GIMAV, the association of Italian manufacturers and suppliers of machinery, equipment and special products for glass processing has produced its industry data for 2020 and its forecasts for 2021 during its recent assembly.

Data presented at the meeting reflected the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on performance of the glass processing industry which, however, has managed to bounce back; getting 2021 off to a good start raises hopes for at least a partial recovery.

During the meeting, the Board of Arbitrators and Sole Auditor were also appointed for the 2021 - 2025 term.

Industry performance in 2020

Production was down by16.6% due to a drop in exports (-14.9%) and in domestic sales (-20.7%).

Imports also fell (-11.1%), causing the domestic market to shrink (-17.2%).

There was an overall drop in trade (-14.2%) as well as in the trade balance (-16.1%) which, however, remained at nearly 1,080 million Euro.

The ability to penetrate international markets increased, with a 71.5% export share of sales, while sales on the domestic market held at 60.9%, a minimal drop justified by the strong restrictive measures adopted to limit the effects of the pandemic.

“Our industry was really put to the test by 2020,” stated GIMAV President, Michele Gusti.

“Despite the pandemic that swept in waves across our sector and the ensuing lockdowns and border closures, the manufacturers of Glass Processing Machinery and Technologies acted swiftly to limit their losses, more successfully than their international competitors.”

Flat Glass Processing Technologies were the worst hit by the pandemic with lower revenues, exports and domestic sales for all of 2020, compared to 2019 (except for November sales).

Nonetheless, there was better international market penetration and a firmer foothold in the domestic market was established.

There were better results for hollow glass processing technologies which, in 2020, limited sales losses to -8.9%, thanks to the positive performance of domestic sales (+17.7%).

The accessories and other glass processing technologies sector limited its losses in revenues, exports and domestic sales to 10%.

The sector’s international competitiveness remained fairly stable, which improved its foothold in the domestic market.

2021 forecast

By January 2021, the negative December 2020 performance had already subsided, paving the way for recovery in February, thanks to good domestic sales and a partial resurgence in exports, that stabilised in March as exports fully resumed.

Projecting first quarter results to December 2021 ‒ without taking into consideration any changes that could occur by year-end to positively or negatively affect industry businesses ‒ revenues are expected to grow by 4.5%.

This is fuelled by good performance from the accessories and other glass Processing Technologies industry, by substantial stability in the Flat Glass sector, compared to 2020, and by negative results for hollow glass, due to exports that remain stagnant.

It can be reasonably assumed, therefore, that the 2021 results could be better than forecast and, given the reduction in infections and the vaccination drive continuing at full speed, they could possibly come close to 2019 levels, as clarified by GIMAV Director Fabrizio Cattaneo:

"The data say it all: 2020 was a tough year for everyone, including the Manufacturers of Glass Processing Machinery and Technologies.

“However, given the encouraging first-quarter figures, our industry can look to 2021 with optimism. Basing our forecast on the little data available, we have predicted moderate growth expectations but we are well aware that a major underestimation is inherent to the method.

“Nevertheless, taking into account the unprecedented times we are living in and that we have not entirely put behind us, it seemed more judicious to propose an approximate ‘rounded down’ estimate that could possibly be reviewed as things improve in the future, rather than making a more optimistic forecast and then having to adjust it downward.”

Board of Arbitrators and Sole Auditor appointed

During the General Assembly, the Arbitrators who will make up the Board for the four-year 2021-2025 term were appointed.

The appointees are:

  • Adelio Lattuada (ADELIO LATTUADA Srl),
  • Sergio Valsecchi (BAVELLONI SpA),
  • Andrea Zafferani (ZAFFERANI GLAS Srl) and attorneys;
  • Giuseppe F. Bonacci and Edoardo Tosetto (LEGALI RIUNITI LEX).

At the same time, Clara Alberta Tenconi (STUDIO TENCONI) was elected GIMAV Sole Auditor for the 2021-2025 four-year term.