Construction and living

Jan Hudak

> Learn more about Jan Hudak

After expanding his international experience (in USA, Sweden and Slovakia) from studies and short traineeships & internships in insurance at Allianz and public sphere at Ministry of Economy, Jan joined Interconnection Consulting as the Market Analyst responsible for various industries. Among them are boats, parquets & flooring, finance, healthcare & pharma, FM and some of the special technical & construction industries. During his work at Interconnection, he was invited to present some of the findings and data at the conferences or EXPOS. In addition, he creates data solutions for B2B & B2C segment. Also, in Interconnection he is in charge of internship programme in Bratislava as mentor as well as providing assistance to other colleagues and recently he became a consultant for untypical projects and business development.

Contact me without obligation, I support you gladly!

Tel:+43 1 375 00 15 12



Case Study Glass

Construction and Living

IC News

Curtain Wall Market is Facing Difficult Times

The six most important markets for curtain walls in Europe (Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, Italy and Poland) posted a decline in sales of 0.6% in 2019. Follwoing the most likely scenario, the COVID crisis will cause a sharp drop in sales this year (-4.5%). But even after that, the market will find it very difficult to get going, as shown in a study by Interconnection Consulting.

Ray of Hope in Two Years

The decline in sales across Europe – in the most likely scenario – will continue until 2022. While sales in the previous year were around 21.8 million square meters, they will most likely only make up 19.8 million square meters in 2023, as a low demand for new investments in the construction industry is expected until 2022. The developments caused by the crisis in the individual countries are all different. Italy will experience the largest decline in 2020 in the most likely scenario (-12.2%), followed by Great Britain (-9.9%), although it can be said that for both countries this is simply continuing their decline in sales. By far the largest market, Germany, will lose 3.8% of its sales volume this year, ending a long upward phase. On the other hand, France and Poland will actually end 2020 with a slight increase in sales. However, sales volumes in these countries will also decline sharply in the following years due to the consequences of the crisis.

Trending New Materials

In terms of materials, aluminum-glass holds the majority with a share of 82.6%, followed by steel-glass. While the steel segment continues to lose shares, aluminum will continue to expand its market position. However, the strongest trend can be seen in other materials, such as wood-aluminum or wood-glass systems. Alternative elements such as stone, ceramic or plastic are also being used more and more frequently.

Housing Construction Will Collapse

The market share of property construction is 89.5%. With almost half of total sales, the office segment is the strongest customer segment. This is followed by retail (18.7%) and industry with 14.1%. The greatest losses are expected in residential construction, whose sales will fall by 8.3% this year. Around three quarters of the sales volume is used in new construction.

> read more

Residential Ventilation Market Strongly Affected by Covid-19

The market for Residential Ventilation in Europe rose last year (2019) by +2.4% in terms of value, after 2.1% in 2018 and after growing strongly in 2017 (+7.1%) due to favorable construction activity. A decline in building completions and increasing market saturation, especially for central systems with heat recovery, are responsible for the weak growth rates of the past two years. For 2020, Covid-19 is expected to post a strong minus growth of -8.1% by value, with the countries examined being affected differently by the effects of the pandemic and recovery is not in sight for most countries until 2022 or 2023, according to the new study by Interconnection Consulting.

Current indicators suggest that the market for residential ventilation in the analyzed markets (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, UK, Italy, Poland, Benelux, Nordics ) will rise by 0.6% annually until 2023 in terms of units sold. However positive growth is expected in some countries not to return until 2023 again.

Of the investigated countries, Austria showed the strongest growth with +6.4% in terms of quantity sold recorded (with simultaneous decline in value of -3.0%), while Poland with 5.0% growth in terms of quantity (+6.5 % by value) most solidly developed overall. The Swiss market shrank by -0.8% in units, but even lost by -3.9% in value. Germany showed overall growth of 3.6% compared to 2018, whereby also here a double digit growth decentral (local) systems with heat recovery had to compensate for the decline of the central systems with heat recovery.

Measured by sales value, considering all the countries examined, Decentral Ventilation units with HR currently account for 10.2% while Central Systems with Heat recovery account for 42.4% and the rest (47.5%) goes for Exhaust Systems without heat recovery. Comparing these numbers in terms of quantity (units sold), exhaust air systems without heat recovery, as well as decentralized systems (with heat recovery) are much more represented due to the lower average price.

Central systems with market saturation

In a whole number of the countries examined, the growth in central units (with heat recovery) was negative, although a differentiation must also be made in some countries. In part, the decline mainly affected systems with lower output (capacity in m³), while more powerful systems (but the quantities of which are sold in significantly (!) lower quantities and can also be used in areas such as schools, kindergartens, meeting rooms, in addition to residential construction), could even record increases. According to industry insiders, manufacturers also like to focus on this area because in some cases even higher margins can be achieved. The manufacturing costs for larger systems are only marginally higher in relation to the significantly higher prices that can be achieved with more powerful units.

Another influence on the systems used, is the increasing proportion of apartments (multi-storey residential buildings), while the proportion of one and two-family houses is declining year after year in almost all countries. In Austria, for example, the industry complains that it is becoming increasingly difficult to argue the investment costs (which goes along with the installation of a central unit with heat recovery systems). Here more and more cheaper alternatives such as decentralized systems or exhaust air systems without heat recovery are used. There is also a lack of necessary funding that could compensate for this trend. In subsidized, social housing, the argument of creating the cheapest possible living space is often in the foreground.

A small ray of hope in the comparison of countries remains Poland, where central systems also saw significant growth in 2019.

Italy is still a special case. Although prices there have been under pressure for years (with high single-digit price declines and ruinous average prices for many manufacturers, especially in the southern region of Italy), the market for central systems fell again in 2019 by -7.8% with a small volume 1.8% increase. Great Britain is another market that is avoided by some manufacturers due to the low product prices and high market concentration in some areas.

Price differences also result from the prevailing country-specific distribution. While Austria and Switzerland mainly rely on two-step direct sales through installation companies, in most other regions indirect three-step sales are more common. Therefore, the average prices (measured as sell-in prices at manufacturer level) in the two countries mentioned are also higher than in other markets, although the significantly higher prices in Switzerland do not fully explain this.

Decentralized systems are booming in “established” countries

Decentralized systems with heat recovery were able to achieve significant growth in almost all countries, provided there is a market in the respective country. Such systems are hard to find in Switzerland or France e.g. but the market for these products is also relatively small in Northern Europe and the Benelux. In Italy, decentralized HRV in 2019 increased by + 25.8%, in Germany still by + 13.2%, bringing Germany to around 225 thousand decentralized units. Decentralized units, which in turn were divided into transverse systems and single room fans, were able to record cumulative growth in all countries examined. In Germany, however, it is primarily transverse systems that contribute the majority of the growth of decentralized systems with HR. However, there is also a strong price war in this area, with the average price only going down in 2019, for example, in Germany, since some manufacturers with very low average prices in this segment were able to show particularly high growth. Since many manufacturers obtain their products from a few OEMs, it is all the more difficult to differentiate them from the competition.

The lion’s share of the decentralized systems is for wall and ceiling mounting, only a very small part is for window ventilation. Window ventilation is only occupied by a few companies, but is considered a market with high growth potential. Even if the competition is manageable in terms of the number of companies, the difficulty lies in the production of large quantities with simultaneous, individually tailored production, which is why some players have already withdrawn from this field. Schüco, which recently launched a new product in cooperation with Renson, is currently making a new start.

Exhaust systems are growing constantly

In all countries examined, the growth of exhaust systems was around 2.65% by volume, with over 75% of the systems being distributed by decentral systems(bathroom / toilet fans) . However, there are very large country-specific differences, for example central exhaust air systems without heat recovery systems are almost not widespread in some countries. A particularly large proportion of the exhaust air systems are in Great Britain, where the market leader already covers a very large part of them.

Corona and its aftermath

Already before Corona, there were already some signs of a slowing economy, such as a decline of economic growth and building permits showed. Due to the pandemic, the situation has worsened again drastically. Some effects of Corona crisis, such as closed construction sites and projects in which the completion was postponed, directly had an impact in 2020; other effects will become noticeable in the coming 1-3 years for the industry, when the number of building completions drops dramatically. Shortly before the lock-down, there was even a brief increase in demand as a kind of pull-forward effect, since manufacturers were still trying to adequately stock up on components, but this effect has long fizzled out.

While DACH or the Netherlands have come relatively well by the pandemic, the lock-down was considerably more problematic in countries such as Italy, Spain, Great Britain and Belgium. Limited Distribution through wholesalers, delays due to closed borders, lack of supplier products and logistics services, or non-existent labor from Eastern European countries, brought many companies already in the last 3 months into trouble. A shutdown at construction sites or requirements, preventing appropriate coordination of trades locally along with concomitant quality problems – will also lead to further difficulties.

As for the manufacturer of ventilation systems, mainly producers of customized ventilation solutions had considerable problems when products already manufactured and ready to ship, were no longer accepted (due to postponed or closed construction projects/sites) by customers as they could not be disposed otherwise.

