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IC Market Tracking

IC Customer Insight Air Conditioners in EU 2021

IC Customer Insight

Air Conditioners in Central and Eastern Europe 2021

IC Market Tracking

Air Conditioners in Western Europe 2021

IC Market Tracking

IC News

Air-Conditioning Market Stable Through the Crisis

Despite all adversities, the market for air-conditioning units in Western Europe remained stable last year. Sales in the markets surveyed declined by only about one per cent overall, amounting to 4 billion euros. Above all, the increased demand for so-called single-split systems in the residential segment kept the overall market stable.


France and Italy are the Most Important Markets

Despite a 5% decline in sales, the Italian market remains the largest market for air conditioners in Western Europe with a volume of 1.2 billion euros, ahead of France. The French market showed the greatest dynamism in 2020, increasing its sales by 8% to more than one billion euros. The single-split segment in particular (permanently installed air conditioners consisting of an outdoor and an indoor unit connected by refrigerant lines) grew by 17%. The German market for air conditioners experienced great growth in the years before the pandemic. Last year, however, this growth was interrupted and the market volume fell by almost 2%. With sales of 524 million euros, Germany ranks third in Western Europe. The Spanish market recorded a drop in sales of almost 10%, while the Benelux countries were able to increase sales of air-conditioning units by around 5%.


Legislative Tightening Changes the Market

The EU’s fluorine gas regulation is a contributing factor in curbing emissions, which also effects the air-conditioning sector. “However, delays in the application of the regulation have created uncertainty in the market,” explains Sasa Spiridonov, the author of the study. Spiridonov is convinced that the legislative changes and the research in the field of energy efficiency will in any case produce cooling devices with a lower impact on the environment than at present, and will thus also completely reorganise the market for air conditioners.


Bright Prospects

In any case, the medium-term prospects for the air-conditioning market are good. The industry will have recovered from last year’s mini slump as early as 2021 and will continue to grow by 2.5% annually in the coming years. With a market share of almost 40%, single-split units are the dominant product category. VRF units (cooling and heating with heat recovery) are in second place with a share of just under 21%, but with the greatest growth potential of all product segments.

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EU Regulation Boosts Market for Air Conditioners

The non-residential air conditioner market will increase its sales in the CEE countries (Central and Eastern Europe) by 4.5% this year. Sales volume has reached EUR 568.3 million, representing an increase of 6.0%. The market is also expected to continue to grow over the next few years. According to a study by Interconnection Consulting, industry sales will see an annual increase of 5.3% to the year 2021.


As part of the EU’s environmental goals (-20% CO2 emissions, +20% renewable energy, -20% energy consumption), air conditioning systems have also been affected by the EU regulation. Thus, in an attempt to make the market more transparent, the ratings for air conditioning systems have been revised. New performance indicators (seasonal energy efficiency ratio – SEER; seasonal coefficient of performance – SCOP) are designed to accurately assess performance throughout the entire year, instead of measuring short-term performance as was the case in the past. Furthermore, the EU will now be controlling imported goods more carefully, thereby creating a better competitive environment for European manufacturers. This, in turn, also affects pricing. As a result, Interconnection expects to see an above-average price increase on the market, which means that the nominal increase in revenue will amount to 5.3% annually to 2021, while sales volume will only increase by 3.5% per year.


Bosnia and Serbia – The Kings of Growth

The largest markets are Romania and Bulgaria. In 2017, sales growth was 5.2% in Bulgaria and 4.8% in Romania. The fastest-growing markets are Bosnia (17.5%), Serbia (16.0%), and Albania (13.6%). At the other end of the spectrum last year were the Czech Republic and Slovakia, whose sales both stagnated. The biggest market segments are offices, with a market share of 36.3%, and commercial properties (29.4%). However, as the market share of offices continues to rise, it is stagnating in the commercial buildings sector. Due to the increasing supply in tourism, hotels are also experiencing an upward trend. Their market share is currently at 24.4%.


