For the seventh consecutive year, the Italian glass flat and hollow glass machinery industry remained on a growth trend. More specifically, in 2016 overall sales increased by 5.9% from 2015.

Flat Glass recorded outstanding growth and was up 7.5% from the year before (when it rose by 6.7% from 2014), while Hollow Glass remained on the positive side with a 1.05% increase, despite a slight decrease vs the previous year, when it rose by 3.0% over 2014.

The figures were released at Italian association Gimav’s annual meeting where it shared the data in a report. The report, titled “The Italian industry of glass processing machinery, systems, accessories and special products in 2016” provides an annual snapshot of the industry.

Interestingly, the trade balance reached €947 million, a 6.63% increase from 2015.

Gimav’s President, Aldo Faccenda, and its Director, Laura Biason, stated: “This indicator clearly highlights this sector’s uncanny ability to rebound from the effects of the economic-financial crisis that plagued the world, and long lingered in Italy.

“Today, at least for the glass machinery sector, we can say the crisis is over. The numbers show we are back where we were in 2008, and we are extremely pleased by it.”

Historically, exports have been the crowning jewel of the Italian glass machinery industry. In 2016 exports increased by 5.39% overall, with flat glass soaring by 7.93%, and hollow glass by 1.21%.

The European Union remained the primary export destination for Italian glass processing machinery, accessories and special products, with a 43% share of global market sales.

Made-in-Italy machinery was also popular in the USA, South America and, surprisingly, China, while Russia and Brazil also picked up pace.

Laura Biason said: “Awareness of the ‘total cost of ownership’, meaning the importance of considering the overall cost of the product/machinery, is spreading across the Italian and global corporate culture.

"Figures indicate that Italian machinery is starting to be perceived as being extraordinary value-added.

“In fact, although the initial purchase price may be higher, these machines last longer, require less maintenance, are customised, and perform work of excellent quality.

"They are an investment that costs less in the long term, and is more valuable.”