Cautious optimism is emerging that the worst of the recessionary effects on Europe’s self-adhesive label industry may be over, says Jules Lejeune, managing director of FINAT, Europe’s label association.
The industry took a big hit in late 2008 as the global economic crisis hit demand for labels and this continued into the first quarter of 2009, he says, but statistics for the second quarter of this year are confirming optimism that the worst is now over – although the year as a whole will still be difficult.
“In some respects the statistics tend to show a false picture, because in year-on-year comparisons early 2008 was still buoyant, which resulted in first quarter figures for 2009 showing a 10 to 12 percent decline over that corresponding figure. Our optimism that signs of a bottoming out would start to emerge as this year progressed has been confirmed by the second quarter statistical evidence – and some positive signals are also now starting to come out of other sections of the wider packaging industry.
“Although it remains premature to draw any definite conclusions from the evidence, Europe’s self-adhesive industry will still see an overall decline in output of between 5 and 10 percent with Northwest and Central Europe doing slightly better, but Eastern Europe seeing a further drop,” Lejeune says.
FINAT President Andrea Vimercati adds: “We have had our casualties in recent months, but those companies that are surviving the recession are in a better position to recover because of the tight commercial pressures they were experiencing before the crisis struck.