The Italian automatic packaging machinery manufacturers are the only Italian capital goods producers to report growth in revenues in 2019 (+2.2%), breaking the EUR8bn revenue barrier for the first time, according to Ucima-MECS Research Department’s 8th Statistical Survey. The number of operative companies decreased in 2019 (down 2.4% to 616) as a result of the series of M&As underway in the sector, while the number of employees rose to 33,304 (+2.1%).
Over these last eight years (2012-2019), packaging machinery manufacturers have seen an almost 50% increase in turnover (from EUR5.5bn to EUR8.04bn), a 40% growth in exports (from EUR4.56bn to EUR6.35bn) and the creation of 7,000 new jobs.
Almost 80% of the sector’s turnover was generated abroad, amounting to EUR6.35bn, an increase of 2.3% compared to 2018. The European Union remains the main destination area for Italian packaging machinery and accounts for 37.5% of total turnover (EUR2.3bn) including sales in Italy, followed in second place by Asia with a value of EUR1.4bn and a 22.1% share, then North America in third place with EUR814m (12.8%).
In the breakdown of turnover amongst the various client sectors, food and beverage maintained the previous year’s dominant position in 2019, when it accounted for 56% of total turnover. More specifically, food alone accounted for 29.6% of total sales, while beverage sales stood at 26.4%. “We had predicted a slowdown in 2019 after four years of growth and the 9.4% increase recorded in 2018, but we are well aware that this year we will have to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequently much lower performance figures to what we are used to,” Enrico Aureli, Ucima chairman said. “Most of our companies continued to operate during the lockdown, but our performance will be impacted by the overall slowdown in production activities and the drop in global demand.” The percentage of Italian packaging machinery manufacturers expecting to see growth in business over the coming months has fallen to 20% (50% in 2019), while more than 40% of entrepreneurs are anticipating a decline in revenues.