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CHALLENGING TIMES FOR EUROPE’S LEADING PIPE SYSTEM SUPPLIERS

AMI, Bristol, 20/10/08 – Manufacturers of pipe systems have enjoyed strong growth over the past couple of years driven by the recovery in the German building industry and strong growth in Central and Eastern European markets, but face challenging times ahead as residential building activity drops steeply and commercial and infrastructure project investment slows down. The position and status of Europe’s leading suppliers of plastics pipes is reviewed in a new report from Applied Market Information. Corporate Performance and Ownership among plastics pipe extruders – A Review of Europe’s 50 Largest Players, identifies the leading players analysing how their businesses have changed and developed over the past five years. This “Top 50” report is complemented by AMI’s latest guide to the plastics pipe extrusion industry in Europe, which provides a comprehensive listing of the plants and activities for over 500 pipe extruding companies.

 

Plastic pipe production in Europe is dominated by a few major groups. Wavin is the clear market leader and has further consolidated its position in recent years with acquisitions which have included Hepworth Building Products in the UK and Pilsa Plastic in Turkey, which will give it an important foothold to target the rapidly developing markets in the Balkans, the CIS and the Middle East. The current challenging business climate though has resulted in some downsizing and restructuring in the Irish and UK markets.  Pipelife, Europe’s second largest producer has also made a number of acquisitions over the past five years, as well as expanding into Russia.

 

A notable change since the last edition has been the restructuring at Uponor. Following a series of disappointing results in the early 2000s the company changed strategy and decided to divest some of its commodity businesses in soil and waste and concentrate on higher value systems for residential markets. These changes have resulted in the closure and disposal of several operations over the past five years. While in volume terms it is now outside the top 10, it remains one of the market leaders in value terms. 

 

AMI’s “Top 50” report gives financial data for all 50 companies listed, with an estimate of 2007 throughput. It also includes details of more than 200 pipe extrusion plants that were operating as part of these companies during 2007. In terms of volume output the leading 10 producers in Europe for 2007 were:

 

EUROPE’S 10 LEADING PLASTICS PIPE EXTRUDERS 2007

Ranking

Company Name

Head office location

1

Wavin

Netherlands

2

Pipelife

Austria

3

Plasticos Ferro

Spain

4

Alphacan

France

5

Tessenderlo Group

Belgium

6

Uralita

Spain

7

Rehau

Germany

8

System Group (Boscarini)

Italy

9

Polypipe

UK

10

Aliaxis

Belgium

 

Further information on the rest of Europe’s pipe extruding companies can be found in the new edition of AMI’s guide to the thermoplastics pipe extrusion industry in Europe. The industry is estimated to use over 3 million tonnes of polymer, accounting for around 8% of total European demand for thermoplastics.

 

AMI’s listing details suppliers of both gravity pipes and pressure pipes across Europe. Of the companies listed around 420 manufacture pressure pipes and more than 460 non-pressure pipes. Pressure pipes include gas and water transmission and hot and cold water plumbing. Gravity pipe covers sewerage, drainage, guttering, downpipes and cable protection systems. The AMI guide details which types of pipe each site manufactures.

 

The gravity pipe sector is by far the largest in terms of both volume and value accounting for more than 70% of the total demand for plastics pipes in Europe.  PVC is the main material used in gravity pipes although it is expected that its share of the market will decline slowly as PE and PP systems penetrate the market. The building cycle is also expected to take a strong downward turn in the face of the global “credit crunch” and a slowing of European economic growth which will further impact on demand for PVC gravity pipes.

 

Polyethylene gravity pipe is expected to benefit from investment in storm water and road drainage with twin wall pipes making progress against concrete in the larger diameter sector.  The cable protection sector is extremely volatile because of fluctuations in telecom and cable network investments but remains an important segment of the market.

For pressure pipes the main plastic material used is polyethylene (PE 80 and PE 100). Growth has largely been driven by the replacement of metal pipes (ductile iron for water pressure, copper and steel for hot and cold plumbing) and PVC. There has been particularly strong growth in PE 100 systems.  In water pressure pipes it has made gains at the expense of ductile iron but has also replaced some PE 80 systems. The market for gas pressure pipes tends to fluctuate significantly from year to year depending on the investment plans of the gas providers.  In hot and cold water plumbing and heating applications the main polymer material used is cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) although recent years has seen considerable growth in the use of multilayer composite pipes of PEX/aluminium or raised temperature polyethylene (PE-RT)/aluminium. 

 

PUBLICATION DETAILS:

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Title:

Corporate Performance and Ownership Among plastics pipe extruders – A Review of Europe’s 50 Leading Players

 

Name:

Tel:
Fax:
E-mail:

Sarah Phillips

+44 (0)117 924 9442

+44 (0)117 989 2128

sjp@amiplastics.com

Edition:

3rd

 

 

Date:

September 2008

 

 

No. of pages:

123

 

 

Format:

A4

 

 

Price:

£350/€455/$665

 

 

 

PUBLICATION DETAILS:

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Title:

AMI’s guide to the thermoplastics pipe extrusion industry in Europe

Name:

Tel:
Fax:

Regine Futter

+44 (0)117 924 9442

+44 (0)117 989 2128

Edition:

4th

E-mail:

rf@amiplastics.com

Date:

July 2008

 

 

No. of pages:

187

 

 

Format:

A4

 

 

Price:

£195/€255/$370