Italian tile industry improves competitiveness with 515 million euro investments

Confirming its preliminary end-of-year results, the Italian tile industry has finally returned to the pre-crisis levels of ten years ago. According to the statistical survey published by Confindustria Ceramica at its Members’ Meeting on 6 June, the 145 companies in the sector closed fiscal 2017 with a turnover of 5.5 billion euros (up 2.4% on 2016), the same value as 2008. As always, this was largely attributable to the strong export performance with foreign sales up 1.9% to 338.2 million sq.m, corresponding to a value of 4.7 billion euros (+2.5%) at an average price of 13.9 €/sq.m. Domestic sales remained stable at 83.7 million sq.m (+1.1%), with revenues of 842 million euros (+1.6%) and an average selling price of around 10 €/sq.m. Total sales and total production were level pegging at 422 million sq.m (+1.6%).

As has repeatedly been pointed out, the most significant figure in terms of its dimensions is that of investments, which totalled 514.9 million euros in 2017, a further 28.6% increase on the already record figure of 400 million euros in 2016. These investments have largely been prompted by the Italian government’s tax incentives aimed at modernising factories in accordance with Industry 4.0 criteria, a benefit that the tile sector has succeeded in exploiting more than other industries and improving its competitiveness through the use of cutting-edge technologies.

Even in the most difficult years of the crisis, the ceramic industry entrepreneurs never lost heart and continued to invest in technology and develop new products and markets”, told us Giovanni Savorani, the newly-elected chairman of Confindustria Ceramica for the two-year period 2018-2020. He also added: “A significant portion of the almost two billion euros invested in the last 5 years was aimed at introducing large-size slabs and panels onto the market. The 2017 investment percentage – 9.3% of turnover – was of course largely attributable to the Industry 4.0 tax concessions, which I believe should be transformed into structural rather than time-limited incentives, to avoid the risk of generating excess supply that can prove harmful in the short term”.

 

2016

2017

Var. %

Companies / Aziende

147

145

-1.3

Employees / Addetti

18,956

19,515

+2.9

Production / Produzione (mill. m2)

415.9

422.5

+1.6

Total sales / Vendite Totali (mill. m2)

414.6

421.9

+1.8

- Domestic sales / Vendite in Italia (mill. m2)

82.9

83.7

+1.0

- Exports (mill. m2)

331.7

338.2

+1.9

Investments / Investimenti (mill. €)

400.4

514.9

+28.6

Total Turnover / Fatturato totale (mill. €)

5,417.1

5,546.5

+2.4

- Domestic sales / Vendite in Italia (mill. €)

828.8

842.4

+1.6

- Exports (mill. €)

4,588.3

4,704.1

+2.5

Read the interview to Giovanni Savorani published in Ceramic World Review 127/2018

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