The positive mood of the board members of the EPLF has good reasons: stagnant sales of the association’s member in some countries seem to result from economic downturn only. Wherever laminate flooring becomes substituted, the alternatives are often manufactured by EPLF-members too, who invest in those new markets from day zero. The bottom line: in spite of the especially Southern European crisis the volume of laminate floorings sold in 2012 by EPLF-members declined by a marginal percentage only.
22 ordinary members of the EPLF – European Producers of Laminate Flooring sold 460 mill. m² globally (previous year 468 mill. m²) out of their European manufacturing facilities. This means a decline of 1,7 % in volume.
The front runners of the Western European national markets didn’t change their rankings, whereas dimensions and absolute distances between them showed significant moves. With sales close to 298 mill. m² (prev. 299 mill. m²) the market of the region as a whole showed a relative stability (- 0,6 %). Germany reduces to 76 mill. m² (prev. 80 mill. m²), but still stays no. 1 as the strongest single market of the region in Western Europe. This development is seen by the specialists from the EPLF less influenced by the economy rather than by new kinds of flooring systems winning ground.
Turkey, which is traditionally included by the EPLF as part of the Western European region, is gaining 66 mill. m² (prev. 54 mill. m²), making it for rank 2. The well-known ongoing economic growth of the country – resulting to a strongly growing population as well as urbanization tendencies with an accompanying construction boom – as well as the development of the Turkish membership offer a firm basis for this situation in the future. In France laminate flooring lost 0.5 mill. m², nevertheless the market volume was able to surpass the 40 mill. m² (prev. close to 41 mill. m²) – a stable third rank. After years of massive declining Great Britain shows consolidation: 29 mill. m² (prev. 30 mill. m²) secure rank 4 inside Western Europe.
In the past the Netherlands proved to be a hoard of stability. A decline of little more than 2 mill. m² to 19 mill. m² (prev. 21 mill. m²) doesn’t endanger the ancestral rank 5, but through the eyes of the EPLF-board this means first signs of a shift of the demand to other products with a similar build-up, similar to Germany. Appreciable two-digit million amounts are generated in Spain still, 15 mill. m² after 18 mill. m², meaning rank 6. The economic crisis mainly in Southern Europe leaves its traces similar to other Western European markets: The remaining 18 countries of this most important sales region for the EPLF reach 53 mill. m² after 55 mill. m² in the year before – after all a minus of close to 4 %.
In Eastern Europe the contraction of the market has not ended yet too: 99 mill. m² after (prev.) 104 mill. m² have manifold reasons (- 4,8%). Poland defends rank 1 with 24 mill. m² (prev. 26 mill. m²), closely followed by Russia 23.7 mill. m² (prev. 25 mill. m²). Concerning Russia the EPLF expresses its opinion that the Russian figures well represent the truth about its members‘ operations, but not the market as a whole, which is judged about more positive – the reason: Successfully commissioned new capacities in the country. Romania is reviving slowly to 9.8 mill. m² (prev. 9.2 mill. m²), maintaining third place ahead of Ukraine with 8 mill. m² (prev. 8 mill. m²). Hungary - 4.3 mill. m² (prev. 5.5 mill. m²) – loses its fifth rank to Bulgaria - 4.8 mill. m² (prev. 4.4 mill. m²). The other 13 countries of this second part of the EPLF’s home market gather 24 mill. m² after 26 mill. m² in the previous year – altogether a minus of 7.7 %.
The speed of the decline in Northern America dropped significantly. But 24 mill. m² after 27 mill. m² in the previous year merely mean the proverbial ‚fade of the pain‘, nothing more. In 2010 the sales in this area of EPLF’s overseas trade amounted to 41 mill. m². From the sales in 2012, 12 mill. m² were directed to the USA (prev. 13 mill. m²), parallel the development in Canada – also 12 mill. m² after 13 mill. m² in the previous year.
Asia-Pacific succeeded light tendencies of growth on a comparably low level. Years ago the market for imported floorings from EPLF-members in China crashed not surprisingly due to the installation of own capacities inside the country. Now one can state a kind of ‚roll back‘-tendencies especially in the segment of high-prized, specialized brand products. China including Hong Kong is back surpassing 3 mill. m² (prev. 2.3 mill. m²), Israel achieves 1.9 mill. m² (prev. 2 mill. m²), followed by Iran 1.6 mill. m² (prev. 1.6 mill. m²) and Australia 1.5 mill. m² (prev. 1.4 mil. m²).
Worth mentioning in other regions are especially Chile with 6.5 mill. m², Mexico 4.3 mill. m², Columbia 2.1 mill. m², South Africa 1.9 mill. m², and Argentina 1.6 mill. m². In relation to the overall volume these figures are comparably low, but just imagine a physical space of 1,000,000 m² = 1 km² …? Altogether the year 2012 for the EPLF members embraces in a special way the quoting from their president Ludger Schindler (MeisterWerke, Meiste / Germany): „The thrill goes on!“
elne1301_b1: Sales worldwide (© EPLF e.V.)
elne1301_b2: Sales in Germany (© EPLF e.V.)
elne1301_b3: Sales by Continents (© EPLF e.V.)
elne1301_b4: Sales in Western Europe (© EPLF e.V.)
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