Ceramic World Review updates the rankings of the world’s top ceramic tile groups
The exceptional nature of the Covid year is reflected in the ranking. Almost all groups reported a decline in production volumes due to the plant stoppages that occurred for various lengths of time during the lockdowns in the first half of the year; this contraction was partially offset by the powerful recovery in the second half of the year, with production lines operating at maximum capacity in response to a buoyant market. The fall in production was therefore not uniform and led to changes in the positions of numerous companies (and the temporary exit of others).
Mohawk Industries, Inc. remained firmly at the top of the rankings despite the stoppages in several plants, while the Mexican Lamosa Group rose up to second place, although output decreased from 166 to 148 million sqm, climbing over Thai SCG Ceramics whose production also fell from 166 to 145 million sqm.
As said, the fall in production was not uniform but ranged from -1.5% for companies such as the Spanish STN (78.1 million sqm) and the Polish group Cersanit (53.5 million sqm) to more than -10% for the worst-hit Mexican and Brazilian groups. Only a small number of companies maintained or increased their production levels compared to 2019. Among these, Pamesa (the biggest European tile manufacturer, with an output of 82 million sqm), the UK group Victoria Plc (which continued to grow by acquisitions closing the year 2020 with an output of 42 million sqm), and the Indian producer Somany, which increased its capacity by 18% and production by 14%.
As demonstrated by the revenue trend, the decline in production was not accompanied by a similar drop in sales. Many companies cleared out their warehouses to meet demand, in some cases encountering issues of insufficient inventory due to prolonged lockdowns; in others, managing to maintain similar or higher levels of sales to the previous year.
As for the year 2021, all groups have maintained their growth forecasts in terms of production and sales, as anticipated in many half year reports. For example, the Global Ceramics division of Mohawk Industries, which closed the first half of 2021 with earnings of +23%; the Lamosa Group at +65%; Rak Ceramics at +41.8%; and Portobello at +70.7%.
For sure, we can expect to see biggest changes in positioning in the new 2021 rankings, which will be the result of major acquisitions by four big players this year:
- Lamosa, which will increase its production capacity to 225 million sqm with the acquisition of Roca’s tile division;
- Pamesa, which has gained an additional capacity of 36 million sqm/year by acquiring the Azuliber Group;
- Victoria PLC, which acquired Colli and Santa Maria in April and has not ruled out the possibility of making further acquisitions during the current financial year;
- Grupo Halcon, whose production capacity has increased from 32 to 50 million sqm in 2021 due to the acquisition of Cicogres and the expansion of its production lines