• Warren Shoulberg

New Portuguese Powerhouse Ready for More

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - More-Textile Group, the newly created owner of three of Portugal's largest home textiles suppliers, had its official coming out party here earlier this month at Heimtextil.
     And now the company is ready to become a bigger player in the international marketplace.
     MoreTextile was created last year as the corporate owner and overseer of Coelima, JMA and Antonio Almeida & Filhos. Each of these Portuguese companies had experienced financial issues over the past years, as had many European suppliers in the industry, their business moving to less expensive Asian resources.
     Financial lenders to the individual firms decided to combine the three companies, although Artur Soutinho, president and ceo of MoreTextile, told HTT they are not calling it a merger.
     Each company, he said, will maintain a separate face to the public and the industry and only activities behind the scenes - operations and finance - will be combined. At Heimtex, each company occupied its own stand, though the three did jointly participate in an opening night reception attended by more than 100 people.
     Each of the three companies - Coelima and Almeida in bedding and JMA in bath - has been a significant supplier of product to the American market over the years, but all have reduced their American exports due to the combination of increased competition from Asia and the stronger Euro making their products more expensive in the United States.
     Together the three companies did about 110 million Euros last year, or about $142 million, the majority through exports. Soutinho said with the dollar gaining strength against the Euro again, MoreTextile expects to increase its export business to the United States and become more active in the American market.

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