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IN 2007 EXPORTS OF ITALIAN LOCKS AND HARDWARE PRODUCTS GREW BY 7.4%
Repeating, or rather improving on the great results of 2006 was not easy. Yet the Italian companies producing locks, hardware products and handles closed 2007 with an increase in turnover, exports, employees and investments. This is what ANIMA , the umbrella group for Italian firms in the mechanics sector which also includes the trade association ASSOFERMA , indicates in its latest report.
Over the last year the value of ‘Made in Italy’ production of locks for doors, furniture, cylinder locks and padlocks, automatic door locking systems, seals and hardware for doors and windows, as well as handles, grew by 5% to 1,238 million euros. The figures come from the Regular report on the diverse mechanics sector by ANIMA’s research centre published in December 2007. Exports grew at an even faster rate: +7,4% from 531 to 570 million euros. As a result, the share of turnover derived from exports grew slightly from 45% to 46%.
On the whole, Italian firms benefited from a surge in demand from emerging countries, especially China and India. The EU-27 are still the reference market, since in 2006 they took in about two thirds of exports (66%). The second largest market in Eastern Europe (12%), followed by Asia (9%) and North America (6%). In terms of exports’ value, France is the most important partner for Italy (109.6 million euros, up 2.1% on 2006), then Spain (unchanged at 84.1 million), Germany (up 8% to 70.9 million) and the United Kingdom (up 5.8% to 53.7 million). The first four positions, therefore, are occupied by European nations. But moving East, in the Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates last year registered the highest growth in relative terms: Italian exports there grew by 28.4% to 13.6 million euros.
As far as this year is concerned, the outlook is more unpredictable: there are still some uncertainties, depending on the resilience of the global construction industry, which has recently shown signs of slowing down – if not outright crisis – in the US as well as in Europe (Spain). The scenario for 2008 therefore appears uncertain, given the current difficulties in the national and international economic context. Italian producers will have to rely again on higher qualitative and legislative standards, in order to distinguish their products in those markets that have been flooded by Chinese competitors that have, such as in Eastern Europe.
ASSOFERMA’s role is precisely to guarantee the quality of production. This association – more than 75 years old, having been founded in 1932 as a “Group of manufacturers of hardware, brassware and similar products”, renamed in 1959 as “Union of locks and hardware products manufacturers” and finally becoming in 2003 the “National association of locks, hardware products and handles manufactures” – has always pushed for the highest quality and legislative standards, operating on the technical-operational sphere as well as on the institutional-strategic one. ASSOFERMA, a member of the European Federation of Associations of Locks and Builders’ Hardware (ARGE), promotes the internationalising initiatives of its associate firms, primarily by making sure that Made in Italy products are present in sectorial fairs and representing the industry’s interests vis-à-vis international regulatory bodies.