“+12.9% in the first six months” says Anna Roscio of Intesa Sanpaolo


Anna Roscio, Head of Business Sales & Marketing at Intesa Sanpaolo

The figures signalling the recovery of the furnishing sector in the words of the Head of Business Sales & Marketing at Intesa Sanpaolo, Salone del Mobile.Milano institutional partner

Housing System

The furnishing sector is seeing a +12.9%, recovery, new corporate tools are being finessed and the role of trade fairs as global showcases: an interview with Anna Roscio, Head of Business Sales & Marketing at Intesa Sanpaolo, a Salone del Mobile.Milano institutional partner.

Let’s start with a question that concerns the professionals: what does the macroeconomic scenario like for the furnishing sector?

The figures for the sectoral exports and investment trends have rebounded: exports and sustainability have generated a strong upturn in revenues. It’s fair to say that foreign consumers have proved to be a powerful development lever for Italian design, the sector has started to grow again, in response to both domestic and international demand.

How are the recovery data?

According to a study carried out and presented by Gregorio De Felice, Chief Economist of Intesa Sanpaolo, revenues for the first six months of 2021 outstripped pre-pandemic levels, seeing a 12.9% rise compared with the same period in 2019. In Europe, only Denmark and Poland have done better than Italy. This recovery was largely driven by medium to large-sized enterprises. In particular, there was a rebound in export flows to the United States and France. Asia - China, South Korea and Qatar - which also contributed significantly to growth.

In this context, what does a trade fair like the Salone represent?

It’s certainly a lever and a stimulus for the companies within the sector, and it plays a fundamental role in that it helps them get noticed at global level. However, there are also just as many financial tools that can help businesses invest and transform.

Italian furnishing companies with environmental certification saw a 6.7% increase in revenue between 2017 and 2019; the rest of the sectoral companies stopped at +1.8%. How important is sustainability?

Sustainability, one of the leading themes of this edition of the Salone, doesn’t just mean making sustainable products, it also means overhauling production processes and, especially, corporate vision. This is why Banca Intesa Sanpaolo, which supports the sector and is an institutional partner of the Salone, has made dedicated sustainability funding available. Precisely in order to grow the competitive value of the “Housing System,” an objective it shares with FederlegnoArredo, Intesa Sanpaolo has allocated a ceiling of 1 billion euros of funding to S-Loans and the Circular Economy.

What does being a partner of an initiative such as the Salone mean to you?

We’re a long-term institutional partner, we have also supported the Salone in past editions. This year we confirmed our support, even though nobody could be sure it would actually happen. For us, this partnership characterises the way we do banking, supporting businesses and offering them everything they need to break into and become known on the Italian and international market.

Young people were the protagonists of this unprecedented edition, especially those just out of design school. What encouragement can we give to those just embarking on their professional paths, who have to contend with little in the way of incomings and not insignificant outgoings?

Young people often represent start-ups at business level, launching a new enterprise means a lack of previous history, but the Intesa Sanpaolo Group has a lot to offer young people, young entrepreneurs especially, thanks to assessment tools that aren’t just limited to financial and economic results, but also look at the innovative nature of a project.

This year the experimental side of “supersalone,” a paen to creativity, really stood out. However the commercial side remains. How can the two spheres be aligned?

We have a way of doing banking that tries to do just that: we don’t just hand out credit, like traditional banks. We look at needs linked to investments, how to safeguard new markets, go abroad, train. We also often have dealings with new enterprises and start-ups formed by young, innovative creatives that need to be supported by managerial staff.

A reckoning on a Salone that went way above expectations.

It’s done a power of good to the city of Milan, it has contributed to tourism, to receptivity, to commercial establishments. It was a powerful symbol of renewal, which is good not just for the city but also for the entire system.

16 September 2021