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Figures of the Italian Ceramic Market

With 273 companies and 37 058 employees, the Italian ceramic industry (ceramic tiles, sanitaryware, tableware and refractory materials) closed 2011 with a turnover of EUR 6,66 billion, 2,6 % up on 2010.

According to figures from Confindustria Ceramica’s annual statistical survey, exports made a significant contribution to the results just like in 2010. Together with turnover generated by Italian companies operating abroad, they accounted for EUR 5 billion, 75 % of total turnover. The lion’s share of turnover was as usual generated by the ceramic tile sector. Domestic Italian production totalled 399,7 Mm2 (+3,2 %), while total sales (413 Mm2, stable at 2010 levels) generated a turnover of EUR 4,716 billion (+1,86 %), consisting of EUR 1,146 billion of domestic Italian sales (–5,8 %) and EUR 3,570 billion of exports (+4,6 %). Exports performed particularly strongly in Russia (+20,2 %), Africa (+14,9 %) and Australia/Oceania (+11,8 %). In spite of a sharp contraction in the weaker economies such as Ireland, Greece and Portugal, the European market saw overall growth of 4,6 %, with the best performances in Lithuania (+38,4 %), Latvia (25,3 %), Czech Republic (+19,5 %), Austria (+9,8 %), France (+9,1 %), Hungary (+8,9 %) and Germany (+8,4 %). The sector counted 163 companies (9 fewer than in 2010) and 22189 employees (–5 %). In spite of the current difficult period, it reported sharp growth in investments (+10,9 %) to 5,3 % of annual turnover. The 20 Italian-owned tile manufacturers located outside Italy also reported good results, including a turnover of EUR 1,045 billion (+5,6 %), including EUR 866,8 million from domestic sales (+6,3 %) and EUR 178,3 million from exports (+2,4 %). The production levels of these plants also increased, reaching 122 Mm2 (+5,2 %), as did the number of employees, up to 7451 (+5,6 %). The first quarter of 2012 essentially confirmed the trend already observed in 2011. The sharp growth in sales to non-EU countries (+8,7 % overall, including peaks of +45 % in the Gulf region, +16,8 % in Russia, +10,7 % in the USA and +7,8 % in Asia) was offset by the fall of a few percentage points in European markets and the slump in sales in the domestic Italian market (–16,25 %). Just like the tile industry, the Italian ceramic sanitaryware, tableware and refractory materials sectors relied strongly on exports for their revenues in 2011. In the domestic market, sanitaryware and tableware experienced further falls in turnover (–11,9 % and –0,5 %, respectively), whereas sales of refractory materials rose by 13,1 %. The ceramic sanitaryware industry, located principally in the Civita Castellana area (province of Viterbo), lost 2 production facilities in 2011 and now counts 41 companies with 4196 employees (4,2 % down on 2010). Production dropped to 4,6 million pieces (–5,6 %) and sales to 4,48 million pieces (–4,5 %), of which 2,24 million pieces were sold in Italy (–12,3 %) and a similar quantity abroad (+4,8 %). The sharp fall in Italian turnover (EUR 159,7 million compared to EUR 181,3 million in 2010) was offset by a 4,1 % increase in export turnover, which reached EUR 218 million. The ceramic tableware sector, made up of 12 industrial-level companies, reported a series of positive figures. Production rose (15400 t finished products, +11,1 %), as did turnover (EUR 68,5 million, +0,6 %), of which EUR 52,8 million was generated by domestic Italian sales (–0,5 %) and EUR 15,7 million by exports (+4,56 %). By contrast, the refractory materials sector (37 companies and 2229 employees) chalked up a very positive performance in the domestic market with a turnover of EUR 290 million, 13,1 % up on 2010. Exports also performed strongly, accounting for EUR 159,1 million (+4,1 %). Total production amounted to 507500 t (compared to 502100 t in 2010).


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