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MAICO, ITALIAN HARDWARE FROM ANTARTICA TO HAWAII
The “Made in Italy” surprise: just when you think what you’re looking for can’t be manufactured in Italy, you can be proven wrong. For example, in the case of Maico, the Bolzano-based leader in locking mechanisms, who recently supplied, through its client Danese S.p.A., hardware for the 53 windows of the Italian-French Concordia Antarctic Base, which accommodates 32 scientists and must be resistant to temperatures that can fall to 84 degrees centigrade below zero. Maico’s versatility is all-encompassing: the ability to adapt their own solutions to any climatic condition has also allowed the company to make, alongside Albertini S.p.A., shutters for luxurious Hawaiian villas along the Pacific coast.
These are just two examples that confirm Maico’s ability to bring its own products to “challenging” settings, to both hot and extremely cold climates. “In both cases – said the CEO Siegfried Zwick – these are extreme situations that allow us to prove we are specialists in extreme solutions. Thanks to our exclusive anti-rust discovery “Tricoat”, we can produce hardware that is resistant to all kinds of corroding or harsh agents: humidity, sodium chloride, acids”. The “Tricoat” patent won both the European Din En Iso 9227 certification and licence eligibility in the United States. The number of potential markets is therefore without bounds. According to Maico managers, the new product could allow the company to enter a new market worth at least 5 million Euro over the next three years.
These are numbers of great importance for a group that in 2007 recorded an export value equal to 4 million Euro, an increase of 20% compared with the previous year. If exports have increased into double figures, the total turnover recorded for 2007 was a smaller increase than the previous financial year by 73 million Euro (up 6.7%). For 2008, company bosses expect an even higher increase in exports, with interesting performance in Spain in particular (above 10%). “The foreign markets with most demand for Italian hardware - explains Siegfried Zwick – are the United States and Japan.”
The United States in particular is the world’s largest importer of hardware. In the US market, Italy is the 13th largest supplier with exports equal to 8 million dollars in 2007. This is the same value of Italian exports as Japan, but in the Far East, Italy is the fifth largest supplier. “Hardware is now perceived as a furnishing accessory: functional yes, but also beautiful, as only an Italian-made product can be”, highlights Zwick. In order to offer solutions to an increasingly demanding market with products that are both stylistically appealing and equipped with advanced features, every year Maico invests a large proportion of its revenues in new technology. It is not by chance that, in 2007, 13.5% of turnover was secured by new products on the market
If 2008 bodes well, the company’s mid-term strategic aim is 2010. “It is the timescale - he explains - that we gave ourselves to reach our turnover target of 100 million Euro”. In 2007, meanwhile, for the fifth year in a row, Maico has gained new market shares (up 1.8%), despite the negative cycle that has hit the industry. “Despite difficult times, for the second half of 2008 - the CEO discloses - we predict a turnover growth of 8%, with revenues in 2008 that will reach 79 million Euro”.