Competitiveness and profitability- new challenges in the ceramic frit, glaze and colour industry, part 1

InterCeram: International Ceramic Review

The Spanish ceramic frit, glaze and colour industry encompasses 27 companies employing nearly 4000 staff with a total annual turnover of approximately one billion euros. These firms have based their growth since the 1990s on two strategies, the first of which is horizontal and vertical growth with an emphasis on overseas expansion and building foreign subsidiaries – many of which also manufacture and offer technical consultancy. The second strategy has been innovation. The result of these strategies is that the industry has become a technological base for the entire ceramics sector and has established worldwide leadership. Nevertheless, productivity and profitability have progressively fallen. This paper analyses and evaluates the financial results obtained by this industry and points to the variables that indicate the key changes. Two additional factors are expected to greatly impact the sector in Spain, i.e. a series of regulation issues and an increase in competition from the Asian frit industry.