Autor: Rui Jorge Cabral
EDA - Electricidade dos Açores was the largest company in the Azores in 2021, while the best company was ACAIL Açores, a company dedicated to the iron and steel trade.
The Azorean business ranking for 2021 was announced in the Magazine "100 Largest Companies in the Azores" in a ceremony that took place at Teatro Micaelense, in Ponta Delgada.
The magazine's launch session was broadcast live on Açoriano Oriental's website and on Facebook.
The 2021 business ranking is very much the mirror of what last year looked like, with the first half of the year still marked by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the second half of the year already with obvious signs of a progressive return to normality.
An example of this is the return of EDA to the top of the largest companies in the Azores, a place it has occupied in recent years and which it exceptionally lost, in 2020, to Insco, the Bensaude Group company that represents the Continente and Meu Super stores in the Azores. Insco was the largest company in the Azores in 2020 since, during the lockdown, supermarkets were among the few commercial facilities not forced to close.
As for the 10 best companies in the Azores, there were major changes in the 2021 ranking - with eight new companies as compared to the 2020 top ten.
Upon receiving the award for the largest company in the Azores in 2021, the president of EDA, Nuno Pimentel, recalled that being the sole electricity operator in the Azores does not diminish the company, but rather increases its responsibility to provide good service.
In 2020, the 10 best companies in the Azores were mostly from the construction sector (which continued to operate during the pandemic) and from the home and garden equipment sector, clearly reflecting the lockdown and the need for many people to adapt their homes to teleworking and distance learning. However, in 2021, the major changes in the ranking for the best companies reveal the return of traditional companies - which have already been part of this ranking for several years, such as Auto Viação Micaelense, Frutaria São Miguel or BENCOM.
However, the lack of companies linked to tourism in the 2021 top 10 companies continues to demonstrate that this was the sector most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Regarding the 10 largest companies in the Azores, there have also been changes.
However, unlike 2020, last year the changes in the largest companies ranking reflect a progressive return to normality, with the re-entry of SATA - Azores Airlines and Galp Azores in the Top 10, two companies that had temporarily left the ranking due to the strong effects of the pandemic on their economic activity in 2020.
The magazine "100 Largest Companies in the Azores" has been published by Açormedia since 1985, also including the 200 largest Azorean companies. In the ranking analysis published by Informa D&B, it is stated that the 200 largest companies in the Azores represent, as a whole, more than two-thirds of the business volume of all companies in the Azores, as well as 37% of employment and 85% of total exports.
The 200 largest companies in the Azores also show, according to the Informa D&B analysis, a high level of resilience, higher than the one observed in the national business fabric.
In addition to the business ranking, the magazine also awards the companies, projects and personalities that stand out each year.
If last year, due to the reduction in economic activity, only the Career and Manager of the Year Awards were given, in this year's edition, for 2021, the Investment Project Award was again awarded and the Azores Brand Product Award was introduced.
Thus, the 2021 Manager of the Year Award was given to Joana Damião Melo, who, upon receiving it, mentioned her parents' influence on her love for hospitality, expressed through the recovery of Hotel Senhora da Rosa, which used to belong to her family and to which she gave a second life, in a time of great challenges.
The 2021 Career Award was given to Joaquim Neves, an indispensable name in the commerce of Ponta Delgada's historical center.
The Investment Project Award went to the Logistic Terminal of Ponta Delgada, of the Madeiran company Logislink, belonging to the Sousa Group. The terminal opened last October.
Finally, the Azores Brand Product Award went to the tea for brain health launched by Fábrica de Chá Gorreana, a premium product resulting from four years of research in partnership with the University of the Azores.