Finishing gantry truck, truck for anti-doping controls, stewards or even for the press… Portix can supply all this equipment for cycling races, but also for mountain biking or cyclocross. Although somewhat restrained by the aftermath of the war in Ukraine, the company is doing very well and its manager Sébastien Terray intends to continue its development.
France Bleu Isère: We are in full swing at Portix, with Alpe Isère, does this mark a period when life is returning to your company?
Sébastien Terray: Yes, absolutely. We don’t really have a slow period, but the arrival of the Alpes Isère Tour, whose organization is based in the same facilities as us, is starting a season that is becoming busy for us. We have several fronts to do at the same time. We have the vehicles to be able to do several events at the same time.
Your business has been heavily affected by the health crisis since you operate in sporting events across the world. How has it been since, little by little, this crisis has left us a little silent?
So, in fact, this covid that arrived in 2020, the year I took over the company, still gave me a lot of small worries. Clearly, in 2020, we made 50% of the billing, so it was pretty catastrophic. But fortunately, 2021, despite a still a little complicated first quarter, we are really back to work. There were a lot of requests, a lot of events planned and suddenly, it came out with the good surprise of an exceptional year 2021 and 2022 is announced in the same wake. Thus, we are very satisfied and will be able to continue the investments necessary for our activity.
Precisely, what are the paths for development that you have since you mentioned the investments?
Our activity is clearly very cycling, but we have trucks adapted to be able to travel through other terrains, always sporting. Marathons, more and more, are open to the general public, so it’s interesting to go to those camps, and another part that’s really new to us, which is what we call a “roadshow”. He is assembling trucks for a brand that has decided to organize a presentation tour for its customers. We hope to be able to materialize these clues and discover new horizons that are also pleasant.
The landing gate was an innovation. Do you have any others in mind?
So projects, we have a lot. I said that I’m not talking about covid anymore, but financially, covid is still a little bit there. We intend to make investments, rebuild a gantry truck because this is our core business, that’s basically what the company exists for, but it’s a little complicated. The increase in raw materials held us back because a product that we launched in 2018, and a product that we would like to launch now, already, in terms of time, is complicated, but the price has almost doubled. We have not lost the desire to do so, but we are forced to think a little more.
You are an activity that moves a lot. We know that there is this problem of fuel prices. Are you touched by this topic?
Yes, completely. We, the fuel, is a little bit our raw material because most of our races are not close to us, clearly. The Alpes Isère Tour is an exception to the rule, with the Critérium du Dauphiné as well. We had to review all our quotations and it is even difficult to pass them on because the purchase price of fuel is not the same here as in the north of France or in other areas. So it’s always difficult to put a price to make an estimate and we realize that actually, when it came time to invoice the price, it wasn’t quite that one, so it’s not obvious. But the business is working. As I said in 2021, we got the best score that Portix has ever done. 20éé is on the same line, we have the wind in our sails. Clearly, we are the market leader in this type of vehicle and we intend to continue to be so. And suddenly, go through a development that is important for any company.