As in previous years, there were some significant regional and national differences in value and volume demand trends. Sales in Germany, Europe’s largest flexible packaging market, continued to see some modest growth, as to a lesser extent did the UK. However, demand in Italy, Greece and Portugal continued to contract, with negative growth seen in France for the first time since 2009. Demand was most buoyant in some emerging markets in Eastern Europe, notably Russia and Poland, which grew at over four times the European average. Sales growth in Turkey, a major emerging market, while still strong relative to the European average, fell back compared with the previous year.
Compared with the metal can, glass and paperboard packaging industries, Europe’s flexible packaging industry continues to be highly fragmented with the top 20 players accounting for around 70% of the market. However, on-going consolidation continues to be steadily changing the structure of the industry, mostly with the backing of private equity finance. Major developments include the emergence of Sun Capital portfolio business Coveris as a top 10 player, and the rapid growth via acquisition of Schur Flexibles. Approaching 20% of the industry’s sales in Europe is currently generated by private equity portfolio companies.
Now in its 14th edition, PCI Films Consulting’s "The European Flexible Packaging Market" has become a valuable tool in driving business planning, investment and future product developments. Based on original field research, it is the most recent and comprehensive report available on the European market, providing over 400 pages of historical data and highly detailed market analysis and statistics for 2013, estimates for 2014 and forecasts through to 2018.