On the whole, the industry reported revenue of € 1,469,147,677 in 2010 and marked the start of a slight but significant upswing, which does not bring the market back to pre-crisis levels, but allows it to partially recover from the losses incurred in 2009. The positive performance recorded by the professional cleaning industry, a historic partner of primary industries such as manufacturing, construction, transportation, and commerce, is due to a generally improved economic trend and an upswing in production, reported in nearly all sectors in the EU, despite that Italy is still showing a lag compared to other nations such as Germany and France. The decrease in the value of the industry in the gross domestic product, which marked the last quarter of 2010, impacted on year-end growth trends. Even considering the physiological changes in supply and demand, Italy is again one of the leading manufacturers in the world, along with Germany and the United States, especially of cleaning industry machinery and equipment, and one of the industry’s strongest exporters. Some of the critical factors playing a role in the 2010 year-end results and significantly affecting the first quarter 2011 are the overall increase in the cost of raw materials, especially oil, and the geopolitical instability in North Africa and the Middle East.
Breakdown of total revenue by percentages
- Machinery sales accounted for 33% of total production revenue, with € 489,748,573
- Chemical products, represented 19% of the total, with € 275,282,531
- Equipment accounted for 5%,with € 70,913,537
- Paper and tissue for professional use accounted for 27%, with € 402,738.22
- Fibres and textiles accounted for 2% with € 29,750,865
- Accessories and equipment parts accounted for 5%, with € 74,775,482
- Other products accounted for 9%, with € 125,938,467
In 2009, exports fell below 50% production for the first time in history. In 2010, exports recovered, returning to pre-2009 reference levels with 49% overall. The data reflect the changing trends of all exports in Italy, which are on the rise. In the cleaning industry, the machinery segment, which traditionally caters to the foreign markets, is the driver of this performance with products that exceed 75% of exports. A total of 43% of total revenue from export sales is produced by machinery (+ 9% on 2009), followed by paper with 32% and tools with 6% (+ 6% on 2009). Chemical products traditionally sell best on the domestic market and account for 4.6% of total exports.
The European market is the major outlet for exports, especially France and Germany. Among the non-European markets, the most important are the Far East and the Middle East, followed at a distance by Canada and the United States. Considering future opportunities, countries showing the most growth potential in coming years are China, India and Russia.
The domestic market is guided by chemical products, with 32% of total revenue, followed by machines with 34%, paper with 23%, fibres and textiles with 4%, and tools with 3%.
Total sales on the domestic market are equal to € 748,005,073.
DETAIL ON INDIVIDUAL CATEGORIES
Value. The machinery sector represents 33% of the value of the professional cleaning industry. In 2010, this segment earned € 489,748,573 in sales, posting a year over year increase of 8% on 2009. A total of 64% (+1% versus 2009) was exported while 36% of sales were made on the domestic market.
Volumes. A total of 1,035,461 pieces of machinery were produced in 2010, 75% of which went to export and 24% of which was distributed on the domestic market, up by 12% in 2009.
Production and demand
Washers and dryers lead production with 28% of the total. These are followed by water cleaning machines (+19%), dry and wet vacuums and street cleaners (at 17% apiece), brush cleaners (not including street cleaners) with 10%, steam cleaners (4%), brushes and carpet cleaning machines, both 2%. Production of industrial cleaning machinery caters mainly to cleaning and services companies, which work in Ho.Re.Ca., government agencies, schools, healthcare, and general services. This is followed by the industry in other sectors, including construction, transportation, food industry, and mechanical sector, while there has been a steady rise in sales in the automotive industry, especially in dealerships. For machinery exceeding € 20,000 or € 30,000 in value, many manufacturers have turned to renting and leasing their equipment.
Value. Primarily oriented toward the domestic market, chemical products earned total revenue of € 275,282,531 in 2010, of which 12% (down from 14.7% in 2009) was sold on the foreign markets. This year the total count included two categories that hadn’t been included in the past, laundry and dishwashing products, which represent 29.7% of the total. It is important to note that the study also included a representative sample of approximately one-quarter of the entire segment. As a result, today’s figure does not include the entire sector. The comparison with 2009, excluding these specific categories, reported a downward trend, falling from € 199,462,964 revenue in 2009 to € 193,337,871 in 2010, for a loss of 3%.
Volumes. In 2010, on the whole, the industry produced 332,394 tons of product. Significantly, laundries and dishwashers accounted for 65% of the total, with 216,103 tons produced. If these two categories were excluded, the market would have experienced a loss in volumes of 2.3%. A total of 116,291 tons of chemical products were produced for industrial cleaning, of which 13% of this production was exported (identical to 2009).
Production and demand
Professional cleaning products for floors and rooms represent 63% of production; products for laundry and dishwashers account for 29.7% while personal care products represent 6.6%. The Ho.Re.Ca sector is among the most representative, along with industrial cleaning.
In 2010, tools (which includes carts and tarps, floor textiles, and other accessories) earned € 70,913,537 in revenue, of which 64% was sold on the foreign markets (up from 63% in 2009)
Production and demand
Tool sales have had the most difficult year due to two key factors: the increase in raw materials and the presence of competitors from Asia with less quality, low cost products. Textiles sales posted a steep increase of more than 100% but the inability to increase prices by any meaningful amount has led to a decrease in profit margins.
Paper and tissue
The Paper segment includes the following types of products: spools and sheets of paper and non-woven materials, paper/tissue towels, paper distributors (for towels, toilet paper, bags); toilet paper, other paper hygiene products (toilet seat covers, bags). In 2010, the sector recorded revenue of € 402,738.22, of which 57% was made on the foreign markets. Compared with the total production of the entire professional cleaning segment, it represents a substantial share of 27%. The figures provided account for 65% of the professional paper market in Italy. The values given not include private label brands or production on behalf of others, which can exceed 40% for some manufacturers.
Fibres and textiles
The Fibres and Textiles segment includes three types of products: scrubbers, cleaning cloths, and rugs. The Fibres and Textiles segment in 2010 earned total revenue of € 29,750,865, of which 8.9% (7.2% in 2009) in export.
The item Other products includes the following types of products: soap dispensers and air freshener diffusers, electrical/hot air hand dryers, batteries and battery chargers, brushes and floor polishing discs, and other non-classifiable products.
In 2010, the segment earned revenue of € 125,938,467, 44% of which on the foreign markets (down from 45% in 2009). The only data comparable with 2009 refer to batteries and battery chargers, brushes and discs and other non-classifiable products, because the segmentation done in 2010 changed with the introduction of specific products of the paper segment. The sector reported an overall decrease of 15%