Employing a total of 300 people in its three Portuguese factories, the group based in Santa Maria da Feira, in the district of Aveiro, has stated that the restructuring affects only Cifial – Indústria Cerâmica SA, located in Santa Comba Dão, in the district of Viseu.

The measure is “a consequence of the exponential increase in natural gas costs”, and according to the administration, reflects a situation “transversal to the entire sector”.

The director general of Cifial, Luís Rodrigues, admits that the restructuring had already been considered for some years. “It was successively postponed by the administration, but, despite all efforts, it is not possible to maintain activity in the ceramics industry in the current way”, he said.

For the official, “the uncontrolled increase in energy costs – namely natural gas, at around 400% – makes the activity unsustainable”, taking into account that the raw material in question represents “between 30% and 40% of costs of production".

Even so, “Cifial – Indústria Cerâmica SA will remain alive and active in the Santa Comba Dão hub”, and the group’s management is committed to safeguarding “all the rights of employees covered by the restructuring process”.