The emerging demand for new construction projects and thus declining building permits is particularly problematic because the financing of many projects is “on hold”. Although non-residential construction is hit even harder than residential construction, there is also a negative downward spiral here. In Germany there are also further delays in the approval procedures, since in times of shutdown, many procedures of the already overloaded authorities remained unprocessed and the old procedures first have to be worked through. Billions are currently being pumped into the economy and states are outbidding themselves with economic stimulus, support and tax deferral programs, but the state will not be able to sustainably promote such programs in the long term, and these loan-financed financial injections will also have to be repaid one day.

The long-term development of residential ventilation will also be largely determined by the extent to which it can be established as a fixed component of newly created living space in the future. This in turn depends heavily on raising awareness within the population, on the need for energy efficiency and high air quality through constant fresh air supply.

Overall market concentration increased

Overall, the market concentration has slightly increased compared to last year. The 126 companies analyzed in the report have a combined market share of over 91% regarding the total market. However, the top 30 already have a market share of approx. 72%, although in smaller countries the market concentration is often significantly higher. Despite some very international companies, there are still local heroes in most countries, that play a significant role. The leading companies in Europe include: Aldes , Atlantic, France Air, Helios, Itho , Maico , Soler & Palau, Swegon , System Air , Volution Group , Zehnder, etc. to name just a few. In recent years, many companies have also tried to increase their reach through acquisitions and mergers. These include, for example, Helios ( Vallox ), Zehnder (Paul, Enervent , Greenwood , etc.), Soler & Palau ( Pluggit, Envirovent, Unelevent…), Volution Group (Inventer, Pamon, Ventilair…) and many more;

As part of a competitive analysis, the complete study shows the market shares of the top manufacturers at country and segment / product group level, as well as all market data at country level in detail.

> read more

Residential Race to the Bottom at it's Beginning

2020 will finally stop the longstanding upswing  of the construction industry due to the Corona-Crisis. For this year a decline of -2,7% of the residential construction activity is expected, which is only the beginning of the downward trend, as Interconnection Consulting shows in its latest report.   


Bottom will be reached by 2022 

Tightened hygiene- and safety regulations curb the residential building completions already in 2020. Furthermore, closed borders led the shortage of skilled workers on the construction sites which delay completions further. Short-time work and massive unemployment clearly have a negative effect on purchasing power and investment readiness of local households. Consequently investments in  homes are expected to decline leading to a drop of building permits in 2020 by 14,9% compared to the previous year which will obviously effect building completions within the upcoming years. While the downward trend in 2020 will be comparatively moderate, Interconnection’s forecasts for 2021 are drastic with a decline of -8,7%. Due to the delay between building permits and completions of residential buildings, completions are expected to hit the rock bottom by 2022 while in 2023 we can expect a recovery.


Urbanization further Rising 

Due to declined private incomes building completions of detached- and semidetached houses are expected to drop over proportional. While detached- and semidetached houses accounted for 29,0% of all completed dwellings in 2019 this share is expected to drop to 25,0% in 2020. Even though a slight recovery of this segment is expected, the big trend of urbanization continues regardless the corona-crisis. Consequently construction of apartments will further increase. Was the ratio between apartments and detached/semidetached houses 50:50 back in 2008 a significant shift towards apartments within the last ten years (71% to 29%).


> read more

Outdoor venetian blinds hope for a rebound after COVID

Outdoor venetian blinds hope for a rebound after COVID

After years of sustained growth, the market for outdoor venetian blinds for the 7 major European markets (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy and Poland) will suffer a setback in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The market will fall by -3,7%. In new study, Interconnection predicts that quantity sold will experience a gradual rebound in the next years, while the volume in 2025 will raise above the 2019-level in all markets analyzed.


DACH-Region Overrepresented

The popularity of outdoor venetian blinds as exterior sun protection element in the DACH-Region is well-known and strongly defines volume and trend for the whole European market. The German market is by far the biggest market with 49,6% shares,  followed by Switzerland and Austria. Still, it will take some years before Germany will reach the pre-crisis level. Rebound will be faster in some of the less mature and, at the same time, fastest-growing countries, as France and Spain. In 2019, the Spanish market grew by +5.3%. In Southern Europe venetian blinds have been struggling to take shares away from other, more traditional, sun protection elements, as wood and roller shutters. For example, the Italian market is less than 1/10th of the German one.

Fall in aluminium price could make blinds more competitive

A positive feedback on total volume sold could be lower prices for raw material, as ca. 90% of all venetian blinds are made of aluminium and price of aluminium had been growing stronger before the crisis. This could help producers to take advantage of the situation and help venetian blinds to become more competitive relative to alternative solutions. One of the reasons why average prices of blinds is relatively high is the motorization level which is dominant reaching 93% in France. Only in Poland only 64% of venetian blinds are sold with a motorization system.

More players, concentration declines

In the last 5 years more sun protection players have started to produce their own venetina blinds and, since 2017, Interconnection recorded a trend towards lower concentration among the top producers. Still, the Top 10 companies covered in 2019 59,8% of the total volume. Some of the Top 5 have lost shares in part because present only in the more mature markets. Roma and Hunter Douglas gained shares in 2019.

> read more

Difficult Years Ahead for Fire Rated Doors

After a very promising start to the new year, the fire door industry in Western Europe experienced a major slump. In the first quarter of 2020, the market fell by 11.5 percent in value compared to 2019. For the full year, Interconnection Consulting expects a decline of 5.6% compared to the previous year. The market level of 2019 is not expected to be reached again until 2023.

Italy, Denmark and Sweden Will See Double-Digit Declines

In Germany, the largest market for fire rated doors in Europe, a decline of 7.4% is expected for the year as a whole, caused in large parts by the strong declines in non-residential construction. One of the strongest slumps in the EU is currently forecast for Italy (-10.1%), while the fire rated door market in the Benelux countries and Great Britain will lose 8.7% and 7.6% respectively. Scandinavia is also hard hit by the crisis and will lose a total of 9.6%, with the decline in Denmark and Sweden likely to be in the double digits.

Great Expectations for EN16034

The market has high expectations for the introduction of new standards for the harmonisation of directives within the EU and Turkey in order to guarantee fair conditions for the manufacturers. However, these changes, which came into force in November 2019, only affected exterior doors and sliding doors. “The outer doors in particular affect only a slight proportion of all fire rated doors and therefore the effects on price harmonisation are not yet as strong as desired,” explains Jan Hudak, the author of the study. However, this is one of the big goals to narrow the big price differences in different countries. Therefore, in the future, wooden doors with fire resistance of 90 and 120 minutes will dominate at the upper end of the price scale, while steel doors will remain dominant at the lower end of the resistance scale (30 min and 60 min).

Gloomy Outlook

The fall in demand in the first half of 2020 will be somewhat weakened from September due to the building permits already issued – which total around 3 billion euros. The two-digit decline figures that are expected by summer can thus be partially offset. Nevertheless, the gradual easing of measures to curb COVID-19 will only partially lead to recovery. The market for fire rated doors will not fully recover from the crisis until 2022.

> read more

Curtain Wall Industry in Germany Will Only Recover Slowly

Sales of curtain walls increased in 2019 by 4.2% to 7.2 million square metres. In 2020, sales are set to decline by 3.8% due to COVID-19, as shown in a new study by Interconnection Consulting. The industry will only slowly recover from the effects of the pandemic by 2023.

In 2020, due to the consequences of the shutdown, sales will most likely decrease to 6.9 million square meters, as the study shows. By 2023, this value will increase slightly, up to 7.0 million square meters. The crisis is set to end the continuous growth of the industry in recent years. The industry recorded an increase from 6.0 to 7.2 million square meters in the five years between 2014 and 2019.

Wood on the Advance

Aluminum is the dominant product group with a share of 78.5% and is not set to lose any of this majority in the future with above-average market growth. Lower growth and thus falling market shares can be expected for steel-glass combinations. The strongest upward trend is the wood-glass combination. „The advantages of the trend-material, like sustainability aspects and easy handling contribute to the rise of this material group. In addition, wood is renewable and resistant and has very good thermal insulation, ”explains Daniel Kollar, the author of the study.

Trade and Industry are Catching Up

The strongest sales segment by far for curtain walls is the office segment with a share of 43.2%, followed by the retail segment with 21.5% and industry. Only then comes the residential segment, which so far only accounts for 12.3% of total sales. This proportion will not increase until 2023. On the contrary, the residential segment will continue to lose shares, while the retail and office sectors will see the largest growth rates until 2023.

> read more

The prefabricated house industry in Germany is reaching new hights

In Germany, the prefabricated house market is booming. The sales volume increased by 7.2% last year. This is not due to the general boom in the construction industry alone, but also due to the increasing market share of prefabricated housing solutions in residential construction. The proportion is now 20.4% and is thus higher than ever, as a new study by Interconnection Consulting shows.

The construction of new one- and two-family houses in Germany in 2017 is at a record level. It is expected that the prefabricated house industry will follow the general construction industry for the next few years, resulting in a stable quota of prefabricated houses between 20.0% and 21.0%. However, despite favorable housing loans and positive development in the labor market, the strongest wave of investors who prefer investing in concrete rather than material assets, seems to be already over, Neva Rukonic, author of the study observes.

