Press Release

Ucima: the first National Survey of the packaging machinery manufacturing sector reveals a total turnover of 5.5 billion euro

CS 19-13

The survey revises the main sector indicators: total turnover: 5.5 billion euro; exports: 4.6 billion euro; export share: 83%; Italian sales: 941,000 euro

Conducted by the Studies Centre of Ucima (Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers’ Association), for the first time the survey includes figures provided by sector companies and is not based solely on ISTAT codes.
The new survey allows for a much more detailed analysis of the sector. Along with the breakdown of exports and the origin of imports, it provides a segmentation of companies by turnover size class, export share, geographical distribution of employees and turnover, client sectors and families of machinery, as well as an innovative and detailed analysis of exports.
The first National Statistical Survey of the Italian automatic packaging machinery manufacturing sector has revealed new and exclusive data.
The Studies Centre of Ucima (Italian Automatic Packaging Machinery Manufacturers’ Association) has conducted the first comprehensive survey of the sector. Along with information provided by ISTAT on the breakdown of exports and the origin of imports, it also includes: segmentation of companies by turnover size class and export propensity; geographical breakdown of sector employees and turnover; breakdown of turnover by individual client sectors and families of machines. It also offers an innovative and detailed analysis of exports.

“The figures that emerge from this first real survey of our sector are a vitally important tool for everyone operating in our sector and will become even more useful in the future as time series are created,” commented Ucima’s Chairman, Giuseppe Lesce.  
“At last, Italian companies will be able to compare their performances with the average figures for the sector and analyse trends in exports, client sectors and types of machines sold,” he continued. “The survey provides an accurate picture of a complex and highly diversified sector in terms of its production and presence in international markets.”

The seven chapters in the survey describe a sector consisting of 635 companies with a combined turnover of 5,499 million euro and a workforce of 26,348 people. 

Exports account for 82.9% of turnover (4,557 million Euro) and the Italian domestic market the remaining 17.1% (941 million euro).
The analysis of the sector by turnover size class reveals a clear preponderance of small companies. Companies with a turnover below 5 million euro make up 70.9% of the total in numbers, but contribute just 8.8% to the sector’s total turnover. Companies with turnovers above 25 million euro make up just 5.4% of the total but account for the largest share (63.5%) of total turnover.
The largest number of companies are located in Emilia Romagna, followed by the Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont regions. Emilia Romagna also ranks first in terms of its share of the sector’s total turnover and number of employees.
An analysis of companies’ export propensities reveals considerable differences in behaviour. The smallest companies (up to 2.5 million euro) generate almost half of their turnover (48.9%) in the Italian market. The percentage of sales in the domestic market gradually decreases as company size increases, reaching just 7.9% of turnover for the largest companies (more than 50 million euro). The geographical export regions also vary significantly between company turnover size classes. While the European Union is the largest export destination for all size classes, the share of total exports shipped to this region declines gradually from 44.8% for the first turnover class (below 2.5 million euro) to 29.9% for the sixth (above 50 million euro). 
The opposite applies to the geographical areas that are most distant from Italy (particularly Asia and South America), with the largest and most highly organised companies holding the largest percentage shares. 
Considering the breakdown of total turnover according to the client company sector, we find that sales to beverage producers account for the largest shares of turnover (35%), followed by food (28.8%) and pharmaceutical companies (17.1%). Interestingly, food is the dominant sector in Italy (37.6%), here too followed by beverages and pharmaceuticals. The cosmetics, chemicals and other sectors (including tobacco and tissues) hold smaller market shares.
The biggest selling machines are packaging machines (falling into the category “Form-fill-seal machines for flexible and rigid packaging”) with a 41.3% share of the total, followed by “Filling and batching machines, closing machines and control machines” (24.3%), which also includes capping machines. The remaining turnover is split fairly equally between the other types of machines, led by machines for secondary packaging and end of line systems.