Interzum: Fordaq interviews Sonae-Arauco's CEO Rui Correia

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Rui Correia

interzum: Sonae-Arauco‘s CEO Rui Correia in talk with Fordaq

“We are investing in our sites.”

In 2016, the Portuguese Sonae Indústria, SGPS, S.A. and the Chilean Inversiones Arauco Internacional, Limitada founded the 50/50 joint venture Sonae Arauco S.A. The new JV has production sites in Germany, Spain, Portugal and South Africa. Now German Glunz AG belonging to Sonae Arauco has been renamed Sonae Arauco Deutschland AG. Fordaq has met Rui Correia, the CEO of Sonae Arauco at Interzum.

Good morning, Mr. Correia. Recently, Glunz AG was renamed Sonae Arauco Deutschland AG, thereby unifying the company's brandscape. What are the advantages? Does the disappearance of the established Glunz brand pose a risk?

Behind the two brands Sonae and Arauco there are two strong family-run companies. With our brand strategy, we want to place these two brands in the foreground. Of course Glunz was an established brand in Germany with its strengths but also with the weaknesses. All in all, the advantages of a uniform branding outweighed the drawbacks for us. When you read Sonae Arauco, you know what you have, whether in Germany, Spain or Portugal. Our assortments have already been harmonized before we did the same with the brands. Now we have taken the next logical step towards company integration.

Does the tighter structure of the company mean that sites will be shut down?

Quite the opposite. We are investing in our sites. In Beeskow, two short cycle presses are still running , and in Portugal and South Africa, one at each site. They will be gradually replaced by continuous presses. At first, the press in our factory in Portugal will be replaced. As planned, the replacement will have been over by September 2018. The other presses will follow in the upcoming years. In addition, regarding the German factories, there are smaller modernization projects in Meppen and Nettgau. The Sonae Group accounts for the largest share of its sales outside the wood sector. In order to grow more strongly in the wood segment, Arauco stepped in as a strong partner. Now our growth targets will be implemented.

What is Sonae Arauco's product and business strategy?

Our product strategy has three core areas of activity: 1. Decorative, 2. Constructive and 3. Industrial partnerships. The first two concern our customers in trade and DIY. The third, as the name implies, concerns our customers in the furniture industry, which we see as individualized partnerships. We are in the process of redesigning our relationships with customers and suppliers. Our goal is long-term partnerships with our business partners. A uniform company is also important in this regard. The name Sonae Arauco stands for reliability and continuity.

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