Average prices are rising slightly

With the general upturn in the construction industry and rising average prices, the turnover of the prefabricated house sector is increasing by 8.3%. The high demand for turnkey or prefabricated houses as well as energy-efficient buildings, which have become standard in the prefabricated house industry, continues to fuel this price trend. In 2017, the price increased by 1.0% compared to the previous year. In the next few years, a further price increase of about 1.0 to 2.5% is expected.

Terraced houses are losing ground

Paved and turnkey homes are developing much better in 2017 than prefabricated homes. The proportion of ready-to-use houses remained stable at 38.7%. Turnkey houses reached a share of 36.0% in 2017. Only around a quarter of all buildings (25.3%) will be handed over to be upgraded – and the trend is falling. The rising number of building permits in recent years is also reflected in the German prefabricated house market. Two-family houses and multi-storey residential units have performed significantly better than terraced houses. The high demand for individuality means that terraced houses only achieved a below-average growth of 4.7% last year. Overall, however, single-family homes dominate with a market share of 83.2% and disproportionate growth.

Growing market concentration

The market concentration of the top 10 players continued to increase in 2017, reaching 37.1%. A dominant position in the German prefabricated house market is occupied by the group Deutsche Fertighaus Holding, which again achieved a market share growth of 5.8% with its brands “Mass”, “Okal” and “Allkauf”. The fourth brand – the massive house sales line “Ice Stone House” – was discontinued in 2017 after two stagnant years.

> read more

Global Flooring Market Benefits from Renovation Activity

The global flooring market will grow by 4.3% annually over the next few years. Sales are predicted to grow by 2.4% until 2022, as shown in a study by Interconnection Consulting. In total, over 12 billion square meters of flooring were sold globally in the key markets.

China on the Fast Lane

The market is driven mainly by the renovation sector, which is seeing more growth globally (+ 2.5% annually until 2022) than the new construction sector. In terms of sales, China has become the world’s largest flooring market in recent years and is now more than twice the size of the previously dominant US market. Almost half of all global sales are made in the Chinese market. Up to now, the US remains the market with the largest total revenue, but China will soon catch up here too, as the forecasts show. There are some reasons for the discrepancy between the US and China, explains Jan Hudak, the author of the study: “On the one hand are the different material preferences, then the price sensitivity which is more pronounced in China than in the USA and of course the different price level in the two countries”.

Russia’s Renaissance

The European market is very heterogeneous in terms of growth prospects. While Eastern and Central Europe show relatively dynamic growth, Western Europe is predicted to have only very low growth rates. Eastern European growth is based on a growth spurt in Russia, which is expected by Interconnection. This is mainly due to an increase in renovation activity, whereby price sensitivity plays an important role in both Russia and China, leading to a preference for cheap soil types.

> read more

Europe's window markets are far from united

Windows as a product are becoming more and more technologically alike across Europe, but international differences in buying behaviour are gigantic, shows a recent study by InterConnection Consulting. While the brand is what counts in Austria and safety is the main factor in Germany, Polish buyers are especially interested in innovations, although this may seem surprising. This information is based on a survey of 500 homeowners from Germany, Poland, France, Austria and Great Britain.


Brand Awareness Highest in Poland

 There are big differences in Europe when it comes to the importance of window brands. Poland is the country in which brands play the biggest role. Oknoplast, Drutex & co. have managed to create a brand awareness, achieving a free recall of 16% – 32%. The brand per se is also an important reason for purchase in Poland. Austria is similar, with Internorm and Josko performing just as well with free recall values ​​around 20-30%. The situation is quite different in Germany, where the top window brands are experiencing a low-single-digit free-recall, while Velux (a roof-top window manufacturer) and Schüco (a system supplier) have reported significantly higher values.


Bargain Hunters Dominate the German Market

There are also European differences when it comes to reasons for purchase and price sensitivity. Germany has the largest share of „bargain hunters“ at 35%. Here, the window buyers are often focused on discounts, they compare prices and are not willing to pay more for brands. France, however, is the opposite, boasting 35% high-priced window buyers. These customers are enthusiastic about innovations and like to pay more if the product meets their high requirements. The distribution across buyer types varies greatly in each of the countries studied.


Wooden Windows Fail to Retain Customers

The Interconnection window study also examined window materials across homes. PVC is the most commonly used frame material among homeowners and is the most popular in all countries studied. Overall, homeowners are satisfied with plastic windows and are barely willing to switch to another material. The willingness to change is 15% lower than with any other material. Wooden windows paint an entirely different picture. Across Europe, home owners with wooden windows were extremely happy to switch to another material: between 53% and 67% of the owners of wooden windows would opt for another material at the next purchase, preferably PVC. The main reason for this trend is the high maintenance wooden windows require. Furthermore, it seems wooden windows have not (yet) benefitted from the new ecological and climatic awareness.


Online Affinity Highest in Poland

Poland boasts a particularly high use of online channels for window- research and purchases. 75% of Polish buyers use online resources, such as manufacturer- or retailer-websites, to inform themselves about brands and products before buying their windows. Poland is also the country with the most online window-purchases in Europe. By contrast, window buyers from France show the least willingness to purchase windows directly online.


No Such Thing as the „European Window Buyer“

The international differences in the buying behavior of window buyers will remain relatively stable over the next few years. If you want to be successful in the European window market, you should be aware of the different purchasing habits and align your sales and marketing strategy accordingly.

> read more

Market for floor heatings benefits from rising construction of detached houses

The market for floor heatings in the DACH-region not only benefits from the construction boom but also from rising popularity of surface heatings. In 2018 sales increased by 4,2 percent compared to the previous year. Until 2021 it can be expected that the market will reach a level of 27,9 mil. square meters representing an annual average growth (CAGR) of 0,9% – as growth dynamic will slow down significantly from 2019.

> read more

Despite Increased Prices Sandwich Panels Still in Demand

The most striking development in the market for sandwich panels in recent years was the extraordinary price increase in 2017, caused by a production shortage in PIR and PUR raw materials.  For the countries analyzed (Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Poland)  the market was valued at 2,1 Bio Eur  in 2018 and projected to expand over the forecast period at an annual compound rate of 3.2% to reach more than 2.3 Bio Eur  in 2021. Despite the existence of alternatives in facade construction and thermal insulation, the demand for sandwich panels has been rising every year.

Germany and Italy are by far the biggest market for sandwich panels  in Europe which are set to increase at an annual compound growth rate of around  2.1% and 3.3% respectively until 2021. Synthetic foam core panels still make up the majority of the market, accounting for 26.9% share, but mineral wool core segment has a higher growth expectation expanding at a compound annual growth rate of  3.3% from 2017 to 2021. The latter’s price disadvantage has all but disappeared in the last two years. The trend in favor of mineral wool is due to strengthening of fire protection regulations. At the same time, mineral wool-cored panels require the use of thicker panels caused by higher thermal conductivity.

Relatively simple installation

The cover sheets are overwhelmingly made up of steel. Corrosion protection technology has improved massively, so aluminium’s lighter weight is now it’s only selling position. When it comes to insulation thickness, the thick panels (>100 mm) will certainly go up due to mandatory compliance with energy standards. This segment is set to grow on average by 4.4% annually. Interconnection Consulting expects the market to keep a stable growing pace due to sandwich panels’ relatively short installation time and consequently cost optimization, improved properties and highly dependence on growing number of new manufacturing objects, warehouses, storage and those which need renovation.

> read more

Two-thirds of German Window Dealers Give Automatic Discounts

A mystery shopping test conducted by Interconnection Consulting revealed that 66% of dealers offset their high window prices by offering automatic discounts. Overall, there are large price differences among the 20 window brands surveyed. There also happen to be geographic price differences. Southern Germans, for example, have to dig deeper into their pockets when purchasing windows than their compatriots in the north.


With an average price of EUR 342.70, Northern Germany has the least expensive PVC windows on offer. Far more expensive are the Southeast and Southwest regions, where average prices for PVC windows are 10% and 18% higher, respectively. However, the most expensive region in this segment is the East (EUR 408.30). In the wood/aluminum window segment, the highest average price of EUR 704.60 can be found in the Southwest, followed by the West, the Southeast, and the North at EUR 655.90.


Installation Most Expensive in the East

For comparable wood/aluminum windows (1000 x 1400), the price difference between the cheapest and most expensive providers is 100%. “You’re not just paying for security features or good heat values, you’re also paying for the brand,” explains Viorica Jeler, author of the study. In the case of PVC lift-and-slide doors, the average price was EUR 3,405 and thus significantly lower than in Austria (EUR 4,280). The mystery shopping test also inquired about installation prices. The average price in Germany was EUR 2,557, slightly higher than in Austria (EUR 2,274). Interestingly, the cost of installation was highest in the East (EUR 3,096) and lowest in the West (EUR 2,007). Regarding window suppliers, many of them offset their high installation prices by offering generous discounts. Around two-thirds of the dealers (66%) grant automatic discounts.


