Italian ceramic technology sector announces 7 per cent growth in 2014
Italian ceramic machinery manufacturers saw a return to pre-crisis levels of performance in 2014. The results of the 23rd National Statistical Survey conducted by ACIMAC reveal growth in the sector of seven per cent, with turnover amounting to 1.836 billion euro. These figures reaffirm the sector as the most important industrial system in the world for supplies to the ceramic industry.
Following years of contraction, the turnover generated by domestic machinery sales rose by 28.2 per cent, to 441.87 million euro. This much-awaited positive trend was maintained during the first few months of 2015 thus confirming that the recovery continues.
“This is a very important result that goes beyond mere economic considerations,” opined ACIMAC chairman, Fabio Tarozzi. “We believe that the newfound confidence on the part of Italian customers will contribute to the development of new technological solutions. Italian companies have always been important technological partners for developing new products.”
Exports are nevertheless the real driving force behind the sector’s growth. Turnover derived from overseas sales climbed by 1.6 per cent to reach the record figure of 1.395 billion euro. The breakdown of sales by geographical area demonstrates the strong penetration of Italian technologies across every market.
The Middle East jumped from second to first place in the rankings with a 15.6 per cent surge in turnover to 249.1 million euro. In second place was the European Union which likewise experienced good levels of growth (12 per cent) with turnover amounting to 226.26 million euro.
Asian countries (excluding China) were in third place, losing the top spot, following a three per cent downturn to 214.87 million euro. Central and South America contributed 172.08 million euro in sales. Shipments to China, Oceania and non-EU Europe increased although such progress was counterbalanced by unfortunate slumps in Africa and North America.
Turnover generated by foreign companies controlled by Italian groups also improved. Fifty-three overseas concerns with a majority of Italian capital amplified their turnover by eight per cent, to 500.5 million euro.
The structure of the ceramic machinery and equipment manufacturing sector remained largely unchanged in 2014 with 152 companies employing 6203 people. The breakdown of companies on the basis of sales indicates that the majority of active firms have turnover of 2.5 million euro or less while 11.2 per cent of companies accrue upwards of 10 million euro annually. Those larger manufacturers unsurprisingly possess a greater export share.
“The sector reported record results in the first quarter of 2015 with average growth of 42.4 per cent, driven by strong performances in both the domestic and international markets,” Mr Tarozzi revealed. “These results are unlikely to be maintained over the next few months, but our Research Department’s forecasts suggest that sales will stabilise at a slightly higher level than that of 2014.”