Following strong growth in turnover in 2011 (+26.2%) to return to pre-crisis levels, the Italian manufacturers of machinery and equipment for ceramics experienced a slight decline last year. Sales totalled € 1.667 bill., 4.4% down on 2011. While continuing to account for 77.3%, exports fell by 7.4% to a total of € 1.288 bill.
The European Union, Others Asia (a geographical area that includes India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand) and the Middle East were the main export areas last year, accounting respectively for 17.2%, 16.5% and 16.2% of the total. Next came Eastern Europe, Africa (North Africa in particular), North and South America and China.
Domestic sales in Italy increased by 7.3% to a total of € 379 mill. This was the second consecutive yearly increase, although absolute values are still far short of the pre-crisis levels of 2008 (22.6% lower).
The number of companies remained unchanged at 150, while the workforce dropped by 4.2 % to around 6078.
Fabio Tarozzi, Acimac Chairman, is cautiously optimistic for the current year and is expecting to maintain the same level of turnover as in 2012.
Machine groups and client sectors
Sales broke down by machine groups as follows: shaping 19.8%, glazing and decoration 18.8%, firing 12% and preparation 11.4%, storage and handling 11.2%, finishing 6.7% and moulds 5.6%. Shaping and firing suffered the biggest declines (-22.1% and -24.7%), only in part offset by the growth in sales of preparation machinery (+12.4%), sorting, packaging and palletization machinery (+13.2%) and storage and handling machinery (+34.3%). There was also a significant decline in sales of purification systems (-31.7%) and laboratory instruments (-25.8%). The other types of machinery showed smaller variations.
The clay brick and roofing tile machinery producers posted improved results (+12.9%), although these were still far short of the record pre-crisis figures (42.2% lower than in 2008). This sector generated a turnover of € 149 mill. in 2012 (8.9% of total turnover), a large portion of which was generated by exports (87.2%).
While exports grew by 14.5%, the domestic market remained in deep recession, achieving just 2.8% growth in 2012 following the severe declines over the last few years.