SAMPEDRO turns 100 and continues to grow in the bed, table and bath sector

The oldest active national home textile manufacturer, which employs 160 people and has just completed an investment of 15 million euros, closed 2020 with a 17% growth in sales of bed linen, table linen and bath linen to 18 million euros, with exports accounting for 89% of the total.

SAMPEDRO turns 100 and continues to grow in the bed, table and bath sector

Sampedro turns 100

In 1921, with Europe still licking its wounds from the First World War, Álvaro Machado, a university professor, and his brother Eduardo Rodrigues Machado, a former militia officer, joined Luís Eugénio D' Oliveira Braga, a merchant in Porto, to found Sampedro, in Guimarães, where the textile industry was already boosting the Minho region.

The company began by dedicating itself to bed linen, which still accounts for the bulk of its sales today. It was the first in Portugal to produce checked, striped and printed sheeting. Later, it also started producing table and bath linen.

Sampedro was focused on the Portuguese market until the turn of the new century, when, seeing some clients closing down, it decided to set out to conquer international markets.

And everything changed. Today it sells to three and a half dozen countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain and France, with exports accounting for 89% of its turnover, which reached 18 million euros in the pandemic year of 2020.

A figure that represented a vigorous growth of 16.7% compared to sales recorded the previous year, with bed textiles generating 85% of the total.

When the world economy is going through a deep recession, and the Portuguese textile sector is going through very difficult times, what is the reason for Sampedro's strength? "The home has taken on a central role in recent years, and every detail is important to make us feel good and happier. In fact, during the lockdown months, we saw a significant increase in sales," the president of Sampedro told Negócios.

"The fact that people are stuck at home has led many to take advantage of these times to remodel and modernize their homes. Bed, bath and table articles were in fact one of the details that consumers paid attention to," explained Simão Gomes, who went on to study Medicine but ended up graduating in Textile Engineering, joining the family and taking over the leadership of the company.

The bed linen specialist, along with tablecloths and terry towels, will be 100 years old in 2021 and is still in the hands of the same family, which is already in its fourth generation, guaranteeing that "it is prepared for another 100 years of leading the textile industry".

Invests 15 million and expects to export more in 2021

To this end, it has just completed the renovation and innovation plan for all areas of its production center, in an investment of 15 million euros, which involved improving its entire production method, from the weaving, dyeing (piece, yarn and continuous), printing, finishing and clothing processes.

"We are a company with investment capacity and a solid position in international markets. We currently export to 36 countries, which shows that we are on the right track. We are a company that generates business and wealth for the country, which favours the small customer and personalized sales over mass sales. And, most importantly of all, we are a company that creates and values jobs," emphasizes Simão Gomes.

Meanwhile, the company is "starting new projects for the short term future".

"We want to further improve the working conditions of all employees, increase installed production capacity, increase the efficiency and flexibility of its processes," as well as "invest in new production units whose services are outsourced and invest in global energy recovery and rationalization models that make the company self-sufficient," revealed Sampedro's chairman in a statement.

"If the pandemic situation permits, the outlook for sales growth is 5%," said Simão Gomes.

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