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It was in the course of his life experience and opportunities, impelled by his entrepreneurial drive and the drive to take on new challenges that Armando Gomes started this journey called Covema.

It was 18 years ago that 4 partners got together to start a new company in a prominent sector in Portugal. The year was 2003. Armando Gomes, or Mr. Armando as he is usually addressed, accepted the invitation to start this new project, in a familiar sector which he had worked in. After 4 years of activity, Armando Gomes took over the company, and remains in charge of the entire organization to this day. “A natural course of events, based on accumulated vision and experience. These were the two key factors that made me feel prepared to take the most challenging step of my career: establishing myself and starting a business in my own name.”

Along this journey, there were obviously many opportunities for growth and difficult moments. In retrospect, we see the history of Covema in the eyes of those who give it their all on a daily basis to succeed in an extremely competitive and challenging market.
Initially, Covema was exclusively dedicated to the purchase and sale of wood and its derivatives, and growth was gradual.

In 2008, a year marked by the financial and real estate crisis that had repercussions on a global scale across all sectors, namely the construction sector, and Covema was no exception, came the time to rethink the company. Armand Gomes recalls that “Covema lacked critical mass, and suffered a tremendous impact with consequences revealing themselves over the following years, it was a difficult period…” With great entrepreneurial spirit, the next step was to invest on transformed products, diversifying production capacity, but without every ceasing the commercialization of wood and its derivatives. Covema not only managed to find its way to growth, but also differentiated itself from the competition, and set out to conquer new customers and a market with room to be explored.

As in all success stories, it is during difficult times that the greatest opportunities arise. Those who make it out of a crisis do so with redoubled vitality. Those that survive become more valuable in the sector. And that’s what happened to Covema.

 “We spun out the business with a focus on production, bringing something to the market which differentiated us. We were able to get new customers, we started selling to various industries, from ceramics and metalworking to the mattress industry, and we were able to duplicate the customer portfolio while retaining existing customers.”
Investment in an industrial park capable of responding to customer needs was essential – “after the investment in the cutting service, we invested in edge banding and in CNC machinery that allowed us to close the product chain cycle and meet furniture requirements. We started offering complete kitchen front solutions and this differentiated us and catapulted us.”

Once the company’s various areas of activity were consolidated, the next step was corporate consolidation. In October 2018, with Portugal 2020 support, Covema moved to new facilities in the Loureiro AAE – Oliveira de Azeméis. Integrally designed for Covema’s business, the new infrastructure not only enabled an increase in production but was also an important step for the notoriety of the brand. “Our capacity was different now, we had a different image and a new impact in the eyes of the market… New opportunities came along with this change.” The investment in Covema’s industrial park also required an investment in people, which has recorded a 75 % increase in workers compared to the year when the company established itself in Loureiro.
Nowadays, there is still a lot of work and opportunities to be explored, from the consolidation of production and distribution, enabling more people to actively contribute to the growth of the company, as well as the prospection for new investments and business areas.

In 2020, the company saw the pandemic as a time to restructure, which resulted in new investments linked to the digitization of the business, marketing communication and image. Today, Covema is synergistically associated with new brands that are of great value and with great future potential. This is the case of Bloma, a brand specializing in transformed products for kitchen furniture, wardrobes and phenolics. “This is the way forward and the investment guiding Covema in the short and long term on the path it has set out, to become a successful company.” These are new areas that allow us to aim at more consistent internationalization efforts, as well as reach markets and customers that provide us with alternatives.

When we talk about the future, there are already projects and new goals. With the needs of the new business areas in mind, Armando Gomes intends to expand the premises from 2400 m2 to about 7000 m2, a project that is already underway and “will help us face expected demand given our current investments”. Alongside physical growth, the company’s digital growth will certainly generate the need to invest in people, with specialized human resources, for the various fronts in which the company operates and will begin operating in.

The 18 years that define Covema are the result of tireless people who together have built a solid company with strong growth prospects at national and international level. When, to finish, we ask Armando Gomes how he would define this path in one sentence, there is no hesitation “Difficult, but very rewarding, I really like what I do and to constantly challenge myself”.

A challenge called Covema, which will certainly continue to add value to the Portuguese industrial sector.

Well done to the Covema Group!



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