"There are two pillars in which we are building our business plan growth, and these are oil and gas on one side, and agrochemicals on the other. Because our selection of products is vast, we have a wide range of customers and partners. This gives us greater flexibility."
Can you give us an overview of developments at Copsa during the last 12 months?
An important milestone was our name change from Compañía Petrolera Copsa to Copsa Combustibles, Químicos y Especialidades. This was a strategic decision that allows us to be more marketable in industries such as the food segment. Expanding our reach into different sectors and industries is a central part of our business development strategy.
We also want to deepen our business with existing clients and suppliers. Oil and gas is an important focus for our products and an area we want to grow in 2020. Additionally, our strategy to expand into new industries and product lines is beneficial for our providers because we are presenting them with new opportunities and revenue streams. Over the past two years, despite difficulty from a market perspective, we have grown in the chemicals and petrochemicals business by 60%.
How is the internal organization of the company evolving, along with growth and expanded focus?
There are internal changes taking place in terms of management structure. We are consolidating our information system and making changes that will improve the handling of accounts and, at the same time, be more efficient. There are important differences between our fuel and chemical products in terms of the technical expertise for each one, the client portfolio etc. We are working towards a greater integration of the two sectors within the company. The first step is to operate under the same system and, afterwards, there is a process of training in order to merge the teams.
Is Copsa working in developing its own mixtures and formulations?
An important part of our business is our own line of retail products. We are constantly working to increase our production of mixtures and our capacity for added-value production. At the moment, we have offerings in thinners, refrigerating liquids, windshield cleaners, auto polish, among others. These products can be marketed as B2B as well as B2C. With an existing customer base of over 800 clients there is large potential to capitalize on with new products.
Which industries show promise from a business perspective?
There are two pillars in which we are building our business plan growth, and these are oil and gas on one side, and agrochemicals on the other. Because our selection of products is vast, we have a wide range of customers and partners. This gives us greater flexibility. Our existing customer base ranges from companies like YPF, Champion and Total, to others like a local paint shop.
Has Copsa felt the effects of reduced aggregate consumption at a domestic level?
Consumption has gone down in Argentina in 2019, and the effects on business are noticeable. We feel the impact particularly in our product line of paints, adhesives and coatings – which represents 20% of our petrochemical transactions. An important effect has to do with clients opting for our more economical products. The broader trend at an industry level is for products with better quality and durability, but these past years have seen a reversal. Nevertheless, even at reduced margins, sales volumes still grow. Maintaining participation is our priority so that we are well positioned when the market conditions improve.
How does the APLA meeting help a company like Copsa?
Over the last year, we have started some exports, especially to Bolivia, but also to Chile, and we have started looking at the Paraguayan market. Being able to open up new markets is key for us to make sure that we are diversified geographically, considering the volatility of the Argentinean market. In this respect, the APLA meeting has been very useful for us, because you can see that, especially over the last years, there are more people beyond the traditional markets of Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. If APLA was better known in other countries that would allow us to have a better regional reach, to look for both new clients and new providers. Last year, for instance, we imported product from Colombia for the first time.