Confindustria Ceramica

09   Giugno   2020

Italian ceramics in 2019

The Italian ceramic industry generated revenues of 6.5 billion euros with 27,500 direct employees. For the tile sector, exports amounted to 4.5 billion euros and investments 373 million euros, respectively 84% and 7% of turnover

At its 2020 Members’ Meeting, Confindustria Ceramica presented a series of statistical surveys covering the Italian ceramic industry, a sector made up of industrial-level companies producing ceramic tiles and slabs, sanitaryware, porcelain and tableware, refractory materials, technical ceramics, and bricks and roof tiles. In 2019, the sector comprised a total of 279 companies operating in Italy, with a workforce of more than 27,500 employees and revenues of 6.5 billion euros, as well as a number of companies owned by Italian groups that operate in Europe and North America.

Ceramic tiles produced in Italy
There were a total of 135 ceramic tile manufacturers operating in Italy in 2019 with a workforce of 19,318 employees. Production totalled 400.7 million square metres (-3.5%) and sales 406.9 million square metres (-0.78%). Sales in Italy totalled 83.5 million square metres (+1.3%). while exports fell slightly to 323.4 million square metres (-1.3%). This brought the total turnover of Italian ceramic companies to 5.34 billion euros (-0.73%), consisting of 4.5 billion euros from exports (down 0.8%, corresponding to 84% of turnover) and 832 million euros from domestic sales.
In 2019, investments amounted to 373.1 million euros (7% of annual turnover), down by a quarter compared to the previous year when tax incentives were still in place, but still well above the pre-Industry 4.0 volumes.

Internationalisation of tile production
In 2019 there were a total of 16 Italian-controlled companies operating outside Italy. Owned by 9 Italian ceramic groups, these companies employed 3,133 people and produced 82 million square metres of tiles. Sales revenues totalled 843 million euros (-1.8%), consisting of 464.7 million euros from sales in Europe (-3.8%; 55% share) and the remaining 378.4 million euros from sales in North America (+0.7%). Some 80% of total turnover was generated by sales in the same market where the factories are located.

Ceramic sanitaryware
There were a total of 30 ceramic sanitaryware manufacturers operating in Italy in 2019, including 27 located in the Civita Castellana cluster in the province of Viterbo. The industry employed a total workforce of 2,672 people nationwide and produced 4 million pieces. Turnover totalled 338.8 million euros, including exports of 152.5 million euros (45% of the total).

The refractory materials industry
The 32 refractory materials producers employed 1,734 people (3.6% fewer than in 2018) and produced a total of 358,700 tons (-9.4%). Total turnover increased with respect to the previous year (more than 407 million euros, +0.4%) as a combined result of a 6.5% fall in domestic sales and 9.6% growth in exports.

Ceramic tableware
The 10 industrial-level Italian companies operating in the sector employed a total of 655 people and reported a production of 11,600 tons (-12.1%) and sales of 10,000 tons of finished product. Domestic sales made up 74% of the total. The 2019 turnover totalled 49.7 million euros (-9.4%), about 70% of which was generated in Italy.

The brick and tile sector
The Italian brick and tile industry consists of 72 companies with a workforce of 3,200 employees and revenue of 380 million euros in 2019, mainly generated in the Italian market. Production totalled 4.4 million tons.

Statement by Giovanni Savorani, Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica
 “Covid-19 has turned our lives upside down in recent months, and after the health emergency we are unfortunately now also facing an economic and social emergency. Our industry has lost more than 350 million euros in revenues during this period and companies in all constituent sectors have made extensive use of the employee furlough scheme.

The revival of our country’s economy is crucial for the recovery of industry and employment. The measures already planned by the government, such as the 110% super-bonus for energy efficiency and seismic efficiency, are a step in the right direction, but urgent administrative simplification measures are needed to jump-start private and public investment. In particular, we call for the earliest possible start-up of works for which all the authorisation procedures have been completed, such as the Campogalliano-Sassuolo motorway link road.

With regard to these issues, we have sent the government a joint letter together with the trade unions calling amongst other things for water efficiency to be placed on an equal footing with energy efficiency in view of the potential this could have in terms of renovating the obsolete national building stock and saving hundreds of millions of cubic metres of drinking water.

At the same time, it is essential to protect companies through effective implementation of measures to guarantee the necessary liquidity and ensure their international competitiveness. For this reason, urgent action is needed to rectify the differences between our energy costs and those of our main competitors and to avoid additional charges from application of the Emission Trading system, which are unsustainable at this stage.

Today we also presented to our Members the third phase of the “Values of Ceramics” campaign, which after promoting the characteristics and uses of our products will now raise awareness of their performance characteristics compared to competitor materials. It consists of a series of seven 15-second videos that we plan to broadcast in the second half of the year on web and social media channels in Italy and major international markets.”