Member companies of the EPLF European Producers of Laminate Flooring, based in Bielefeld – can be most satisfied with the growth in their market that has been achieved over the past year and exceptionally pleased with the performance by EPLF members. The overall level of sales for the year achieved by association members, based on the quarterly statistic of 2004, shows major growth in laminate flooring sales and establishes the EPLF in the leading position on the world market.
In 2004, the 22 members of the EPLF achieved worldwide sales of 437 million m² of laminate flooring “made in Europe”, compared with 387 million m² the previous year – an increase in output by the member companies of 50 million m² (+ 13%). The world market share of EPLF member companies is with 60 percent. Western Europe remained the strongest sales area for the members, accounting for 38 million m² (+17%) of the growth (2003: 229 million m²; 2004: 267 million m²), and in doing so gave Western Europe 61% of total sales, compared with 59% in 2003.
As in the previous year, the strongest individual market was Germany, with sales of 84 million m², followed by Great Britain (49 Mio. m²), France (36 Mio. m²) and the Netherlands (20 Mio. m²). These leading markets accounted for around 70% of total European sales. This dynamic growth of 45 million m² in the total European laminate flooring market reflects the innovation and the excellent performance levels of the companies under the EPLF’s banner.
Eastern Europe yielded only a small increase in sales in 2004, with EPLF members achieving a total of 68 million m², compared with 61 million m² in 2003, an increase of 6%. Within this, new EU member Poland, assumed the position of Eastern Europe’s strongest market, but with strong development in the other new EU members Hungary and Czech Republic and the EU candidate Romania.
Asian markets were rather quiet in 2004. Total sales for the Asia-Pacific region for 2004 were almost 10 million m², compared with 17 million m² in 2003. It must be noted however, that from 2003, sales in Turkey have been brought into European sales, and it is this factor, not a real downturn in Asian sales, that accounts for the difference.
The North American market showed further strong growth, with sales by EPLF members reaching 79 million m² (69 million m² in 2003), which is an increase of
14 % and represents some 18% of total EPLF sales. Within North America, sales to the US alone increased from 48 million m² in 2003 to 60 million m² in 2004. This is an impressive increase of 25 %. Sales to the remaining areas of the world – Africa, Australia, and South America (which are shown as ‘Other’ in the statistics) increased from 12 to 14 million m², individual South American markets were able to display real growth.
The overall picture shows very positive performance in 2004 by the laminate flooring manufacturers forming the EPLF – sales have increased and new markets are being developed. The basis for this worldwide success lies in strong quality management, skilful marketing, and the correct approach to international markets.