The manufacturing companies in the ESKUIN Hardware and Industrial Supply Cluster closed 2020 full of uncertainty because of the pandemic, recording a turnover of Euros 358 million, compared to the Euros 380 million recorded in 2019, representing a decrease in overall sales of 5.75%.
Sales performance has been disparate on both the domestic and international markets. While domestic sales suffered a drop of 12.25%, coming in at Euros 173 million, exports were up by 1.26%, amounting to Euros 185 million.
“The strong export tradition of the ESKUIN companies, coupled with the quality and renown of our products internationally, have been key factors for reducing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global results of our firms”, affirms Miguel González, president of ESKUIN.
In the analysis by sector on the domestic market, the industrial sector, which accounts for 48% of total sales, has seen a drop of 13.30% with respect to the prior year. Construction, which accounts for 43% of sales, is the sector with the most significant slump, falling 14.08% below the previous year. In contrast, the third ranking sector, agriculture, which represents 9% of sales, has increased by 8% compared to last year.
In terms of the distribution of international sales, the European Union continues to be the main destination of exports (77.22%), followed by the American continent (9.27%), and the Middle East (5.70%). Lastly, Africa (2.98%), Russia and Eastern Europe (2.77%), and Asia and Oceania (2.06%).
The main destinations of sector exports per country in 2020 have been France, Germany, USA and Portugal, which are very demanding and value the high standards of quality, durability and functionality that characterise the sector's production.
Sector employment figures also remained stable, at nearly 1,900 workers, as in 2019.
CURRENT SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
2020 started out with signs of slowdown which were accentuated after the outbreak of the pandemic, forcing companies to revise all forecasts. During the first five months of 2020, accumulated sales by ESKUIN companies fell by 24%. However, in the second half of the year, the first signs of recovery began to emerge, with the third quarter of 2020 recording one of the best overall sales figures in the last five years.
Miguel González comments: “Our diversification in terms of target markets and sectors has been key to withstanding a year of extreme difficulties. It has proven evident that the industry needs our quality tools to operate. We are an essential sector for keeping the manufacturing activity of factories and workshops, construction and the ever crucial farming industry alive”.
For 2021, the hope is that, as the situation stabilises, sales will recover to levels similar to those of 2019.
“In so far as challenges, the digitalisation of our plants and manufacturing processes, the implementation of efficient and lean manufacturing strategies and the reinforcement of our positioning on the different sales channels, particularly online, will be key. ESKUIN will continue working to support our companies to advance in these areas and in other matters of interest for them.”
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