Safety Pays Off

Features like lockable handles that increase window safety generally go hand-in-hand with higher prices. Compared to standard models, prices for safety windows are on average roughly one-third higher. In Austria, customers pay significantly more, namely 61.1%, for safety windows than for standard models. Interestingly enough, increased safety in wood-aluminum windows is much more expensive than with PVC windows. “This is just one indication that there are still many price potentials to be exploited in the German window market, in spite of what one often hears that the customer is only interested in the price,” explains Viorica Jeler, author of the study.

> read more

Bioclimatic pergolas: an innovative product with high growth potential

The European market for Bioclimatic Pergolas is expanding steadily and will grow at 7,7% in quantity in 2018. In the next three years, it will continue to grow at an average yearly rate of 5,9%. Growth is manifesting in all countries as the product is relatively new whereas growth is a little bit lower in more mature markets, like France and Benelux. In aggregate, for all 7 countries under consideration, revenues have reached 218,2 million euros in 2018.

France, Benelux and Italy as biggest markets

Bioclimatic pergolas are quite sophisticated sun protection systems and have to be considered as an alternative to textile patio pergolas. First introduced in Benelux and France, they become quite popular in Italy in the last 2-3 years. These three are the biggest market as of 2018. In France the market will grow at 5,5%, while the Italian market will be still expanding by 7,7%. In all other countries, apart from Benelux, quantity will grow above 10% in 2018.

Higher prices in Benelux and in German-speaking areas

In terms of price segment, the seven markets are relatively differentiated. In Benelux, where the main premium brands dominate the market, average prices are higher and the premium segment (>800€ per square meter) covers 43,9% of all pergolas sold in 2018. Lowest average prices have been detected in France and Spain, whereas pergolas in the premium segment are above 40% in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Stand-alone pergolas as most popular solution

Stand-alone pergolas constitute slightly more than 50% of the whole market. Pergolas with side protection (against wind and rain) are expanding strongly, while those without side protection will fall below 25% in the next 3 years. Among the different types of side protection, Zip-Screens are the most popular. The three main competitors in Europe are Brustor, Pratic and Renson.

> read more

Concrete Riding a Wave of Success

The sector for concrete fibers and concrete additives gained 3.2% in volume last year in Europe’s largest markets (Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Poland, and the Benelux region). Sales in the markets analyzed rose roughly EUR 68 million to reach EUR 1.26 billion. According to a study by Interconnection Consulting, annual growth in the sector is expected to hold at 3.1% through 2020.


All of the markets are benefiting from corporate and government bodies’ growing fondness to invest. The number one growth market is Poland. In 2017, sales volume grew 6.2%. Last year’s increase of 3.9% in the Benelux region was also above average, whereby it was the non-residential sector that registered strong gains in both the Netherlands and Belgium. The concrete fiber and additives market was also able to show significant gains (+3.2%) in France as well. In Germany (+3.1%), Great Britain (+2.9%), and Italy (+2.6%), sales remained just below the overall average.


Concrete Plasticizers Dominate

Plasticizers, with a share of sales of 48.6%, are the strongest product group among concrete additives, followed by superplasticizers (19.3%) and release agents (10.4%). Whereas release agents across the European markets lost heavily in shares in recent years, sales of superplasticizers grew at an above-average pace during the same period compared to the other product groups. However, with a growth of 5.1%, accelerators are expected to exhibit the greatest gains between 2016 and 2020.


Steel Fibers Steal the Show

Concrete fibers come in the form of steel fibers, plastic fibers, and glass fibers. By far the strongest product group is steel fibers, with a market share of 75.2%. In Germany, the supremacy of steel fibers (81.3%) is even more astonishing – and is only expected to grow. Plastic fibers capture 17.1% of European sales shares, while glass fibers are left with only 7.7% of the market, a figure that will continue to decline.


Poland Shows Tightest Market Concentration

Last year the top ten companies in the individual markets held the following shares of the market: Poland (71,9%), the Benelux region (66,5%), Great Britain (66,5%), Italy (64,8%), Germany (64,6%), and France (64,0%).

> read more

Exterior Doors Market in Western Europe reaches Growth Peak

In 2018 the market for exterior doors in Western Europe is set to experience the kind of gains it has not seen in years. With a plus in value of 3.9%, the 2017/18 growth has also reached its peak for the coming years. Up to the year 2021, growth will fall off slightly, with a CAGR of 3.4% in value, according to a study by Interconnection Consulting. Economic growth, consumer expenditure, investments, and the solid development in the construction sector are the driving forces behind the good prospects in the exterior door market.

New Construction Sector with Better Development

In Germany, the 2018 market is on course to increase by 3.7%. The country’s population growth means that 350,000 to 400,000 apartments must be built annually, which is more than the current output of 263,000 units. “In Germany, subsidized housing currently falls short of demand, but is still a driving force in the exterior door market,” explains Laszlo Barla, author of the study. Although Great Britain is still struggling with the repercussions of Brexit, it will be able to spring back somewhat with gains in both sales (+0.5%) and revenue (+1.5%) after a poor showing last year. In fact, the rate of growth is expected to increase slightly in the coming years. In France, the market is aiming to gain 7.3%. Both economic growth and the number of newly constructed buildings will continue their upward trend. Even Italy saw strong market gains of 5.2% in 2018, with newly constructed buildings accounting for the growth. By comparison, the renovation market, which constitutes nearly three-fourths of overall business, will increase by only 3.3%. In Spain, growth is currently at 3.8% by value. Interconnection is expecting the Spanish market to have an annual average growth rate of 3.6% through 2021.

PVC Growing

PVC has gained in market shares in Western Europe in recent years on account of its use in subsidized housing and its comparative value. The market share of PVC is thereby on course to hit 26.3% by 2021. In 2012, this figure was only 23.9%. By comparison, wood is expected to lose shares over the same period and end up in third place behind PVC. Aluminum still continues to be the market leader and will increase its market share to 28.8% by 2021. Aluminum is especially the largest segment across the region of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, where it garners a market share of 36.5%. In Great Britain and Ireland, by contrast, PVC is the big winner, with a share of 38.2%. Yet in the Scandinavian countries, wood is the favored material, with a market share of 39.7%.

Residential Buildings the Core Segment

Residential buildings is the largest market segment since non-residential buildings also employ other types of doors such as industrial doors, revolving doors, etc. In Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and the Benelux countries, the market share of residential buildings comes to roughly 75%. In the remaining Western European regions, the residential market share is approximately 66%. In Southern Europe and Great Britain, the renovation market traditionally plays a larger role than new constructions on account of the longer service life.

> read more

Exterior Doors Market with Strong Growth in Eastern Europe

Low interest rates, rising salaries, and sinking unemployment are once again making homes affordable. This, in turn, has boosted the Eastern European market for exterior doors, which, following record growth last year of +9.6%, is expected to gain yet another 4.5% in volume in 2018. For the following years, however, Interconnection Consulting expects the market to cool off, resulting in more moderate gains.

Balkan Countries Catching Up

As a result of the economic recovery in the Balkans, the Balkan nations, led by Croatia, will show even stronger growth than the Visegrad countries of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Their share of the overall market is only 21.9%, whereas Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia garner 78.1%. In 2012, the share of the Balkan countries analyzed was still considerably higher at 29.2%. Croatia is currently benefitting from strong domestic demand and rising buying power brought about by a series of tax cuts and an increase of minimum wages in the public sector in the previous year. The market volume is expected to gain yet another 5.5% over the previous year. Greece is also continuing its gradual upswing, where sales volume in 2018 will increase by 4.6%. In Slovenia, Interconnection is expecting a growth in sales of 3.6%.

Good News for Visegrad Countries

Of the Visegrad nations, Poland will see a growth in sales of 3.5%. Residential building construction increased 11% in 2017, a trend that is expected to continue in the future, according to Laszlo Barla, author of the study. The Czech Republic registered the highest increase in the Visegrad Group, with a plus of 5.0%. Both the positive economic conditions and a high production rate in the construction industry have translated into big sales for the exterior door market as well. In Slovakia, sales will grow at a comparatively more moderate rate of 2.3% in 2018.

Competition for PVC

With a market share of 26.5%, PVC remains the leading product segment in Eastern Europe. Aluminum and steel (at 24.5% and 17.2%, respectively) are close behind, however, and will continue to gain ground on PVC. PVC is the number one in the Visegrad countries with a share of 24.9%, and even though the share of PVC in the Balkan states is higher (33.4%), it still falls clearly behind aluminum at 44.1%. While in residential buildings metal is the clear leader in growth (+6.5%) and aluminum and PVC are both registering above-average growth, the strongest growth in non-residential buildings will be in aluminum (3.5%).

> read more

Prompt Response Now the Norm

As businesses continue to understand the growing importance of online communication with their customers, Interconnection Consulting decided to analyze how the 34 leading Austrian manufacturers of prefabricated homes react to online customer inquiries. The results show that, compared to last year, manufacturers have improved their online customer service. Their reaction time to query emails fell by nearly 10%.

Prompt Response Now the Norm

Companies are getting better at tapping into the potential of the internet for generating leads. Of those companies contacted, 69.4% reacted to a customer’s initial online inquiry. Following a reminder email and a phone call, the percentage of companies who responded jumped to 96.8%. More than two-thirds responded within two days.

