The Portuguese company is increasing sales within its European territories by focussing on after-sales for its existing customers and exporting its business activities into pastures new, such as Angola and other countries on the continent with historical and linguistic links to Portugal.
Moviter was established in 1989 as part of the Movicortes Group and its mutually beneficial relationship with Hitachi was initiated four years later. It is based in Leiria, central Portugal, from where it meets the requirements of its large national requirements, supported by a strong network of branches (in Portugal and Madrid) and sub-dealers (in southern Spain).
There has been a huge investment in the Portuguese infrastructure over the past 20 years, and this helped to create a relatively large construction market (for the size of the country) which was not sustainable in the long term. The leading contractors have therefore been forced to expand their activities elsewhere, with Moviter following in support of its fleets of Hitachi construction machinery.
It currently has customers with machines in more than 14 African countries, all requiring the Hitachi Support Chain after-sales programme.
Moviter already has a foothold in Africa, having been appointed as the Hitachi dealer for the Angolan market, providing it with a strategic base in which it has made a significant investment, and from where it hopes to build a more significant commercial presence on the continent.
Angola was an obvious choice for Moviter, as Movicortes manager and board member, Arnaldo Sapinho explains.
“Angola is a Portuguese-speaking country and it was a colony until 1975. This means that the language and similar culture are two of the main advantages that Moviter, and other Portuguese companies, have in trading with this huge African country.
“However, the 27-year civil war only ended seven years ago and this had a devastating effect on Angola's infrastructure. At that time, there was an intensive rebuilding programme that helped the construction market to recover. As well as public investment, there was an increasing trend towards privately funded housing and commercial construction projects.”
In 2009, Angola suffered its own financial crisis when the price of oil bottomed out. With 95% of the country's revenue coming from this natural resource, it obviously had a further negative effect on the construction industry. The signs for recovery in 2011 are encouraging, as projects re-commence and Moviter's existing and potential customers use subcontractors to complete the work on their behalf.
“As the Angolan construction industry starts up again, the companies who stayed in the country through these turbulent times have a distinct advantage,” continues Arnaldo.
“The big issue is trust, so we need to continue to build relations and then develop the network.”