Single-Split Dominates Market

Compared to Western Europe, the market share of single-split systems (permanently installed air conditioning units consisting of an outdoor and an indoor unit connected by refrigerant lines) is relatively high in Eastern Europe. In 2017, this segment accounted for 46.0% of total revenue. In terms of value, VRF units (cooling and heating with heat recovery) represent the second-largest product segment this year with a market share of 18.0%, followed by multi-split units (18.0%) and rooftop units (rooftop central air-conditioning units) with 2.8%. Although the single-split segment will maintain its leading edge over the medium term, the strongest growth is expected from VRF and chiller products, with an average annual growth of 6.9% and 7.1%, respectively.





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Leading Companies trust in Interconnection Consulting


At the IC Impulsworkhop "Sales Optimization" we appreciate not only the practical relevance, but also the eloquent language and the perfect rhetoric. The most important benefit for our company was the sales pipeline. Adrian Capellarie (Head of Sales Admonter Holzindustrie)

Deutscher Holzfertigbau Verband

Interconnection provides us with the prefabricated house study a plausible and veritable data basis for the analysis of the actual situation in the prefabricated house market and beyond for the assessment of the future market development. We are happy to use this interpreted data for our lobbying and everyday work.

Thomas Schäfer (Managing Director, Deutscher Holzfertigbau-Verband)


The prefabricated housing study by Interconnection Consulting shows a real picture of the actual market situation and forms a valuable basis for our strategic decisions.

Gerhard Schuller (CFO ELK)


EPSON is satisfied with the Interconnection's way of communication with the market and with clients. EPSON is also appriciate the Interconnection's continuous work trying to aim the report to be at the higher level. As a result, EPSON rely on Interconnection data, for the market of POS Printers and Systems.

T.Murakami (Brand Management, Seiko Epson Corporation)


I appreciate on the forum "Impulsworkshop Vertriebsoptimierung" the practical relevance of Peter Berger linked with his practical examples. I also liked the sovereign presentation style. The most important benefit was for me, on the one hand refresh of methods and also the sales management tools that were shown. Ing. Dietmar Hammer (Head of Product Management Gaulhofer)


The most important benefit of the Impulsworkshop "sales optimization" was in my view the procedure of the definition of strengths and the entire sales process. Mr. Berger is very competent and professional. Fabian Freund (Sales Manager, Kontron Austria)

Österreichs Personaldienstleister

The sales management tool ZAIS has become indispensable for many Austrian temporary staffing providers for fast and correct sales management decisions. A tailor-made online cockpit provides comprehensive monthly figures and data on temporary work and the labor market in Austria, while at the same time impressing with its overview and intuitive user guidance. Interconnection Consulting has consider individually to all user needs during development process and also convinces with fast response times during operation.

Dr. Gertraud Höltl (Generalsekretärin Österreichs Personal Dienstleister)

Saint Gobain

Long experience and deep understanding of the construciton industry markets make up the quality of the IC studies. Interconnection Consulting is a constant companion concerning the assessment of markets and helpful for decision-making.

Bernd Blümmers (Directeur General, Saint-Gobain Solar Systems, Central Europe, Aachen)


Interconnection Consulting reports deliver a worthfull external perspective and are so a good contrast with regards to our internal market point of views.

Pedro Posada (CEO Salamander Industrial Products Spain)

Scandinavian Business Seating

The IC Report gives a very good overview of the Western European office furniture market, in a well-structured way. The data is helpful to better understand the market developments and drivers.

Beatrice Sotelo (Director Business Development , Scandinavian Business Seating)

Schneider Electric

Under a short time constraint, Interconnection was able to deliver an outstanding study that exceeded my expectation in terms of quality and market breadth. I highly recommend Interconnection to anyone in need of market research.

Jeff Canterberry (Director of Strategy and M&A, Schneider Electric)


When developing new market strategies, Interconnection is a trusted source we always come back to. Christian Frey (Marketing Manager CS DACH)

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