Wide Range of Responses

Overall, the prefab home manufacturers reacted in widely different ways. Whereas 39.3% did not respond to any of the customer’s four questions regarding warranty, building regulations, financing, and energy, a quarter of the companies (25.2%) took the time to answer all of the questions. In addition, a third of the manufacturers (33.3%) offered additional information in electronic format in attempts to persuade their interested customers; 20.3% provided printed material. However, after sending out the information, the manufacturers fell short of their ostensible goals: only 21.4% of the companies who sent info followed up to ask if their customers were still interested in a home. “Advertising costs accrue without a follow-up. Ads are not being monitored as to their efficiency. And businesses are losing customers due to poor tracking and record keeping,” explains Viorica-Maria Jeler, author of the study.

In-Person Meeting Preferred

Companies utilize online communication to create a link to the offline world. The manufacturers under investigation chose different methods of closing a deal. Two-thirds (66.1%) suggested an in-person meeting, 16.1% preferred a phone call, and nearly one in ten (8.9%) was content with corresponding by email.

In this study, Interconnection tested the 31 leading Austrian prefabricated home manufacturers. To do so, the manufacturers were contacted with a specific question regarding possible business. Their responses were then analyzed.

> read more

To New Heights with EU Resources

The market for elastic floor coverings in the CEE countries of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary reached a volume of EUR 221.4 million in 2017, an impressive increase of 7.9% over the previous year. In the coming years, the pace of growth is expected to slow down slightly on account of the sinking dynamics in construction. Average annual growth to 2021 will be 5.1%, according to a study by Interconnection Consulting.

Overall, the market for elastic floor coverings is benefitting from good economic developments: domestic demand is up, unemployment down, and salaries are rising. “Many projects that are also financed by EU resources will continue to contribute to the growth in the sector,” explains Katarina Gajdova, author of the study. However, due to the strong economic developments of the Visegrad Group, EU funding will be falling off by roughly 21.5% beginning in 2020.

Health Sector a Driving Force

With a market share of 17.0%, the health/medical sector represents one of the driving forces of growth on account of its heavy investment activities. In Poland, EUR 3 billion will be invested in the sector between 2014 and 2020. Hungary’s hospital infrastructure will also be extensively renovated. “Large-scale hospitals with a capacity of nearly 3,000 beds are planned for completion by 2025,” explains Gajdova. In Slovakia, the Ministry of Health has already approved EUR 153 million for the renovation of 44 hospitals. The largest area of application for elastic floor coverings, however, remains residential construction, with a market share of 36.4%.

New Trends Expected

The largest product group is heterogeneous vinyl/PVC, with a share of 42.6% in volume. The material is not only less expensive than other flooring material such as hardwood, marble, and stone, but it is also one of the less expensive materials among elastic floor coverings. However, vinyl still has many advantages, such as durability, ease of maintenance, and versatility. LVTs (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) are the fastest-growing product group, with a current market share of 18.4%. But this might not always be the case. There are indications that SPC flooring will soon take over the position as fastest growing floor covering. The reasons are the simpler installation, lower investment costs, lower material and labor costs, better waterproofing, and greater stability. And, it is better for the environment. The top five companies have a market value of 54.8%. The top companies are Amtico, Atro, Beaulieu, Gerflor, Graboplast, Fatra, Forbo, IVC, Lentex, and Tarkett.

> read more

Elastic Floor Coverings: Sometimes Dazzling, Sometimes Matt

Three markets, three different developments. Whereas the market for elastic floor coverings in Great Britain and Ireland is in a downwards spiral on account of the Brexit crises (2017: -1.5% in volume), and is stagnating in Italy (0.3% in volume), in Spain the growth curve is rising off the charts (+3.5% in volume). These trends are also largely expected to continue, according to a study by Interconnection Consulting.

Spain Marches On

According to the study, average annual growth in Spain to 2021 will be 6.2% in volume. The favored area of application for elastic floor coverings in Spain is residential buildings, with an average market share of 27.6%, followed by health/medical with 16.9%. The leading product group in Spain is LVTs (Luxury Vinyl Tiles), with a share of 38.2%. Katarina Gajdova, author of the study, explains the advantages of LVTs: “They have a wide array of design options, can recreate the appearance of stone or wood flooring, and, compared to these materials, LVTs do not come with extensive installation and maintenance costs.” LVTs are also the fastest growing product group in Spain (average forecast growth per year to 2021: 9.1%). The market share of the top five companies is 69.4% (top 10: 76.7%).

Slow Growth in Italy

The average annual growth in Italy to 2021 will be 1.5% in volume. The largest area of application for elastic floor coverings in Italy is health/medical, with an average market share of 24.4%, followed by residential buildings with 17.3%. The dominant product group is homogenous vinyl/PVC (23.1%). Homogenous vinyl consists of one single layer, which offers the vibrancy and depth of the selected color. One layer gives the floor covering rigidity and durability. Homogenous vinyl can thereby be employed in areas with high foot traffic, explains Gajdova. LVTs are in second place, with a market share of 22.6%. As in Spain, LVTs represent the largest-growing product group and are even set to become the highest-volume product group this year. The market share of the top five companies is 62.6% (top 10: 76.6%).

Long-Term Troubles Predicted for Great Britain

Growth in Great Britain and Ireland for the upcoming years will remain at 0.3%, a stagnation largely caused by the Brexit vote. The largest area of application is in residential buildings, with an average share of 36.4%, followed by health/medical with 17.0%. Here, too, LVTs are the leading product group, with 41.8%. The second-largest group is heterogeneous vinyl, with 19.8%. In this region as well, LVTs are the group with the highest growth prospects: 2.3% annually to 2021. The market share of the top five companies is 53.6% (top ten: 76.6%).

> read more

When there is construction, there is plaster

The plaster and mortar market shows stable development overall. The countries France (+ 1.8%), Germany (+ 2.2%) and the Netherlands (+ 1.3%) recorded moderate growth in 2017. Poland recorded the highest growth of the five markets examined (+ 8.7% in volume). All examined markets except Italy were allowed to enjoy growth in 2017 and also the outlook for the industry remains pleasing, as a new study by Interconnection Consulting shows.


Poland is growing fastest

Poland is the fastest growing market in all the countries surveyed. In the previous year, sales of the plaster and mortar industry increased by 8.7%. Compared to other markets, the sector in Poland has a very high share in the new building segment (83.2%), which continues to gain shares compared to the renovation sector. Above all, the construction of office and commercial buildings accelerates the growth of the industry in Poland. Nearly half of the market (47.4%) is covered by mortar. Pasty plasters come to 31.2% and mineral plasters cover 21.4% of the market


France in the state of rest

The French market for plaster and mortar is spurred on by a recovered construction industry. Despite the fact that the French market is very high-priced – especially compared to its neighbor Germany – the market will continue to grow at an average rate of 2.6% per year until 2021 over the next few years. Unlike Poland, the French market is driven mainly by the renovation sector (66.5%). The total market of € 1.1 billion is dominated by mortar (share: 59.4%). Pasty plasters come to 25.4% and mineral plasters to 15.2%.


In Italy there is a risk of dry plaster

The Italian market has a market value of € 323.1 million. The industry is struggling with lower demand due to the crisis in the construction industry and increased substitution by drywall, which has led to the market easing by 4.6% in 2017. Due to the rise of the drywalls Interconnection expects a further decline of the market until 2021. The renovation sector is the dominant segment with 64.1%. The pasty plasters have a market share of 41.9% and are thus the strongest segment. This is followed by mortars with 33.1% and mineral plasters with 25.0%.


In Germany, housing helps

In Germany, the market rose by 2.2% in the previous year. The market is driven primarily by new construction, which accounts for 69.7% of the total market. Housing occupies a dominant position with 86.9%. A closer look at the market reveals that there is no dominant product group. Mineral plasters account for 39.4%, followed by mortar (35.2%) and pasty plasters (25.4%). But taking the value as a starting point, it is the pasty plasters with a market share of 59.3% that account for the largest part.


Moderate Netherlands

The Netherlands will maintain its moderate growth in the coming years. The total market volume will amount to 1.5 million tons in 2021 with average growth of 1.5% per annum. The plaster and mortar market is being driven primarily by the new building with a share of 66.6%. Mortar is the clear number one on the Dutch market with a share of 66.6%. After that mineral plasters get 22.6% and pasty plasters with 10.8%

> read more

China’s New Economy Cools Down Global Window Market

The global window market reached a volume of €68.8 billion in 2017, corresponding to a sales volume of 442.9 million window units and representing a growth of 2.4% over the previous year. According to a new study by Interconnection Consulting, annual sales will continue to rise by 3.3% until 2021.

