Italian Ceramic Machinery Industry Reports Record Results in 2015
Italian ceramic machinery equipment manufacturers achieved record turnover in 2015, according to the 24th National Statistical Survey conducted by Acimac.
Italian ceramic machinery equipment manufacturers achieved record turnover in 2015, according to the 24th National Statistical Survey conducted by Acimac. The sector’s turnover totaled €1.98 billion (approximately $2.19 billion) in 2015, 8% up from the previous year and 2.3% higher than the previous record set in 2007. This result was a combination of 9.1% year-on-year export growth to a record €1.5 billion (~ $1.6 billion) and a 4.3% increase in domestic sales to €460.8 million (~ $509 million).
Exports were the highest in the industry’s history in 2015, representing 76.8% of total turnover. The top export destination was Asia (excluding China) with €278 million (~ $307 million), 18.3% of total turnover and a 29.3% increase from 2014. The European Union maintained second place, with exports increasing from €226.2 to €277.3 million (~ $249.9 million306.3 million), up 22.6% and making up 18.2% of total turnover. Next was Africa (mainly North Africa), with 22.8% growth to €203.8 million (~ $225.1 million) and comprising 13.4% of total exports.
The Middle East saw a 25.1% reduction in exports to €186.6 million (~ $206.1 million), dropping to fourth place in the rankings of Italian export destinations in 2015. In fifth place was South America with €185.9 million (~ $205.4 million), up 8%. North America saw excellent export performance, boosted by the new U.S. manufacturing cluster, with turnover practically doubled to €160.9 million (~ $177.7 million) up 92.8%. Next came Eastern Europe with a total of €152.9 million (~ $168.9 million), up 7.9%; East Asia (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) with €75.5 million (~ $83.4 million), down 34.9%; and Oceania with a turnover of €1.2 million (~ $1.3 million).
The 67 foreign companies controlled by Italian groups as of December 2015 reported a turnover of €492.5 million (~ $544 million), an increase on 2014. Turnover generated from sales to Italian customers grew for the third year running to reach €460.8 million (~ $509 million), up 4.3% and reprenting 23.3% of the total.
As usual, sales to tile manufacturers made up more than 80% (82.5%) of the total, a 6.1% increase from 2014. The biggest increases were in international markets where sales rose by 7% to €1.2 billion (~ $1.3 billion). The heavy clay machinery segment marked up an excellent performance with 38.3% growth to reach a turnover of €156.1 million (~ $172.4) after years of contraction. Here, too, growth was driven by exports, which rose by 42.8% in 2015. In third place was the ceramic sanitaryware sector with 25.9% growth to €126.9 million (~ $140.2 million). The biggest growth percentage was in the domestic market (up 78.6%), which reached €22.7 million euros (~ $25.1 million). Next came the refractories, tableware and technical ceramics sectors.
As of the end of December 2015, 148 companies were operating in Italy (four fewer than in 2014), with a total workforce of 6,229 people ( increase of 0.4%). The sector maintained its highly polarized structure with the majority of companies (51.4%) generating turnovers below €2.5 million (~ $2.8 million). There were just 19 companies (12.8% of the total) with turnovers above €10 million (~ $11 million).
“The first quarter of 2016 closed with 9% growth over the same period in 2015, driven by strong results abroad,” said Paolo Sassi, chairman. “Exports grew by 14.2%, despite slowdowns in several major markets and the economic and social crises that are affecting some areas. This provides a clear indication of the robustness of our sector. By contrast, domestic sales fell (-5.9%) after two years of growth. We hope that this growth will be confirmed over the coming months, allowing us to close the year with a small improvement over the already excellent results of 2015.”
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