Sanitaryware: stable turnover but rising in volumes | by Andrea Cusi

Volumes generated by ceramic sanitaryware are increasing, while turnover remains stable and investments are decreasing after growth registered in 2015: this is the major evidence published by the 2016 national statistics survey on the Italian ceramic sanitaryware industry, elaborated by Confindustria Ceramica in collaboration with the Centro Ceramica of Civita Castellana , and concerning a sector embracing 33 companies, hiring over 3,100 employees, with 4 million product pieces manufactured and a 333 million euros turnover.

As of December 2016, 30 out of  33 ceramic sanitaryware manufacturing companies that are currently operating in Italy  are located in Civita Castellana, the most important production hub at a national level for this sector, while the other 3 are set in Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Lombardy. There are 39 production plants, 35 of which are located in the Viterbo province, employing 3,124 people at a national level,  -2.5% compared to 2015.
2016 production amounts to 4.1 million pieces, over 300,000 more than 2015, registering a +8.5% increase. Sales are performing well too, with a +4.9% increase in the same year and a generated 332.9 million euro turnover, which is much in line with 2015 earnings.

According to Eurostat data on international trade, last year’s exports in weight decreased by 3.5% with respect to 2015. Translating this into absolute value, it means that during 2016 exports of ceramic sanitaryware amounted to an overall weight of almost 50,000 tons, about 2,000 tons less than the previous survey. As to imports, they have grown since 2015.
Investments on the other hand are back to 2014 levels. According to ACIMAC data, in 2016 Italian ceramic sanitaryware manufacturing companies invested a total of 11.3 million euros in technologies. A quarter of total investments, that is 2.8 million euros, concerned the purchase of molding and casting machinery, while almost 2 million were allocated for machines for the preparation of clay (17% of total investments). Glazing and decoration machines for storage and handling of goods make about 1.2 million euros, taking up about a tenth of total investment. Finally, kilns, dryers, moulders, and other kinds take up the remaining 35% of total investments, wichi exceed, as aggregate value, 4 million euros.