The final sales figures of 2007 across the EPLF make encouraging reading. Global sales of “made in Europe” quality laminate floorings are on the increase with slight growth in Western Europe and major gains in Eastern Europe. Laminate flooring manufacturers affiliated to the EPLF can therefore be satisfied with the sales trend in 2007, although the North American market continues to recede for many European producers.
Worldwide in 2007, the 19 member companies of the EPLF European Producers of Laminate Flooring achieved sales of 507 million m² of laminate flooring produced in Europe (previous year = 468 million m²). This represents an increase in global sales of 8 %. The overall market share held by EPLF member companies in the world market is estimated by the Association to be around 55 %.
In 2007, Western European markets as well as Eastern European markets were able to post growth figures. Whilst sales in Western Europe have increased only slightly, Eastern Europe has leapt ahead. In Western Europe, 295 million m² of laminate flooring (previous year =
285 million m²) were sold, while in Eastern Europe the figure was
129 million m² (previous year = 88 million m²). This represents growth of 3.5 % in Western Europe and 46.6 % in Eastern Europe. Ahead of the field in Western Europe are Germany, France, UK, Spain and the Netherlands, while their counterparts in Eastern Europe – Poland, Romania and Russia – each recorded sales of between 20 and
30 million m² of laminate flooring.
The figures indicate that the markets of Western Europe remain the most important sales areas for EPLF member companies. The German market remains relatively stable at 96 million m² (previous year =
98 million m²) and continues to be the largest single European market. France has grown to 42 million m² (previous year = 36 million m²) and lies in second place in Western European market rankings. The UK recorded a slight reversal with sales of 39 million m² (previous year =
40 million m²) and takes third place. Spain is making gains and with sales of 22 million m² (previous year = 18 million m²) has achieved fourth place for the first time. With 22 million m² (previous year = 21 million m²), the Netherlands are close behind and take fifth place.
Focusing on America
In North America, the EPLF continues to record a downturn in sales of “made in Europe” laminate flooring. A year-on-year comparison shows a reduction in total sales from 68 million m² (2006) to 54 million m² (2007). This corresponds to a drop of 20.6 %. The US market accounts for the lion’s share here, which with 34 million m² (previous year = 50 million m²) reports a minus figure for 2007 of 32 %. This development is related to individual EPLF member companies setting up their own production facilities in the USA and also to the increase in Chinese exports to the USA. The South American market has not been able to maintain its growth trend over the past two years, with sales of 12 million m² (previous year = 12 million m²) it settles down on the previous year level.
Asia remained stable in 2007, which can be attributed to the intensive marketing efforts of individual producers. Sales by EPLF member companies to Asian markets amounted to 8 million m² (previous year = likewise 8 million m²). The low overall level of sales of laminate flooring sales of European origin in Asia is due to the large number of local suppliers, particularly in China. In view of the increased local competition from Asia, leadership in quality and innovation remains a key factor for marketing success for European manufacturers in global markets.
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