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Hope for revival in German parquet industry

The recession in the construction industry has left deep scars on the market for parquet. According to the Association of the German Parquet Industry (vdp), significant double-digit declines in revenue and sales were recorded in 2023. 'The construction crisis, coupled with other factors, is causing problems for the parquet industry. However, we are counting on an improvement in the situation, for example through a resurgence in consumer confidence in the wake of a pick-up in demand and expected interest rate cuts,' explained vdp Chairman Michael Schmid.

According to an internal survey by the association, the turnover of vdp member companies with parquet flooring in Germany fell by 36.0 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year, to 183.8 million euros. Members' sales fell by 36.8 percent across all segments to 4.9 million square metres of parquet, with a total market in Germany of around 10.8 million sqm. Declines were recorded in almost all segments.

According to the survey, vdp members' turnover with multi-layer parquet flooring in Germany fell by 39.4 percent to 153.3 million euros. Sales fell by a similar amount, by 40.4 percent to 4.0 million square meters of multi-layer parquet. Double-digit declines were also recorded for two-layer parquet. According to the vdp survey, its members turned over 55.4 million euros with two-layer parquet, which was about a fifth less than a year earlier. Sales in this segment fell by almost 25 percent to 1.5 million sqm.

Losses were also recorded for solid parquet flooring, with sales falling by 26.3 percent to 13.9 million euros. Sales here fell by 34.3 percent to 300,000 sqm of solid parquet. On the other hand, vdp members' sales of mosaic parquet flooring in Germany increased slightly, by a good 7 percent to 16.6 million euros, with sales falling by 6.0 percent to 700,000 sqm.

Double-digit declines were recorded last year, not only in parquet, but also in other flooring sectors. The industry also has to cope with persistently high operating costs, such as electricity. At the same time, imports from the Far East are pushing into the market. In view of the difficult situations in the global market, the vdp reiterates its warning against imbalances in international competition.

Despite all the economic and global uncertainty, the German parquet industry anticipates a market revival in the future as the need for renovations of existing buildings remains high. Here, parquet can also show off its qualities particularly well compared to other floor coverings. 'As a sustainable carbon sink in the circular economy, Parquet can score points with consumers, retailers and politicians. In addition, if interest rates fall as expected, demand is likely to increase further,' Schmid emphasises.

The team from vdp reaffirms its commitment to wood as a climate-friendly raw material, with its support for the "Wood saves the climate" initiative, which promotes the environmental benefits of the renewable raw material from the forest.

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