TURNOVER AND EXPORTS
Companies in the Hardware and Industrial Supply Cluster, ESKUIN, which comprises hand tool and locking and access control solution manufacturers, recorded a joint turnover figure of 443 million euros at 2022-year end, practically identical to the prior record-breaking year.
While sales on the domestic market have increased by 2.85%, reaching 208 million euros, exports have dropped by 2.7% to amount to 235 million euros, compared to the 241 million euros recorded in 2021.
“2021 was a record year for the sector, surpassing for the first time ever the 400-million-euro mark in turnover. In a scenario of so much uncertainty as we saw in 2022, and despite inflation levels threatening margins, I believe it's good news that we have consolidated this figure” commented Miguel González Izaguirre, president of ESKUIN.
Miguel González Izaguirre, attributed the slight drop in exports to “the difficulties that Germany faced in the latter months of the year and the stock reduction strategy adopted by major European buyers in the face of climate of uncertainty”.
In the analysis by client sector on the domestic market, there was a notable 8.4% rise in sales to the construction sector, largely thanks to the trend toward residential renovations and refurbishments. In contrast, sales to the industrial sector have fallen slightly, by 2.05%. The third client sector, farming, has grown marginally, by 1.61%.
In terms of the distribution of export sales, which account for 53% of turnover, the European Union is the main destination, with 74% of total exports. This is followed by the American continent with 10%, the Middle East and Eastern Europe with 5% each, and lastly Africa with 4% and Oceania with 2%. The main export countries for the sector in 2022 were France, the US, Portugal and Germany.
According to the Chairman of ESKUIN: “Being local manufacturers has proven to be a competitive advantage compared to other business models based on importing products. We have seen that major brands have started trusting more local manufacturers because of the guarantees we can offer in terms of flexibility, product quality and meeting delivery deadlines”
Jobs remain stable in the sector with an overall figure close to 1,900 posts occupied, in line with recent years.
FORECAST FOR 2023
Nearly three months into the year, the outlook is reasonably good, and if the recent financial turbulence clears up positively, sales are expected to be maintained or may even increase slightly. The companies' efforts will be focused on recovering the stretch of profitability that may have been affected mainly by the increase in raw material and energy costs.
STRATEGIC CHALLENGES: PEOPLE, DIGITALISATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
People, digitalisation and sustainability are the main strategic challenges faced by the ESKUIN member companies and the association is developing strategic projects that will enable these challenges to be tackled with assured success.
“We are talking about cross-cutting challenges that, in short, affect all industrial businesses. We are struggling to attract and retain talent in our sector, a sector that offers the possibility of developing a very interesting professional career and good working conditions. On the other hand, we deem it essential to work on the positioning of our brands through the different tools that digital marketing offers in order to boost our sales. In terms of sustainability, the companies of ESKUIN are aligned with the need to decarbonise the economy and are adapting their manufacturing processes to make them environmentally friendly and committing, for instance, to introducing eco-friendly packaging to replace the plastic with more sustainable materials,” Miguel explains.
He also emphasises that “being part of AFM CLUSTER, where work can be done jointly and collaborating with over 700 industrial businesses, can speed up the whole process of achieving goals for the sector as a whole and for each individual company”.
KEY EVENTS 2023
21-23 MARCH: FASTENER FAIR STUTTGART 2023, Stuttgart, Germany
05 MAY: ESKUIN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park, San Sebastian.
5-6 MAY: INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR ITALY, Bergamo, Italy
6-8 JUNE: +INDUSTRY TRADE FAIR, Bilbao
7-9 SEPTEMBER: EXPO NACIONAL FERRETERA, Guadalajara, Mexico
12-14 OCTOBER: CEO CONGRESS, Stockholm, Sweden
25-27 OCTOBER: ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AND MACHINE-TOOL CONFERENCE, San Sebastian
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