Press Release

Italian ceramic machinery industry reports record turnover

CS 10/16

The Italian ceramic machinery equipment manufacturers have achieved a record turnover. According to the National Statistical Survey conducted by Acimac, the sector’s turnover totalled1,982.8 million euros in 2015, 8% up on the previous year and 2.3% higher than the previous record set in 2007.

This result was a combination of 9.1% year-on-year export growth to a record 1,522 million euros and a 4.3% increase in domestic sales to 460.8 million euros.


The Italian ceramic machinery industry has maintained its world-leading role, mainly due to its extensive international presence.

Exports rose by 9.1% on 2014 to reach the record figure of 1,522 million euros, the highest in the industry’s history, and 76.8% of total turnover.

The top export destination was Asia (excluding China) with 278 million euros (18.3% of total turnover), a 29.3% increase on 2014.

The European Union maintained second place with exports increasing from 226.2 to 277.3 million euros (+22.6%), making up 18.2% of total turnover. Next was Africa (still mainly North Africa) with 22.8% growth to 203.8 million euros (13.4% of total exports).

The Middle East saw a 25.1% fall in exports to 186.6 million euros, dropping to fourth place in the rankings of Italian export destinations in in 2015.

In fifth place was South America with 185.9 million euros (+8%). North America saw an excellent export performance, boosted by the new US manufacturing cluster, with turnover practically doubled to 160.9 million euros (+92.8%).

Next came Eastern Europe with a total of 152.9 million euros (+7.9%), East Asia (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) with 75.5 million euros (-34.9%) and Oceania with a turnover of 1.2 million euros.

Internationalisation of production

The 67 foreign companies controlled by Italian groups as of 31 December 2015 reported a turnover of 492.5 million euros, an increase on 2014.

The domestic market

Turnover generated from sales to Italian customers grew for the third year running to reach460.8 million euros (up 4.3% on 2014), 23.3% of the total.

Client sectors

As usual, sales to tile manufacturers made up more than 80% (82.5%) of the total, a 6.1% increase with respect to 2014. The biggest increases were in international markets where sales rose by 7% to 1,222.4 million euros.

The heavy clay machinery segment marked up an excellent performance with 38.3% growth to reach a turnover of 156.1 million euros after years of contraction. Here too the growth was driven by exports, which rose by 42.8% in 2015.

In third place was the ceramic sanitaryware sector with 25.9% growth to 126.9 million euros. The biggest growth percentage was in the domestic market (+78.6%), which reached 22.7 million euros.

Next came the refractories, tableware and technical ceramics sectors.

The structure of the sector

As of the end of December 2015 there were 148 companies operating in Italy (4 fewer than in 2014) with a total workforce of 6,229 people (+0.4%).

The sector maintained its highly polarised structure with the majority of companies (51.4%) generating turnovers below 2.5 million euros. There were just 19 companies (12.8% of the total) with turnovers above 10 million euros.

2016 forecasts

“The first quarter of 2016 closed with 9% growth over the same period in 2015, driven by strong results abroad,” commented Acimac’s Chairman Paolo Sassi. “Exports grew by 14.2% despite slowdowns in several major markets and the economic and social crises that are affecting some areas. This provides a clear indication of the robustness of our sector,” continued Sassi.

“By contrast, domestic sales fell (-5.9%) after two years of growth.”

“We hope that this growth will be confirmed over the coming months, allowing us to close the year with a small improvement over the already excellent results of 2015.”

Ufficio Marketing & Comunicazione:

Gian Paolo Crasta
t. 334 664 9534 - [email protected]