China’s Bull Economy Stagnating
China is by far the largest global window market, with nearly one in three windows (30.8%) being sold there. In terms of sales volume, however, China’s market share of 15.9% is only third worldwide, lagging behind Western Europe (25.8%) and North America (21.5%). This disparity stems from China’s attempt to accomplish its massive urbanization efforts with inexpensive sash windows and simple metal frames, whereas demand in Europe, for example, is clearly for high-quality, energy-efficient windows (with a high R-value). On account of the cool down in China’s housing construction, due in part to anti-corruption measures adopted by the government, double-digit growth rates would seem to be a thing of the past. For this reason, Interconnection Consulting expects only a moderate annual growth of 2.9% up to the year 2021. By comparison, India is the region with the largest growth worldwide (+5.9%), stemming in part to gradually rising labor costs in China and South Korea, which, in turn, has resulted in a higher employment rate and increased construction activities in India.

North American Market Edging Towards Saturation
Growth in North America is expected to rise 3.3% this year, which is “already a sign of market saturation,” according to Laszlo Barla, author of the study. Market dynamics in recent years have grown increasingly weaker. In addition, the Trump administration has given rise to a degree of uncertainty among both buyers and lenders across the country. Similar growth (+3.1%) is forecast for Latin America in 2018. The most-recent economic figures have raised expectations that the national economies in South and Central America will continue to recover. Certain risks do remain, however. Certain South American currencies (the Columbia peso and the Brazilian real) are still among the most volatile in the world.

Low Interest Rates Bolster Europe’s Window Market
Not until 2015 did the Western European window market start seeing renewed growth following the heavy toll it took from the financial crisis of 2008. Currently, the region is benefitting from low lending rates, making investments in private housing construction attractive and thereby bolstering the window market. In the previous year, window sales grew 3.2%. Yet the window sector is threatened by ever-diminishing land available for construction and the concomitant rise in real estate prices. In similar developments, Eastern Europe also saw a turnaround in growth as of 2015 – though with even higher growth rates. Sales grew 6.0% in 2017. Low interest rates, rising salaries, and an efficient labor market with sinking unemployment are all factors enabling more and more people in Central and Eastern European countries to be able to afford a home of their own.

Housing Construction Gains Market Shares
Metal frames still manage to represent the highest-volume product group globally with 187.4 million units, followed by PVC windows (164.2 million units) and wood windows (73 million units). PVC windows are expected to register the largest growth in sales, with an average annual growth rate of 4.0% to the year 2021. Double-pane windows continue to be the dominant window type with a sales volume of 270 million units, followed by single-pane windows (104 million) and triple-pane windows (67.4 million units). Triple-pane windows also have the greatest growth potential (5.2% annually to 2021). In general, the share of housing construction to non-residential construction is increasing and is currently (2017) at 61.5%.

> read more

Concrete floats on a wave of success

The industry for concrete fiber and concrete admixtures increased by 3.2% last year in the largest markets in Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Poland, Benelux). The turnover of the industry in the analyzed markets increased by about 68 million euros and amounted to 1.26 billion euros. By 2020, the growth of the industry should be 3.1% per year, as a study by Interconnection Consulting shows.

All markets profit from the increasing interest of companies and the state in investing. The growth market number one is Poland. In 2017, sales in the industry increased by 6.2%. The increase in the Benelux countries was also above-average in the past year, at 3.9%. Non-residential construction in particular saw a sharp increase in both the Netherlands and Belgium. In France, too, the concrete fiber and concrete admixtures market grew significantly (+ 3.2%). In Germany (+ 3.1%), Great Britain (+ 2.9%) and Italy (+ 2.6% in volume) sales were just below the overall average.

Concrete liquefier dominate

The strongest product group among concrete admixtures are the concrete plasticizers with a sales share of 48.6%. This is followed by flow agents with 19.3% and release agents with 10.4%. The latter group has lost a lot of shares in the European markets in recent years, while in the last few years the sales of plasticizer have increased above average compared to the other product groups. However, the biggest increases will be in the 2016-2020 period, with an increase of 5.1%.

Steel fibers set the tone

In the case of concrete fibers, a distinction is made between steel fibers, synthetic fibers and glass fibers. By far the strongest product group is the steel fiber with a share of 75.2%. In Germany, the advantage of steel fiber is even more striking. There, the share of steel fiber is even at 81.3% – and rising. Plastic fibers account for 17.1% of sales in Europe. Glass fibers only reach 7.7% – and the trend continues to fall.

Market concentration in Poland the strongest
The top 10 companies in the respective markets had the following shares last year: Poland (71.9%), Benelux (66.5%), United Kingdom (66.5%), Italy (64.8%), Germany (64.6%), France (64.0%).

> read more

Fertighausproduzenten gehen mit Online-Anfragen sorglos um

Die immer wichtigere Rolle des Online-Services im Kundenkontakt hat Interconnection Consulting zum Anlass genommen die 34 marktanteilsstärksten Fertighaushersteller in Deutschland in ihrem Umgang mit Online-Anfragen zu untersuchen. Das ernüchternde Ergebnis: Im Vergleich zum Vorjahr verschlechterte sich die Reaktion der Hersteller auf die E-Mail-Anfrage gar um 1,8%, wie der Mystery-Shopping-Test zeigt.

Online wird oft stiefmütterlich behandelt

Das Potential des Internets zur Lead-Generierung wird von den Unternehmen bei Weitem nicht vollständig ausgeschöpft. Weniger als zwei Drittel (61,4%) der kontaktierten Hersteller reagierten beim ersten Online Kontakt auf die gestellte Anfrage. Nach einem Erinnerungsmail und einer telefonischen Kontaktaufnahme erhöhte sich der Anteil der antwortenden Hersteller auf 85,3%. Ein nicht zu vernachlässigender Anteil von 14,7% antwortet also gar nicht auf die dezidierten Kundenanfragen. Nur fünf der untersuchten Hersteller reagieren auf die Anfrage prompt bzw. innerhalb eines Tages (Bien Zenker, Streif, Luxhaus, Dennert, Fischer).

Aus den Augen aus dem Sinn

Insgesamt weisen die Hersteller sehr unterschiedliches Verhalten bezüglich ihres Online-Verhaltens auf. Knapp ein Drittel (29,5%) beantwortet die vier dezidierten Kundenanfragen über Garantie, Bauvorschriften, Finanzierung und Energie überhaupt nicht. Im Vorjahr lag dieser Prozentsatz noch deutlich niedriger (8,2%). Ein Drittel (31,1%) nimmt sich die Zeit alle Fragen ausführlich zu beantworten. Zusätzlich versuchen 37,7% die Interessenten mit weiteren Informationen zum Angebot in elektronischer Form zu überzeugen. Jedoch gilt für alle Produzenten nach dem Senden der Materialien einheitlich: „Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn“. Kein einziger Hersteller, der Informationen per Post oder elektronisch zugesendet hat, erkundigte sich ein wenig später, ob es weiterhin Interesse am Angebot gäbe. „Durch die fast sorglose Bearbeitung der Anfragen gehen viele Interessenten verloren“, erklärt Viorica-Maria Jeler, Autorin der Studie. Insgesamt stellt die Studie fest, dass die Seriosität der Anfrage auch anhand der vermuteten Kundenherkunft – ob Migrationshintergrund oder nicht – bewertet wird, erklärt Jeler.

Verknüpfung mit Offline-Welt

Der Online-Kontakt wird von den Unternehmen genutzt um eine Verknüpfung zur Offline-Welt zu erstellen. Um ein Geschäft zum Abschluss zu bringen, wählen die Hersteller verschiedene Vorgangsweisen. Zwei Drittel (62,7%) schlagen ein persönliches Treffen vor, mehr als ein Drittel (27,1%) möchte ein telefonisches Gespräch führen und 10,2% geben sich mit der schriftlichen Kontaktaufnahme zufrieden.
Interconnection hat die 34 marktanteilstärksten Fertighaushersteller in Deutschland in der Studie getestet. Dazu wurden die Hersteller mit einem konkreten Anliegen zu einem Projekt kontaktiert und das Antwortverhalten analysiert.

> read more

Parquet and real-wood flooring industry is stabilizing despite strong headwinds

Despite fierce competition from other flooring types, parquet and real wood flooring in Europe will see a 1.1% increase in sales this year, according to a new study by Interconnection Consulting.


Prices are increasing

The parquet and real wood flooring industry is in a challenging market environment, which also drives producers to optimize their processes and develop new strategies for their products. The most important influences for the industry are the macroeconomic effects (e.g., Brexit), construction activity, the scarcity of high quality lumber, the strong competition of other types of soil, and the demand structure of floor coverings. “Especially the last two points push the parquet and real wood floors more and more into the premium segment”, explains Jan Hudak, author of the study. This effect is also visible in the fact that sales grow much faster than sales. In 2017, the percentage increase in sales was 2.2%, while sales only increased by 1.2%. This gap is due to the price increase in this segment, according to interconnection, in the next few years further.


Germany is running out of steam

The largest markets for parquet and wooden floors are Germany, France and Turkey. However, especially at Europe
s largest market in Germany, the alternative floor coverings show their claws. In 2017, sales fell by 0.15% despite the construction boom. Stagnation can only be expected in the next few years. The strongest growth rates in the European market are recorded in Poland with a sales increase of 3.1% and Benelux with 3.4%. Countries such as Slovakia (2.9%), Turkey (2.7%) and Denmark (2.4%) also report healthy sales growth. Slightly less strong will be the sales growth in 2018. Only Benelux (3.4%), Poland (2.7%) and Turkey (2.0%) reach the 2% mark this year.


