. Concentrating on the construction sector, it aims to enjoy a €1 million turnover this year.

Francisco Pereira Branco, CEO of FWD, says that despite the company starting in 2011, it was only at the end of 2016 that it began to enjoy profitable turnover since the early years were dedicated to research and development.

This year the CEO says the company expects sales of €1 million, 40% of which are for overseas markets with FWD’s Boavista windows installed in British and Portuguese buildings.

The company is currently expanding to Germany, Switzerland, Gibraltar and the Benelux countries with partners on the ground.

Francisco Pereira Branco says that the national market has also taken off thanks to the current boom in the construction market.

Forecasts for both the national and export market are set at €7.5 million by 2024 boosted by sales to the European market and expansion plans for the Asian market.

In Asia, the company’s focus will be India and Indonesia, markets which suffer strong acidic rainfall which fibreglass windows offer a robust performance against.

Fibreglass offers a high degree of heat and sound insulation, is durable and sustainable, substituting traditional materials such as wood, PVC and aluminium.

To date, €1 million has been invested in FWD from own capital but the company will also receive investment funding from Portugal 2020 (European Union funds) for research and development which has resulted in its 100% non-metallic window. The €400,000 funding for the project has already been approved.

This new window joins the other five window frame models which FWD already produces and sells. 

The patent for the new window will be registered by the end of the summer. The company, which has a factory in Vila Nova de Gaia, employs 15 people and is expecting to take on five new staff by the end of the year.