Investment and efficiency are key to survival

27 August 2009

Before I introduce myself as the new Editor of Converting Today, I would like to say a big thank you to the previous Editor, Sonali Advani, who has done a wonderful job keeping the magazine focused and topical.

As a seasoned business to business editor (27 years, no less!), I have seen trends come and go, and this is the second recession I have lived through.

With Labelexpo just around the corner, it will be interesting to see if visitor numbers are stable. In other businesses, my experience has been that although fewer visitors have attended trade shows, and for less time, the calibre of those visitors has been higher.

However, FINAT’s latest End-user Market Survey and Industry Report is rather gloomy reading. Although 2008 started off encouragingly, it says, the volume total declined by 1 per cent over 2007 for the self-adhesive label sector, which has a 45 per cent share of the European labels market.

Slightly better news is that the forecast for the future is for growth, albeit modest, at 0.5 per cent over the 2008-2013 period.

FINAT reports that while 10 companies supply more than 90 per cent of all the self-adhesive labelstock laminates in Europe, there are an estimated 3,000 printers/converters producing the labels in the reel. However, there is evidence of continuing consolidation. “It is estimated that about 100 companies will be subject to merger-acquisition or bankruptcy in 2009,” says the report.

Ever the optimist, I firmly believe that we will emerge from this economic downturn with strong companies in the converting sector, although maybe fewer of them. And I believe that those that continue to invest in development, tighten up their processes and offer good value for money will be the survivors.

Keeping up to date with technologies and trends will help companies ride the recession. It is my mission to fulfil that need with future issues of Converting Today.

Maureen Byrne, Editor

Maureen Byrne

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