Parquet dominates

By far the largest product group with a share of 85.4% are parquet floors. In second place are the solid wooden floors with 12.1%. Accordingly, veneer floors only hold a negligible share. For the parquet floors, the strongest product group is the three-layer parquet, with long planks (40%). This is followed by the three-layer parquet with wide planks (31.8%) and the two-ply parquet with 26%. The dominating wood is still the oak with a share of 82,6%. This is followed by tropical woods with 4.0%, nut and fruit woods with 3.6% and ash with 3.3%. In Europe there are more than 160 producers of parquet and real wood floors. The top ten companies control around 48% of the total market. Important companies on the European market are Boen, Baltic Wood, Unilin, Weitzer Parquet, Hamberger, Tarkett and Parador.

> read more

Window Dealers Remain Shut to Online Inquiries

Online inquiries in the Austrian window market continue to go neglected. According to a recent mystery shopping test undertaken by Interconnection Consulting, 86% of the participating window firms did not even respond to an initial online inquiry. In the investigation, 115 of the leading window producers in Austria were contacted with a specific question regarding possible business. Their responses and their offers were then analyzed.


Customers Need Perseverance

Of the 115 companies contacted, a mere 16 responded to an initial inquiry. The response rate rose to 60% after a follow-up email. Only when contacted a further time by phone did 90% of the analyzed dealers respond to the inquiry regarding windows and lift-and-slide doors. Viorica Jeler faults the dealers’ responses: “The emails are largely hand crafted instead of using standardized phrasing to cover the gist of the sale.” A stunning 10% of the dealers did not even respond after a follow-up call and email.


Answers Seldom Adequate

Although nine out of ten dealers did respond to the inquiry in the end, only 35.9% of dealers studied actually responded to all four of the questions asked, while 37.2% of the dealers did not answer a single question. Companies responded most often (46.2%) to the technical question (whether installation, removal, and disposal are provided), followed by information regarding burglary protection (44.9%), warranty (42.3%), and government subsidies (39.7%). The length of time it took for a response also left something to be desired. Responding within 24 hours has become an internet standard. However, only 26% of the companies that responded did so within this time frame. On average, customers waited 6.4 days for a response. Most of the inquiries were answered in four days (median value).


Business Dealings Show Room for Improvement

Of the dealers who responded, 76.7% made an offer, a rate just marginally above last year (75.0%). In their responses, the dealers revealed preferences in working with various brands. For example, a German brand was offered (1.3%) instead of the requested Austrian brand, and instead of a specifically requested brand dealers offered a different one (6.3%). Less than a quarter of the dealers (23.1%) sell additional products through cross-selling initiatives. The study also shows that only few dealers seemed actively interested in closing a deal: just 11.5% of the dealers who made an offer followed up by asking if the customer was still interested or had any questions. More than two-thirds of the dealers who made an offer were unsatisfied with communicating in writing and suggested a phone call and/or an in-person meeting.

> read more

Pipe Fittings Experience Good Times

After a difficult year, the market for pipe fittings can expect robust growth rates again in the coming years. Overall, the industries sales increased by 2.3% in the top 6 European markets (Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Poland, Benelux). For the next few years, Interconnection Consulting expects an average annual growth of 2.0% by 2020 due to a new published study.


Germany sets the Tone

The largest market for pipe fittings is Germany, which shows – despite the already large volume – an above average market growth. According to the Interconnection Study, the market volume is expected to increase by 4.4% this year. Around 6.000 additional pipe connections are to be set on the market. An even stronger upward trend is expected in France, where sales are expected to increase by 4.8% this year. Italy and Poland also have good growth prospects. Only Great Britain is slowly catching up with the Brexit ghost and is likely to record declines in sales this year (-0.3%).


Hot & Cold Water most Popular Application Segment

The biggest application segment for pipe fittings in the examined markets are hot and cold water installations. In Italy, this segment accounts for 78.2% of the market, Germany follows on the second place with a usage of 76.0%, UK has the lowest market share of 61.3%. In contrast, the usage of radiator connection fittings is correspondingly high in the United Kingdom, with a market share of 38.5%. Italy on the other side has the lowest share of 21.2%. A niche position is taken up by the pipe fittings in the area of underfloor heating and cooling. Pipe fittings are used in Italy (59.1%) and Poland (51.0%) very often for multilayer pipes. In the United Kingdom, most pipe connections are applied for metal pipes (51.5%) and in France plastic pipes are the highest-selling segment for pipe connections (52.8%).


Different Competitive Landscape

Across countries, the top 10 companies achieved a market share of 41.6%. The market concentration is the highest in the Benelux countries and in Germany. Big players like Wavin (NL), Geberit (DE), Viega (DE), KME (DE) are headquartered there. By contrast, the dominance of the top companies in Italy, France and Poland is significantly lower. This is mainly because these 3 markets have a large number of local production facilities and import only a small proportion of tubes. The decline in the market share of metal pipes is causing problems for metal pipe manufacturers such as Mueller Industries (UK) and KME (DE) as PVC and multi-layers are on the rise.

> read more

Containers Becoming Even More Popular as Makeshift Quarters

The market for container and modular building systems in five European countries (Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Poland) rose 5.0% (in value) in 2017, reaching a total market volume of nearly EUR 2.1 billion. According to a new study by Interconnection Consulting, the sector can expect significant growth in the coming years as well.

Containers are in. Even the Austrian parliament will now be meeting in container systems for the next three years while the country’s time-honored parliament building undergoes renovation. The complex, measuring roughly 10,000 square meters of floor space, will hold approximately 450 employees. And after it is dismantled, the innovative modular construction system is expected to be employed elsewhere as schools, kindergartens, and single-family homes. Interconnection projects an average annual growth rate of 3.6% to 2020 for container systems in the five countries studied. Sales volume is thereby expected to increase to 5.7 million square meters. Container systems will increase their annual sales by 3.4% through the 2020 planning horizon. Modular building systems are expected to increase their sales by as much as 4.2% annually, though sinking prices will cause sales volume to rise more (+4.9% annually) than revenue. For rented room systems, the projected annual sales gains is 4.7%.

Office Containers A Sure Sale

Container systems reached a sales volume of 1.24 million square meters in 2017. Office containers constituted the largest client segment in both in sales volume (36.7%) and sales revenue (36.8%). Office containers can be used for office complexes, start-up offices, administration buildings, lounges, cafeterias, branch offices, building add-ons, advertising containers, construction site offices, in-factory offices, etc. Storage and material containers are the second-largest client segment, with a market share of 25.5%. Modular systems, which can employ partitioning walls etc., reached a sales volume of 0.73 million square meters. The largest client segment in this area is residential concepts, with a share of 29.2%. Rented room systems grew last year to a volume of 3.22 million square meters. In this area as well, office space is the clear market leader with a share of 38.0%.

Rentals Trendy

The share of rentals in terms of volume was 68%. The market for container rentals grew 5.0% last year. “From an economic standpoint, buying makes sense if you’re going to use a system for roughly 18 months or more,” explains Katarina Gajdova, author of the study. Rental periods vary greatly at individual companies, ranging from just a few weeks to several years.

Poland the King of Growth

Poland witnessed the largest increase in the overall sector, with a gain in sales of 9.0%. The weakest development of the countries studied was in Italy, with a minimal increase in revenue of 0.4%. The strongest product group across all five countries was office containers. Interconnection expects this product group to see strongest growth in Austria (+4.2%) and Germany (+5.2%). In Poland, sanitation containers (+6.2%) are showing the strongest growth potential. In Italy, storage containers will see the largest growth (+1.6%), while in the Netherlands residential containers will (+4.1%).

Great Variation in Market Concentration

In 2016, market concentration by volume of the top 10 companies across all the markets studied was very low, at just 36.7%. In terms of the individual markets, Austria had the highest market concentration rate (83.7%), followed by Poland (82.8%). In Germany, market concentration was 44.8%, and in both Italy and the Netherlands the figure was 38.2%. Several important companies include Containex, Portakabin, StarCabin, und Touax.

> read more

Thermal Insulation Market Loses Momentum

The European market for thermal insulation is set to increase in value by 3.9% annually until 2022. This is a decrease in growth compared to last year, which can be explained by the decreasing momentum in the building sector, as shown in a study by Interconnection Consulting.


Poland is Growth Leader


The legislative initiatives at European level are the main driving force behind the thermal insulation market, by promoting technological development and the development of new materials. In the twelve countries surveyed, an increase of 4.9% was recorded in 2019. Germany is by far the largest market with a share of 25.0% and Poland is the market with the strongest growth. While sales volumes in Europe as a whole will increase by only 1.5% per year until 2022, the figure for Poland is 2.7%. The largest increase in sales, however, is expected in Sweden, with an expected annual growth rate of 5.5% until 2022.


