The Ipack-Ima Observatory speaks of widespread optimism

The Italian industrial processing and packaging industry is in good health, generating an annual turnover of over 44 billion euros, with future prospects that open up to interesting business opportunities, thanks also to the high propensity to export. Among the pitfalls perceived by companies, the competitive and macroeconomic scenario, commodity prices, labour costs and taxation. This is the picture of the segment, as it emerges from the Ipack-Ima  Observatory*.

    * Osservatorio Ipack-Ima - Business study conducted on a half-yearly basis on a sample of companies operating throughout the processing and packaging industry (manufacturers of process and packaging machines, components suppliers, materials manufacturers) and serving the various industrial sectors downstream, subdivided into the so-called business communities of  Food, Fresh & Convenience; Meat & Fish; Pasta, Bakery, Milling; Beverage; Confectionery; Chemicals, Home & Industrial; Health & Personal Care.

Examining the figures and the forecasts, the Italian processing and packaging industry confirms growth in the second half of 2016 of between 0% and 5% for the majority of production types and business communities.
The results significantly affected the sentiment expressed by entrepreneurs for the current semester. And if exports, in particular, proved to be the driving force behind sales, in the first six months of 2017 higher growth rates are expected on the Italian domestic market, directly or indirectly aided by the  depreciation and amortization measures for instrumental goods implemented by the Italian Government.

Global evaluation of opinions
Breaking down performance into types of machines and materials produced by the companies, processing machines have registered a turnover equally positive on the Italian domestic market and abroad, employment figures also good. In both semesters, the majority of companies in this sub-sector are in a range of growth going from 0 to 5%.

The instrumental goods sector, comprising packaging machine builders, is also seen to be on the up, but at slightly lower rates. Many  companies estimate the decline in exports and employment, though in the two semesters, companies that declare a growth in business prevail (from 62% to 75%). Consistent with what has been observed in the packaging machinery sector, the forecasts for the current half-year are also expected to cool down among of packaging material manufacturers, especially with regard to national sales and employment.

Conversely, forecasts are improving on the export front. Extremely positive, however, are the opinions of the companies in the components sector, a segment in which the percentage share of negative opinions does not exceed 5%.

The perceived risks
The survey also carried out a careful identification of the risks perceived by the sample of operators regarding the profitability of their business. Although with varying intensity depending on the different production segments, the main threats are the increasingly aggressive competitive climate (20% of respondents), the macroeconomic factors attributable to some sales (12%), the rise in commodity and energy prices (one out of four respondents), labour costs (13%) and adverse changes in the tax regime (12%). The threats that directly affect the financial management of businesses, such as access to credit and the related cost are seen to have a lesser weight as they are only raised in replies of less than 4% of respondents.

Business Report For The Second Semester 2016  And  Forecasts For The First Six Months 2017

Food Fresh & Convenience.The analysis showed a substantial increase (up to +5%) for the majority of companies, but there are also a large number of companies (one out of five) that reported double-digit growth (+ 10%) . The forecasts show some improvements.

Meat & Fish. Already characterized by non brilliant performance in the second half of 2016, with exports for an equal number of companies growing (between 0 and 5%) or falling (between 0 and -5%), the estimates in this case are more cautious.

Pasta, Bakery & Milling. Just over the majority of sample companies (between 62% and 64% of the total) recorded a rise in sales in the second half of 2016. More positive the judgement for the current semester: Companies that foresee increase both in turnover in both exports and domestic sales are up by 15 percentage points.

Beverage. High performance recorded in the second half of last year (sales + 10% for more than one in five companies), the segment is more prudent for 2017, lowering growth to a range of between 5 and 10%.

Confectionery. Uncertain growth perceptions (except for a 6%, which expect a fall in national sales), bolstered also by the sizeable increase in business registered by four out of five companies  (81.2%) in the second  half of 2016.

Chemicals Home & Industrial. Companies that express positive assessments over both growth and development prospects prevail. However, a very large number of companies have formulated very negative forecasts (-10%) regarding domestic sales.

Health & Personal Care. Significantly positive sales performance in Italy and abroad (>5% for over 40% of companies) in the second half of 2016. Positive expectations are rising, but those for very high growth rates are decreasing.



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