The 26th Gipea technical meeting highlighted how the Italian label industry is continuing to weather the difficult economic climate.
Staged in Milan, speakers at the event discussed the varied innovations on show at Labelexpo 2013 – from in-line printing systems to all kinds of imaginative finishings.
Presenters also spoke about legislation regarding printing food labels, and the latest inkjet printing technologies for producing labels. There was also a discussion about the need for universities and businesses to forge closer links, to help develop technical professionals with the right skills needed for the label printing industry.
At the event the second edition of Gipea Observatory was also presented, which analysed the performance of around 100 Italian label companies between 2008 and 2012.
The analysis revealed that in 2012 self-adhesive label producers consolidated their revenue – total turnover hit 667 million euros, in line with the previous year’s figure.
In terms of the performance of individual label printing companies, results varied considerably. Around a dozen companies registered an operating profit of more than 15% of revenue, while 24 recorded profits of 5% of revenue. Not all results were positive however, with 24 companies unfortunately making a loss. Interestingly, the study found that some companies are leaning increasingly towards exporting, and have seen their revenue increase as a result.
When it comes to comparing the performance of large and small companies, it was the larger companies that registered the best results, in terms of both revenue and growth. However, the smaller companies fared better when it came to value-added revenue, underlining their ability to produce creative, innovative products for niche markets.
So overall the Italian label market is relatively stable – perhaps because despite the downturn people will always buy food and drink, which means there will always be demand for packaging and labels.
And while print runs are decreasing, the use of digital printing is on the rise, as brand owners are realising that special effects on labels and packaging give products greater shelf impact.