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The company has suffered a steady decline in orders over the past 12 years going from a turnover of €1Bn and employing 4,600 staff at its height.
The company was acquired by Angolan tycoon Isabel dos Santos at the end of 2015 and the company’s order books began to recover.
In 2019, the last year it presented a full set of financial results to its shareholder, the company based in Matosinhos, near Porto, had a €353.6 million turnover and 2,531 employees.
After Isabel dos Santos’s assets and bank accounts were frozen by the authorities over the Angola Leaks money laundering revelations which made headlines around the world in January 2020, the future of the company was again in doubt.
The government renationalised the 71.73% share held by dos Santos and with the ensuing instability from the renationalisation and the Covd-19 crisis, the company led by Ângelo Ramalho clocked up losses of €310 million while sales fell to an all-time low of €160.9 million in 2022.
Since the government took over the company, injecting sufficient capital to keep the company afloat and avoid heavy redundancies, the company nevertheless shed 600 jobs by the end of 2022, bringing total employee numbers to 1,928.