ITALY, Baggiovara. One of the most dynamic Italian manufacturing sectors recorded further 8.9% growth. The sector competes head-to-head with Germany in international markets. Export sales totalled €5.7 bn. in 2017 (79.1% of the total), 7.5% up on 2016. The Italian market continues its positive growth trend, closing 2017 at €1.5 bn. (+14.4%). Food and Beverage are the main outlet sectors.
Total turnover exceeded €7.19 bn., 8.9% up on 2016. The sector continues to stand out for its strong international presence, with Italian companies competing head-to-head with their German counterparts in all world markets. One machine out of every five sold worldwide is made in Italy. Exports grew by 7.5% to €5.7 bn.
The domestic market also continued its strong performance with 14.4% growth to more than €1.5 bn. The sector consequently recorded a positive trade balance of €5.2 bn., up by 7.1%.These results were generated by 634 companies employing 32,227 people (up 8.7% on 2016). The sector was once again Italy’s most dynamic capital goods manufacturing industry in 2017, ranking top in terms of export share and second in terms of overall turnover. The Italian market has enjoyed a further positive year thanks to the tax incentives offered by the Industry 4.0 programme.
The European Union remains the most important market, accounting for 37.4% of total turnover (€1.905 bn.). Asia ranks second with a value of €1.112 bn. and a 21.8% share of turnover. The North American market ranks third with €592.6 mill. (11.6%). Next come Central and South America (€532.8 mill.; 10.4%), non-EU Europe (€515.4 mill.; 10.1%) and Africa and Oceania (€439.5 mill.; 8.6%). The United States, France and Germany remain the top three individual countries, followed by Mexico, China, Spain, UK, Russia, Turkey and Poland.
As for the breakdown of turnover amongst the various client sectors, the food and beverage sector maintained its dominant position in 2017 accounting for 56.1% of total turnover. Even considered individually, these two sub-sectors lead the rankings. Food was the largest client sector in 2017, making up 30.25% of total turnover (€2.174 bn.) and with an export share of 74.4%. Beverage was second with 25.9% of total turnover and exports making up 85% of the segment’s sales.
In Italy, food remains the leading segment (37.1%), followed by beverage and others.
The Italian packaging machinery sector reflects the structure of Italian industry in general. 65.8% of companies have revenues of below €5 mill. and account for just 8.9% of the sector’s total turnover. The 48 largest companies (with turnovers above €25 mill.) generate 66.8% of the sector’s total turnover. The larger companies are also the only ones to have seen growth in average number of employees.
Despite this polarisation, 2017 saw the growth of medium-sized companies (with turnovers in the €10-25 mill. range), which increased in number from 52 to 77 (+25) and generated 15.4% of total turnover.The largest number of companies are located in the Emilia Romagna region (36%), accounting for 61.9% of total turnover. The next most important regions are Lombardy (28.1% of companies and 17.6% of turnover), Veneto (11.8% of companies and 8.9% of turnover) and Piedmont (11.4% of companies and 6% of turnover).
“The volatility of markets and constant changes in the geopolitical conditions in a number of regions make it increasingly difficult to make reliable forecasts,” said Ucima’s Chairman Enrico Aureli. “On balance however we expect last year’s growth trend to be maintained. According to the Ucima Research Department’s forecasts, the industry will continue its strong performance in Italy and Europe. Sales are also expected improve in Asia and Africa with growth of between 6% and 6.5% in the two-year period 2018-2020.”