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  • Pescapuerta projects a 75 metre vessel and shields the family nature of its business: "We have roots"

Pescapuerta projects a 75 metre vessel and shields the family nature of its business: "We have roots"

The company has consolidated its leadership in the catering channel and has raised Elmar’s sales by 62% from 2014. It plans to double space in the Cantabrian logistics centre.

When José Puerta Oviedo became a vessel owner, humanity had not even dreamed of reaching the moon and NASA did not even exist. This was in the year in which Morocco was separated from Spain and France and when Spanish Television was launched; when China socialised private enterprises and when Hungary was invaded. 1956 was the year in which the company was incorporated and it still remains in the hands of the same family 62 years later: Pescapuerta. "We want to bet on being here. We have roots in Vigo, in the city". It is the third fishing company in Spain in terms of trade volume in tonnes (67,000 in 2017) and the fourth in turnover, with almost €215 million. This year figures will reach €230 million, and the company is looking into the construction of a 75 metre trawler. "Our intention, and we are working hard on that, is to consolidate the group by making the necessary investments", summarises its president, José Puerta. Pescapuerta’s vessel will be the fourth high capacity vessel commissioned by the Vigo industry: Playa Pesmar Dos and the Río Caxil (both from 2005), and after the renovation projects initiated with the Monteferro (68 metres, Kalamar Ltd.), the Argos Cies (, 74 metres, Pereira) and the Isla de Terranova (50 metres, Pesca Baqueiro).

The common strategy in the processing sector is to grow in origin, in order to ensure access to raw materials and address a rising demand. "We need to gain extractive capacity in order to also grow in marketing". Hence, the incorporation into the company of a wet fish vessel for the south-west Atlantic, with which it plans to seek market opportunities in Morocco, Senegal and Mauritania. The construction of a trawler, of the dimensions designed by Pescapuerta, and for which no fishing ground has been defined yet, implies an investment of more than €20 million. This vessel is not meant to replace any of the vessels that make up the company's fleet today.

The fishing industry has betted over the past three years for fisheries in Namibia, South Africa, Argentina, the Falkland Islands and NAFO, largely through operations of inorganic growth led by the Iberconsa Group (Atunera Argentina, Pesquera Santa Cruz) or Profand (Sofinas,Consermar). However, this has not been the case with Pescapuerta. "We are on our way to the 230 million trade volume mark without having compromised turnover, using our own model", said Puerta Prado, who just like Ángel Martínez (Fandicosta), has received "dozens" of purchase offers from investment funds. "We have been tempted many times but we are not for sale, we are not going to sell. We are a family business and will stay that way".

To this day, he recalls, this fishing company is the leader in Spain in the catering sector (hotels, restaurants and catering) through their distributor Elmar. "This is a brand that has been in the market for 30 years and is now consolidated". Next year will be10 years since we purchased this brand. Fish is the flagship of the group (67% of sales), with a strong presence of shellfish (25%) and processed and precooked foods. "Volumes, type of product and market prices" are factors that influence the business, and Pescapuerta aspires to repeat success, just like in the last financial year, wherein turnover increased by 13%.

Growth

The company has 69 routes in the distribution segment with branches in Vigo, A Coruña, Lugo, Santiago and Ourense. But there is also a "strong" presence in other regions thanks to the head offices in Asturias, Santander and Valladolid. The distributors in La Rioja, Vitoria and Bilbao have experienced higher growth, as stated by Jorge Vello, Group Director of Purchasing Control Management. There are 18 delegations and two market places (Seville and Granada) in total. "Elmar’s progress has been very strong, from sales of 48 million in 2014 to an expected 78 million this year", highlights Vello. This represents an increase of 62% in four years. It is a "sustained growth" that has also been applied to the organised distribution of catering, with a proven model that offers "a comprehensive solution throughout Spain". Elmar has a staff of 160 (the entire group employs more than a thousand persons).

In terms of investments, Elmar will double its space at its logistics headquarters in Santander (incorporated into the group only a year ago), which has a system of conventional pallet racking and dynamic picking to store up to 310 pallets and more than 300 references. The land has already been obtained for this extension. It has two more logistics platforms in Valladolid and Mos. Just the Galician one has registered between 500 and 600 tons of box picking a month. "These are a lot of boxes," sums up Vello.

(Source: Faro de Vigo)

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