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Nearly 400 Million Square Metres of Laminate Flooring sold worldwide - EFLF presents its Sales Statistics for 2003

30 January 2004

The members of the EPLF Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (Bielefeld, Germany) are satisfied with the way the market has developed over the last year. Despite the difficult economic climate, the laminate flooring business of the EPLF members was positive throughout 2003. The yearly forecast of the sales figures of the association,based on the first three-quarters of 2003, shows a significant increase in laminate flooring sales in Europe compared with the previous year there and illustrates the leading position of the EPLF in the world market.

The 21 members of the EPLF had a worldwide turnover of 391 million square metres of laminate flooring “Made in Europe”. This compares with the previous year’s total of 334 million sq.m. – an increase in the amount of goods sold by the members in world markets by some 57 million square metres. Western Europe is the strongest market and achieved an increase of 25 millions to 227 million square metres, compared with 202 million in 2002, and representing 58% of total sales.
The largest individual market (as last year) was Germany, with 63 square metres, followed by Great Britain with 49 million square metres, France with 37 million square metres and the Netherlands with 16 square million square metres. These markets represented 73% of all laminate flooring sold in Europe. The dynamic development of the total European laminate flooring market with an increase of 42 million square metres in 2003 shows the innovative strengths and the high service potential of EPLF members.

In the Asia-Pacific region the turnover of 18 million square metres, compared with with 20 million square metres the previous year, was slightly lower. However, the growth were the markets in Israel, South Korea and Turkey was positive. In China there were noticeable decreases for European products, which is attributed to the increasing number of local production plants, or joint ventures with EPLF members (which are not represented In the EPLF sales statistics).

The North American market was again buoyant in 2003. Sales totalling 71 million square metres were recorded, compared with 58 million square metres previously. North America now accounts for 18 percent of total EPLF sales worldwide. Eastern Europe has also shown very positive growth in 2003. Sales of the EPLF member companies in this region rose from 46 million square metres in 2002 to 63 million square metres in 2003. Smaller markets like the Baltic States, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia often produced quite high growth rates. These markets still offer further great sales potential. The regions of Africa, Australia and South America, which are statistically defined as “Others” yielded sales of 12 million square metres - up from 8 millions square metres in 2003.

Overall, the results of the EPLF members in 2003 were very positive. Sales increases and enlarged market shares were achieved. The basis of this worldwide success was very stringent quality management systems combined with skilled marketing efforts and focussed attention on the international markets.

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