Assobagno’s 2022 AGM coincided with the celebration of a special anniversary – 20 years since it was set up, in the words of its President Elia Vismara: “a major milestone in the evolution of the sector and associational life.”
Vismara’s comments showed that on this occasion too, he was especially keen to remember the history of the businesses that lie at the heart of the association, and their ability to evolve, to open out to the future even when the going gets tough. The bathroom furnishing sector, in particular, has managed to adapt flexibly and rapidly to the changing lifestyles, and to continuously and boldly reinterpret the role of the bathroom.
Despite the many difficulties that the current economic and geopolitical scenario may throw up in the near future, the FederlegnoArredo Study Centre has forecast that the year will close 10.3% up and that the great majority of firms believes it will close the year with a greater increase in revenues than last year in terms of sales on the domestic market, while the percentage on the foreign market is likely to drop.
In a dedicated focus, Pambianco Design reports that, based on official FederlegnoArredo data, overall turnover accounted for 3,807 million euros last year. “In detail, the sector, with 972 companies and 22,624 employees, witnessed a positive trend thanks to its strong ties with the residential segment. The domestic market performed well, accounting for a 2,104-million-euro tranche of total turnover (+29.9% compared with 2020, +1.1% on 2019), whilst exports accounted for 1,703 million euros (+1.4% on 2020, +8.5% on 2019). […] Meanwhile, in the period January to May 2022, exports, which make up 45% of overall sales, accounted for 793.6 million euros (+13.75 on 2021). [...] The figures were announced at the Assobagno AGM. The association represents around 50% of the bathroom furnishing sector companies, and marked its 20th anniversary this year.”
The Assobagno editorial in the September/October issue of the specialist Italian magazine Il Bagno Oggi e Domani – entitled “Guardare con Fiducia alla Seconda Parte dell’Anno” (Looking to the Second Half of the Year with Confidence) – says that the 2022 International Bathroom Exhibition, under the umbrella of the 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, “gave the participating companies and the sector a shot of confidence and a great desire to forge ahead. It was a week of great joy, celebration and business, attracting a great many foreign professionals and some decidedly interesting new contacts, despite some people’s gloomy predictions.” Coming in the wake of this renewed confidence, the meeting proved an opportunity for reunions and discussion and cause for celebration, time to revisit the association’s history and to present projects for the future. This Il Bagno Oggi e Domani focus also touches on the important role of the FederlegnoArredo Study Centre, which analyses the markets and pinpoints the drivers of growth in every segment, and is an increasingly key tool in the development of new strategies – including protection and prevention strategies in the face of what looks like being a very uncertain autumn.
As Giovanna Mancini’s article of 15th September in Il Sole 24 Ore underscores – despite the excellent economic results set out at the start – the fact that there is also concern in the Assobagno ranks about the cost of raw materials and all the semi-finished products from energy-guzzling companies – glass, ceramics, and metals first and foremost. “It’s a complex scenario,” Vismara told Il Sole 24 Ore – “but over the last few years, the companies have shown their ability to react to the crisis by innovating and investing in research, particularly into water saving. This has been the key to growth over the last 20 years and it will continue to be for the next.”
The online magazine e-duesse.it opens with the statement: “Assobagno notches up 20 years and it’s now time to take stock and plan for the future,” underscoring the fact that the anniversary was an occasion on which to focus on the objectives achieved, whilst also being the time to establish new ones, in line with the challenges posed by the current situation. Planning with the optimism and enthusiasm of an association that has managed to successfully meet its own targets, exceeding expectations not just in economic, but also in qualitative and aesthetic terms, with great synergy, thanks to its tremendous teamwork.