Fit for the future” is the phrase WEPA Lucca’s managing director Bernhard Gross uses when TWM meets him at the company’s Lucca-based site. The company’s restructuring process meant it has now tailored its resources to manage a flat market – and any future upturn – successfully.
This is no mean feat amongst the economic woes of the country and the wider European economy. Italy’s economic conditions in particular have meant it has been the slowest growing economy in the Eurozone over the past decade.
The country is dealing with fierce competition, private label gains and fast changing consumer trends which are keeping manufacturers on their toes. At nearly 1.8 million MTPY, Italy is Europe’s largest producer of T&T and represents around 22% of the EU’s capacity. Growth in both toilet paper and tissue has been hit: toilet paper, the largest category in retail tissue at €665 million, registered a volume decline of 1.4% in 2013. Retail tissue saw a decline of 0.7% in value terms in 2013, taking the category to €1.56 billion.
That tissue can find pockets of opportunity in such an environment acts as a bellwether for the industry. WEPA Lucca’s strategy has been to make itself lean. Sofidel, which we also visited for this issue’s Country Report, has a different tactic. Over the past few years it has expanded heavily into Europe and America while keeping a tight hold on its Italian base. Chief executive Luigi Lazzareschi told TWM the company “still has a lot to say in Europe”. You can read our full interview with him in this issue.
As WEPA’s Gross says: “I don’t want to join in the negative comments about Italy and its economy. I believe in Italy, we don’t share the cynicism. We represent a German family investing here and that’s commitment for the future.”
Welcome to the new look TWM !
We can never stand still. As our industry constantly innovates to move forward, so too Tissue World Magazine.
This issue’s Country Report on Italy and its new direction fits well into TWM and its own new redesign. As ever, we are committed to bringing you the most up-to-date and relevant news, analysis and features about the global tissue business and its latest technologies.
As an independent publication, we want to keep you abreast of the industry’s most important, relevant and game-changing events, and in doing so we ourselves need to set the pace.
We all at TWM hope you enjoy the magazine’s redesign and content.