Taking an in-depth look at various European regions’ sales and how these compare to the previous year.
According to statistics compiled by the European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF), the 21 ordinary member companies of the EPLF sold 465-million m² of laminate flooring worldwide compared to 463-million in 2013. The total market is therefore at a similar level to the previous year with a slight rise of 0,4%.
The regional markets varied greatly in the way they developed in 2014. However, whereas Western Europe experienced a small downturn overall, Eastern Europe experienced an upturn. North America also recorded a significant improvement and growth was even greater in Asia. And, finally, in South America, sales of EPLF laminate flooring remain relatively steady.
Sales in the West European core markets of the European laminate flooring industry (including Turkey) declined by just under 3,5% overall in 2014. In absolute figures, West European sales fell from 290-million m² in 2013 to 280-million m² in 2014.
Revenues in Germany, the largest regional single market in Central Europe, were again somewhat weaker compared to the previous year, standing at around 69-million m² in 2014 (previous year: 72-million m²).
The EPLF considers that the reason for this downward tendency is the current shift towards what is known as “design flooring” or “LVT floors”. Nevertheless, laminate flooring is still by far the leader in flooring statistics for Germany ‒ and the EPLF’s assessment is that this is set to continue.
Although Turkey still represents the second largest target market in Europe, the decline in sales there has been striking: in 2014, turnover for EPLF members fell by roughly 18% to 54-million m² (previous year: 66-million m²). According to the EPLF, this development is predominantly due to a weaker economic situation, shortages in the supply of raw materials and the temporary shutdown of production plants for maintenance.
France is a large sales market and has remained stable at 39-million m² (previous year: 39-million m²) and occupies third place in Europe. Thanks to its construction sector becoming stronger, the United Kingdom stands in fourth place at 32-million m² (previous year: 29-million m²): a growth of 10%. The Netherlands had weaker results in 2014, but a figure of 17-million m² (previous year: 19-million m²) puts them in fifth place. Spain retains sixth place with 14-million m² (previous year: 14-million m²).
On a very pleasing note, EPLF members have recorded substantial growth in the Eastern European business area ‒ despite the political situation. European laminate flooring producers in this region recorded total sales of 110-million m² in 2014 (previous year: 103-million m²), which equates to an increase of 6% over the previous year. Russia achieved 27-million m² (previous year 24-million m²) which puts them in the sales ranking on the same level as Poland, which showed an improvement at 27-million m² (previous year: 25-million m²). The subsequent places in the ranking are occupied by Rumania with 11-million m² (previous year: 10-million m²), Ukraine with 8-million m² (previous year 9-million m²) and Hungary with 5.8-million m² (previous year (4.6-million m²).
Turnover in North America rose again in 2013 to around 28-million m², and this trend continued into 2014 with 30-million m². The USA showed a very pleasing 2014 balance sheet for European laminate producers with 19-million m² (previous year 16-million m²) and Canada remained stable in 2014 with 11-million m² (previous year: 11-million m²).
Total sales in 2014 for European laminate production in Asia Pacific stands at around 15 million m² (previous year: 13 million m²) which means a very encouraging increase of 15%. Most notably, the Chinese market (including Hong Kong) showed substantial growth ‒ the result of European manufacturers exporting products to the high-value sector: in 2014, almost 5-million m² was sold here (previous year: 4-million m²). Israel improved slightly at 2.2-million m² (previous year 2-million m²) and Saudi Arabia demonstrated positive growth with 1,9-million m² (previous year: 1,3-million m²).
South America as a whole was stable in 2014 at 17-million m² (previous year: 17-million m²). Whereas sales in Mexico followed a downward trend, sinking to around 4-million m² (previous year 5-million m²), the Chilean market showed a significantly better result at 7-million m² compared to the previous year (6-million m²).
Acknowledgement and thanks are given to www.eplf.com for the information contained in this article.