11. Mrz 2015

Sanitary industry: No growth pause

Sanitary industry confident for 2015 / Positive factors stronger than risks / 2014: Turnover increase due to domestic business / Overseas stagnation / Upwind since 2009 / “Handy competence themes” / Convincing consumers / Serious elucidation takes effect / “Bathroom” is renovation favourite // House and building technology: More turnover, more employees

The sanitary industry can be justified in raising its hopes that the upward trend, which is unbroken since 2009, will continue into 2015. According to a new prognosis by the ifo-Institut, turnover of the economic sector, which is characterised by SMEs, should increase by approx. 2% to over 22.5 billion EUR. Although the considerable, geopolitical risks and unresolved Euro crisis have been general adverse factors, specific indices such as the current “dazzling consumer and investment mood” of Federal (German) citizens together with the positive homebuilding prospects have justified a “cautious optimism on balance”. This applies equally to the short, medium and long term, according to the statement at the leading “ISH” trade fair hosted in Frankfurt in mid-March.

For 2014, the Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitaerwirtschaft (VDS) reported a sales turnover increase of 3.3% to 22.2 billion EUR based on the latest ifo estimation. However, this is exclusively down to domestic business, which has increased by 3.9% to 18.6 billion EUR. On the other hand, the sales revenue achieved overseas has stagnated at 3.6 billion EUR. Jens J. Wischmann explained that the sober global development and the conflicts in Ukraine and in the Middle East have had a negative effect. However, the managing director of the umbrella association for industry, specialised wholesale trade and the skilled trade referred at the same time to the growth which has persisted over the last six years and to a “thoroughly rare phenomenon in the industry chronicles”. The turnover has continually increased since 2009 (18.6 billion EUR) by a total of 19.4%. Despite some different developments over the course of time, both domestic and foreign trade have contributed to the same degree in the end with an increase of 19.2% and 20% respectively.

Specific multiple benefits

In view of the future bathroom economy, the three-stage professional association must concentrate on what it can influence itself. The top priority goes to the task of convincing consumers of the integral product and service quality. There is no shortage of “handy competence themes” here. Examples of this are sustainability, drinking water hygiene, demographic change, individualisation and health.

Committing to these fields actively and in the long-term benefits the entire industry on several levels. In this way, the industry is positioned and profiled clearly on important future markets, acquires and secures high-income bathroom businesses, effectively distinguishes itself from the non-specialist range of suppliers and establishes even better in politics and the media. In that context, the VDS spokesperson described the patronage of the company and product-neutral “Aktion Barrierefreies Bad” initiative, which was taken over at the beginning of 2015 by Minister for Construction Dr. Barbara Hendricks as confirmation of the concept of “reliable and extensive consumer information”.

In addition, there is no lack of favourable conditions.This includes the great willingness of the German people to invest in their own four walls, which has just been documented by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK). The bathroom has been a favourite for renovation for many years. This is currently emphasised by an investigation carried out by the Ipsos-Institut for Fachschriften-Verlag. It not only discovered that almost 12 million houseowners had specific intentions to modernise by 2016, but also that the bathroom and sanitary sector reigns supreme with 37.8%. “Heating system / ovens” with 21.6% and “kitchen equipment” with 17.1% followed at a considerable distance.

Stay healthy in the bathroom

Furthermore, the growing importance of the renovation motto of “barrier-free / age-appropriate” is “very noteworthy”. 41% of the planned structural measures on or in the house are based on this aspect. In comparison with the last study from 2011, Wischmann pointed out that the proportion has risen by over 10 percentage points. The bathroom will disproportionately benefit from the “obvious trend”. This was confirmed by cross-checking with other surveys.

The new theme of “health” could also trigger noticeable business stimuli in the medium term. According to a representative forsa study, four out of ten Federal citizens aged 18 and above consider the domestic bathroom for their private healthcare and personal fitness training. Relaxed baths after physical exertion (67%) dominate the ranking of suitable practical possibilities in front of contrast showers (59%) and whirlpools for massages (51%). However, this market segment will not be conquered with “nice advertising spots”. Instead, systematic, scientifically supported and substantiated communication is required. Wischmann has announced that the umbrella association wants to develop and execute appropriate activities in 2015.

Specialists sought after

It should be added that 2014 was also a “good year” for the entire HVACR and building technology industry. With 52.3 billion EUR (plus 2%), the industry, which covers both the sanitary sector and the heating and ventilation / air conditioning industries, has exceeded the 50 billion EUR turnover mark for the third time in a row. According to ifo, domestic turnover raised 43.2 billion EUR (plus 2.1%) and the overseas market contributed 9.1 billion EUR (plus 1.1%).

The pleasing economic picture has had a further positive effect on the employment situation. In 2014, the number of jobs increased by a further 8,000 to about 509,000. According to ifo calculations, the strongest increase was in skilled trade. Despite this, the overriding issue at present is to work together intensively on acquiring the next generation of qualified specialists. With about 51,300, the number of companies in the HVACR and building technology trade decreased slightly in comparison with the previous year, according to the estimations submitted by ifo at the “ISH”.


The sanitary industry remained on course for growth in 2014. According to a new estimation by the ifo-Institut, the economic sector, which is characterised by SMEs, achieved a nominal turnover increase of 3.3% to 22.2 billion EUR. However, the flourishing domestic trade was solely responsible for this. The Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitaerwirtschaft (VDS) is currently anticipating that the upward trend that has persisted since 2009 will continue this year.
Graphic: Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitaerwirtschaft (VDS)    Image 3134

2014 was another good year for the German HVACR and building technology industry. Based on the latest ifo estimation, the sales turnover has increased by 2% to 52.3 billion EUR. As a result, the industry has conquered the 50 billion EUR hurdle for the third time in a row. The latest turnover increase is predominantly due to domestic trade.
Graphic: Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitaerwirtschaft (VDS)    Image 3135

The employment level of the German HVACR industry also benefited from the positive industry climate in 2014. According to an ifo estimation, the number of jobs increased again to 509,000 at present. The strongest growth was in skilled trade, but a “considerable need for specialists” was also reported.
Graphic: Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitaerwirtschaft (VDS)    Image 3137

With about 51,300, the number of companies in the HVACR and building technology industry declined slightly for the fourth time in a row in 2014. This was the result of an estimation by the ifo-Institut submitted at the “ISH 2015”.
Graphic: Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitaerwirtschaft (VDS)    Image 3136