Italian national trade association forecasts 2015 downturn
IMA confirms IMA Industries and IMA Life Italia merger
The merger will optimise the Group's activities and the centralization of staff functions in a phase of consolidation of the non-pharmaceutical sector. The company said the merger will not have a significant impact given that the companies involved are wholly-owned by IMA and already form part of its scope of consolidation.
2014 end-of-year results
The news comes as the Italian national trade association, Ucima, announced the country’s packaging machinery sector is expected to exceed €6.2m in its 2014 end-of-year results but predicts a downturn in sales this year.
Some of the biggest Italian machinery firms include Coesia-Seragnoli, IMA, SACMI, and Marchesini.
"After years of steady growth, we have seen a small slowdown in orders in our key geographical markets in recent months," said Giuseppe Lesce, chairman, Ucima.
"The outlook for the coming year is therefore very cautious, particular given the uncertainty caused by the social and political unrest and the economic downturn in a number of key markets."
The 2014 growth is estimated at 3.3%, slightly less than the figure for the previous years.
Lesce said this result is largely attributable to exports, which made up 82.2% of total turnover and grew by 2.2% to €5.1m.
The European Union remains the largest market for Italian technologies, followed by Asia and non-EU European countries.
Domestic market 9% growth
According to the figures for the first nine months of the year, the top three importer countries were the US, China and France.
The domestic market performed strongly with 9% growth to more than €1.1m. This was due to tax concessions on the purchase of capital goods offered by the so-called "Sabatini Bis" law, which is a law that grants tax breaks to businesses buying machinery.
In other news, IMA Industria Macchine Automatiche signed a €65m ($80.94m) agreement with Lin Vermogensverwaltung to acquire an 80% interest in BENHIL, ERCA, HASSIA, HAMBA and GASTI, forming the OYSTAR Group last month.
IMA and the five companies will work under a newly formed holding company IMA Dairy&Food Holding, with IMA taking 80% interest and Lin 20%. The deal is due for completion in Q1 2015.
Ravizza Packaging will also open a US HQ in Akron, Ohio, as part of plans to sell its patented Simplicita Bag Smart across the States.
The company's annual revenues are $3.4m, with the majority of its sales coming from Europe. It has also recently expanded into South America and New Zealand.
The Simplicita Bag Smart machine forms, fills and seals bags from tubes on a roll, instead of using pre-made bags.