Group Jayme da Costa started with the creation of Jayme da Costa – Mecânica e Electricidade S.A in 1916 by Artur Augusto dos Santos, Joaquim Mendes da Costa and Artur Martins Nogueira. Its original name was “Santos, Costa & Nogueira, lda” with main office in Lisbon . At that time the company’s area of business was the production and commercialization of low and medium tension electrical equipment, engines and other industrial equipment.
Jayme da Costa became a partner on 3rd April 1916 and he played a crucial role in the development of the Company. On the 6th July 1918 the company’s name was changed to “Jayme da Costa, Limitada”.
The growth of the company’s activity led to another change. On 12th August 1921 “Jayme da Costa, Limitada” became the main shareholder of a new partnership – “Jayme da Costa & Companhia, Limitada”, based in Oporto. On 15th August 1927, this new company was integrated in the parent company.
On 28th August 1972 “Jayme da Costa, Limitada” became a Limited Liability Company and its name was changed to the current: “Jayme da Costa – Mecânica e Electricidade, SA”.
Since its early days, the Company has gained a major role in the market due to the quality of its products and solutions and it became one of the main suppliers at a national level.
The quality of its workers and technicians played a key role in its the growth and expansion and some of the manuals they developed to the installation, use and maintenance of equipments and electrical engines were used in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Oporto.
The Company also had factories in Angola and Mozambique until their independence from Portugal.
The revolution and subsequent change of regime to a democracy in 1974 led to a period of social instability as usual in these processes but even under these circumstances the Company has proceeded with its development strategy being one of the main suppliers of the national electricity companies, currently grouped under the designation EDP- Energias de Portugal.
During the first half of the 1980s the country was living a serious crisis and there was the need to make some adjustments, including the intervention of the IMF with very restrictive policies both concerning public finance and the income of families.
During this period, the Company faced a progressive decrease of business volume and profit facing until the end of1988 financial loss as a result of having an inadequate structure for the activity and accumulated liabilities – workers, suppliers, banks, Social Security and State.
In 1989, the Company’s capital was alienated to a group of investors who believed recovery was possible based on the development perspectives for national economy and the Company’s intangible assets. A new management team started a number of actions to adapt the structure to its needs, both concerning human resources and production, commercial and administrative facilities.
A negotiation process started in order to pay off the liabilities, and today they are completely cleared. Some of the company’s properties were used to pay bank loans; the production was centralized in one single place – the main building in Grijó, Vila Nova de Gaia and one Sales Office was kept in Lisbon.The Company’s trade relations with its major client, EDP – Energias de Portugal, were re-established and the product line was improved to adjust the offer to the market needs, eliminating some products. Nowadays, all the products are certified according to international electrotechnical rules and also according to the national guidelines, defined by EDP.
There was a strong bet in the area of services, especially in those areas where the Company has accumulated know-how through the years, such as the renewable energies and nowadays the Company is the major installer of small hydroelectric power plants and one of the most important installers of wind farms.
In 1995 the Company was one of the first of its sector to receive the EN NP ISO 9002 quality certification; in 1998 the NP EN ISO 9001 and the NP ISO 14001 environmental certification were acquired.
Between 1989 and 1996 the business volume grew at an average annual rate of 16%. By the end of 1996 and due to some weaknesses, a growth opportunity was identified via acquisitions and in May 1997, the Company acquired 100% of the social capital of MARPE-Construções e Instalações Técnicas, SA (MARPE).
MARPE had a similar business volume to that of the Company and developed its activity in complementary sectors where a strong growth was expected, especially the areas of natural gas installation (primary, secondary and tertiary networks) and environment (wastewater treatment plants). MARPE was also important due to its geographical location. Its main office was located south the river Tagus and so the Company would benefit from this office in the south and MAPRE would also benefit from the Company’s facilities in the North.