Acimac reports increased turnover/Acimac meldet Umsatzsteigerung

Turnaround for Italy‘s ceramic technology sector

The 19th national statistical survey conducted by Acimac reveals an 8.6% recovery in turnover compared to the disastrous figures of 2009. While still a long way from the pre-crisis levels, this represents a major trend reversal.


Export markets

The largest outlet market was Asia, with 32.7% of total exports, followed by Europe (25.6%), the Americas (16.1%), the Middle East (14.2%) and Africa (11.2%).

China, Taiwan and Hong Kong were the top export area, with 203.7 million euros (up 63% over 2009) and a 19.1% share of total export turnover. The ­European Union dropped to second place, with 188.6 million euros­ (-25.1%) and 17.7% of total exports. The Middle East retained an essentially stable third place, with turnover totalling 152 million euros, followed by the “rest of Asia” category, i.e., India, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, with a turn­over of 145.4 million euros (13.6% of the total and 37.1% higher than in 2009). South America came in fifth, with 129.5 million euros, followed by Africa (119 million euros), Eastern Europe (84.5 million euros), North America (42.7 million euros) and Oceania (0.9 million ­euros).



Sales on the Italian domestic market suffered a further 2.8% contraction last year, dropping to 326.8 million euros or 23.4% of total turnover. The only technologies that saw growth were those intended for the final stages of the production process (sorting, packaging, palletization, storage and handling), as well as glazing and decoration lines – thanks to the introduction of digital decoration machinery.


The sector‘s structure

In 2010, the sector‘s structure remained virtually unchanged compared to that of 2009. At the end of the year, there were 157 companies – four fewer than in 2009 – with 6228 employees in all (13 more than 2009).

The breakdown of companies by size also remained extensively the same as before: 56% reported turnovers below 2.5 million euros, and only 10.6% had sales exceeding 10 million euros.

In 2010, a total of 57 companies majority-owned by Italian groups were operating outside of Italy. These companies generated turn­over adding up to 338.2 million euros, or 28.7% better than in 2009.


Forecast for 2011

“During the twelve months of 2010”, Acimac Chairman Pietro Cassani explains, “we saw a timid resumption of investments in most countries of the world and are therefore optimistic about the current year‘s performance. We are expecting a further 10 to15% recovery in turnover with respect to 2010, although forecasting such things is always somewhat difficult due to the effects of external factors with continuous impacts on our operations, such as the current political and social upheaval in the Middle East.”

The Italian machinery manufacturers are also eagerly awaiting a recovery for the Italian domestic market. “During the first few months of this year, our companies secured major supply contracts with leading Italian firms”, says Cassani, “and we hope that this trend will continue on for at least the next six months.”


Client sectors

Brick and tile producers remained the second most important client sector in terms of turnover (10% of total) despite having been the worst-hit sector last year (down 25.9% to 139.3 million euros). The largest drop (-34.1%) was registered on the Italian market, while exports declined by 23%.

Thanks to strong sales in Italy (+34.7%), the refractories industry suffered much less than in 2009, i.e., this segment‘s total sales volume for 2010 came to 31.9 million euros (-12.4%).


Turnover according to machine category

Ceramic shaping machines accounted for 25.1% of total turnover, followed by glazing and decoration systems (16.9%), firing equipment (12.2%) and clay preparation machinery (10.5%).

Shaping machines were down 16% last year, while clay preparation machinery (-6.4%), engineering (-13%) and laboratory instruments (-8.7%) all fared somewhat better.

Conversely, substantial growth was achieved in the sale of machines for glazing and decoration (+20.1%), due largely to investments in digital technology. Strong performance was also shown by machinery for drying (+1.9%), firing (+8.6%), sorting, packaging and palletization (+28.1%), machinery for finishing (+19.5%), mould-making (+9.2%), purification systems (+16.4%) and quality and process control equipment.


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