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Executive forecast: Ceramic producers investing in technology for 2012

By Louis Iannaco

 

Much like last year, while most tile producers did not see economics conditions in 2011 rebound as quickly as they would have liked, they continue to make investments in technology and look to do more of this going into 2012. Digital printing technology has made a huge impact on what manufacturers can create, and it seems as though they’ll continue this trend moving forward. Mills are also being challenged from abroad, with an increase in imports from places like China only adding to pressure on pricing. Continue reading Executive forecast: Ceramic producers investing in technology for 2012

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Commercial ceramic: Earliest rebound not until mid-2011

Ceramic tile producers continue to hit home runs when it comes to innovation, colors, styles and expanded product offerings. The plan of attack continues to provide distributors and retailers with the best product possible so they can be armed and ready for the recovery.

“We estimate the overall tile industry was down 20% to 25% in 2009, with the commercial sector down a similar amount,” said Lori Kirk-Rolley, senior marketing director, Dal-Tile. She estimated commercial in 2008 at about $950 million, dropping to between $750 and $800 million in 2009. “Driven by federal construction, the public sector was strong in 2008 and 2009. Education and healthcare were performing well, but those are slowing down from 2008. The hospitality, retail and corporate sectors are all weak.”

While Rolley expects the commercial segment to be down again in 2010, she expects recovery to begin later this year. “By 2011, we expect modest growth in the commercial tile sector. However, because tile is installed at the end of the construction process, we don’t anticipate seeing the impact of the recovery until 2012.” Continue reading Commercial ceramic: Earliest rebound not until mid-2011