China was the key for the Burgos milling machine manufacturer Nicolás Correa to save the exercise of the pandemic. Despite the 10% drop in global billing, its CEO, Carmen Pinto, explains that “we have maintained profitability ratios very well in a very difficult year for management and above all we were able to continue generating order books” .
For a company that exports 88% of its production, the impossibility of traveling and having a physical presence in its markets cannot be replaced with digital tools. “In closing operations as complex as ours there are many fringes and aspects to be ironed out in order to meet the customer’s needs and see where you can help them, to which is added the machine installation itself”, adds Carmen Pinto.
On the Stock Market since 1989
The positioning and knowledge of the Chinese market, where they have a joint venture with the local partner GNC Kunming and their own commercial structure of close to 30 people was the “differential” with respect to the competition. “China experienced the pandemic at a different pace and they recovered activity in June.
We saw there that we had a very important market that we could work very well and compensate for everything that was faltering in the rest of the world,” explains the CEO of this listed family company On the stock market since 1989. The result has been that this market has increased its participation in the company’s sales from 25% to 30% .
Some of Nicolás Correa’s sophisticated milling machines that are used to manufacture wind turbine hubs go to the Asian giant. The wind sector is boiling in the Asian country for two reasons. They account for a large part of the production to supply parks around the world and the Government is promoting this type of energy by leaps and bounds, with 52 gigabytes installed in 2020, almost half of the growth globally.
Along with wind power, in China the wind also blows in favor of another of the sectors in which Nicolás Correa works, aeronautics. “It is being relaunched a lot from the Government and they have set the objective of surpassing Airbus and Boeing” , assures Carmen Pinto.
This year, the Asian country will continue to be the focus of the company’s attention, the only Spanish machine tool manufacturer that is not based in the Basque Country. Although the growth will also come from the hand of other countries than in Europe in which sectors such as mechanics, defense or construction are recovering well, in which the Burgos manufacturer also has penetration.
To those should be added, the lessons that the Covid crisis has left. “We have realized that we cannot be so dependent on a single manufacturing market and I hope that the pandemic will bring about the reindustrialization of some areas that have been very battered by relocation in recent years. That for us on an occasion” .
Carmen Pinto has a very clear roadmap. “We continue with the policy of maintaining sustained growth over time, that we can assimilate and settle each step” and although it does not aim to beat the 2019 sales record this year, it does hope to recover the path that during the last The decade has allowed the turnover to double.
To do this, it has two “complementary assets that give us a lot of value.” One is the product itself, with a range of heads and its own differentiated and cutting-edge technology and, on the other hand, the support to the client in what is the purchase of a milling machine , its installation and in the advice to use it with the greater efficiency “so you maximize your investment.”
Along with large multinational companies, which account for 30% of its client portfolio, Nicolás Correa also works very importantly with family businesses, “workshops that we see in industrial estates.”
The company celebrates the next 75 years of existence working hard on the implementation of the new industry 4.0 model. And in that sense, the CEO asks the Government to “specify” when defining Next Generation Funds that “can give us a boost and streamline projects and investments that are underway or that we have in mind.”
Grupo Nicolás Correa closed 2020 with ordinary income of 67 million euros, 10% less than in 2019, which was a record turnover, an EBITDA of 8.1 million (12% of ordinary income) and a profit before tax of 6.5 million. Its financial debt barely reaches 0.9 million euros. With 356 employees, it has three subsidiaries: Hypatia, GNC Calderería and GNC Electrónica. It exports 88% of its production to about twenty countries.