Residential Construction and New Construction are Key Segments


The largest sales segments are residential construction and new construction with shares of 63.5% and 53.4% respectively. In the building segment, facades hold the majority, at 39.0%. Flat roofs have a growth advantage over pitched roofs in most countries, although the latter continue to represent an important segment in markets such as Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belgium and the Netherlands. Nonetheless, flat roofs are the most dynamic segment with a predicted annual growth rate of 4.1% until 2022. Mineral wool is the most important insulation material with a market share of 35.3%, followed by EPS (Styropor) , at 28.0%. Moreover, mineral wool is also the insulation material with the greatest growth prospects. Important producers on the European market include Firestone, Isover, Swisspor, Austrotherm, Actis, Braas Monier, Termika, Pavatex, Schwenk, Sundolitt, Sto and Kingspan.

> read more

A Bright Future For Automatic Doors

The market for automatic door systems has slightly grown in Europe last year. Overall, the increase in turnover and sales amounted to 1.8% in 2016 and was therefore significantly higher than in previous years. This trend will continue in the coming years.  According to a study by experts from Interconnection Consulting, by 2019 an average annual growth rate of 3% per year is expected.


Sliding doors are the unchallenged leaders

The largest product group in all analyzed countries are automatic sliding doors, with a market share of 46.8%. The second largest group is swing doors with 31.2%. Over the next few years, these two product groups will generate disproportionate growth and will thus further increase their market shares. Revolving doors and telescopic doors are far behind, with a share of 7.3% and 7.0%, respectively.


Great Britain and Poland are stimulating the market

Almost all of the analyzed countries were able to achieve at least minimal growth last year. Only Italy still awaits the long-awaited boom in the construction industry, which should give construction-dependent industries a boost. This will already be the case in 2017. Interconnection expects a hefty plus (+4.9%) for Italy for the first time after years of downturn.

The growth drivers of the European market last year were Poland and Great Britain. Poland achieved a sales upturn of 4.4% in 2016. A total of 11.414 automatic doors were sold last year, of which 59.4% were sliding doors. Compared to Polish sales, British sales figures were roughly three times higher. The increase was 3.7%. Despite the political and economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, this sector is expected to continue to grow rapidly, says Marianna Svartzova, author of the study. Last year, for the first time in a year of downturn, France was able to regain a slight growth again (+1.2 in value). This moderate growth (between 1.0% and 2.0%) is also expected to continue in the coming years.


Moderate growth for Germany, Austria and Switzerland

With a market volume of 176.5 million Euros, the German market is by far the largest market for door automation. Last year, the German market developed very moderately (+1.5%). However, the prospects for the next few years promise higher gains. Austria’s market for tourism has stagnated in recent years (2016: sales: +0.3%). Market consolidation has led to declining average prices in recent years. Next year, the industry is expected to experience significant growth again, Interconnection Consulting experts predict. The market for automatic doors in Switzerland is almost 10% larger than in Austria. Last year, sales increased by 2.7% and the Swiss market for automatic doors will continue to maintain its high growth level in the future. A total of 54.4% of all sales in Switzerland were for sliding doors.


Strong distinction of market concentration

As in many other sectors, there is also a tendency towards ever-increasing market concentration in the sector of automatic doors. In the UK, the shares of the top 10 companies are the lowest (83.4%). The shares of the ten largest companies in the overall market are highest in France (93.2%). The largest companies for automatic doors across Europe are Assa Abloy, Geze, Dormakaba, Record and Gilgen.

> read more

Finestre in Italia 2019

Percezione del mercato delle finestre italiane attraverso agevolazioni fiscali

A causa degli incentivi fiscali del governo, i quali stanno dando i suoi frutti soprattutto nel settore delle ristrutturazioni, il mercato delle finestre in Italia crescerà del 4,4% nel 2019, secondo un recente studio di Interconnection Consulting. Complessivamente, lo scorso anno il mercato delle finestre ha raggiunto un volume di 1,57 miliardi di euro. Nei prossimi tre anni, si prevede che il mercato italiano delle finestre avrà una crescita annua del 2,7%, dovuta soprattutto all’incremento nel settore delle costruzioni.
Il settore delle ristrutturazioni è particolarmente vantaggioso
Lo Stato italiano assegna alle famiglie uno sgravio fiscale del 50% in caso di ristrutturazione. Inoltre, la fiducia nel settore delle costruzioni e delle finestre è alimentata anche dalla promessa di un cosiddetto “eco-bonus”. Ciò permette alle famiglie di avere un alleggerimento fiscale del 60-65% in caso di ristrutturazione delle loro case. D’altronde il settore abitativo continua a guidare il mercato delle finestre avendo una crescita media prevista del 6,4% entro il 2022, con una quota di ristrutturazione pari all’83,8%.
Il PVC prende il comando
Nel 2017, per la prima volta in Italia sono state vendute più finestre in PVC che finestre in metallo. Sei anni prima, le vendite di finestre in PVC erano dietro a quelle di metallo e legno, che erano tradizionalmente i componenti della produzione vetraria italiana. La tendenza del 2018, nella quale vede la quota di finestre in PVC al 36,9% e il metallo solo al 30,6%, continuerà con molto probabilitá anche in futuro. Nel 2022, Interconnection stima che la quota di mercato del PVC arriverá al 40,9%, quella del metallo si abbasserá al 29,1%, e le finestre in legno si aggireranno intorno al 15,6%. “Questa tendenza è dovuta alla richiesta di materiali più economici e all’ingresso sul mercato dei produttori di finestre polacchi”, spiega Vito Graziano, autore dello studio. Mentre in altre parti dell’Europa occidentale le combinazioni stanno vivendo una ripresa, in Italia il PVC/Metallo (+ 0,9%) e Legno/Metallo (+ 1,3%) continueranno a perdere quote di mercato nel 2019, con una crescita bassa.
Fornitori dall’Europa dell’Est con prezzi più bassi
I produttori dell’Europa orientale, in particolare, beneficiano della forte domanda di finestre in PVC. L’azienda polacca Eko-Okna, entrata nel mercato europeo come un grande principiante, è cresciuta lo scorso anno di circa il 40% ed è molto ben rappresentata in Italia. L’arrivo di molti produttori dall’est ha anche abbassato i prezzi delle finestre in PVC, facendo registrare un abbassamento intorno al 2,4% nel 2018. D’altra parte, combinazioni come PVC/Metallo sperimenteranno un aumento sostanziale dei prezzi. Difatti, entro il 2022 i prezzi di questo segmento aumenteranno dell’1,6% l’anno.

> read more

Southeast Asia Defies the US-Chinese Trade War

The market for curtain wall facades in Southeast Asia will reach a volume of $ 2.55 billion this year, which equates to a sales volume of 13.6 million square metres. In the ASEAN countries that were examined (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam), the curtain wall market will continue to gain momentum over the next few years. This is shown in a study conducted by Interconnection Consulting.

Urbanisation is Driving the Market

The market for curtain wall facades will increase by 6.9% per annum for a total volume of $ 3.1 billion until 2022. Progressing urbanisation, the development of the construction sector, industrialisation and regarding mainly Thailand and the Philippines tourism, are the main factors behind this sustainable growth. Indonesia and the Philippines are not only the most populous countries in the ASEAN economic area, but also the ones with the strongest growth. Vietnam is also one of the fastest-growing economies, with average growth of 6.8% annually until 2022. In this case, it is the relocation of factories from China to Vietnam that has lead to an increased demand. Malaysia, too, is showing no signs of slower growth, while Singapore and Thailand will be sluggish in the future. “According to our analysis, we can say that the ASEAN economy is currently heavily influenced by local economic development programs and the complicated dynamics of the US-China trade war,” said Vito Graziano, the author of the study.

Average Prices are Rising

As far as the materials used are concerned, the market is clearly dominated by aluminum-glass facades, with a share of 85.1%. Expert interviews show that this material remains the clear frontrunner because of its strength, durability and cost-effectiveness. Accordingly, steel and glass constructions only account for 8%. Overall, the new construction sector has a share of 85.7%, while the renovation sector hardly plays a role. Office buildings are the largest sales segment with a share of almost 30 percent. Of the three most important facade types, element facades show the biggest potential for growth, ahead  of post & beam facades and window ribbons. Although average prices have been stable in the past, they are steadily rising as a result of the US-China trade war.


> read more

Early recovery in sight for office furniture

Thanks to the positive development in the service sector in Asia, the world market for office furniture grew by 6.6% in 2019. However, the corona pandemic is bound to cause the office furniture market to suffer a severe relapse in 2020 and sink by 10.4%, as a new report by Interconnection Consulting shows. By 2023, the market volume is expected to rise again to EUR 59.4 billion, while this figure amounted to 55.6 billion in 2019.

Like the pandemic itself, the damage to the office furniture business affects all regions of the world. This includes important market drivers such as new business registrations and the variation in the number of employees in the tertiary sector, as well as the GDP forecasts of the employment contracts, which are among the auspices of the market slump in different countries.


India defies the crisis

With a high business registration rate and an extremely high number workforce in the service sector, India is posited to keep negative effects of the crisis within certain limits this year (-3.9%).  All other world regions are forecast to go through a heavy two-digit decrease in their total markets as of 2020. Despite a fall of -10.7%, China will remain the largest market for office furniture with a world share of 27.5%. The USA comes second with around a quarter of the worldwide market volume. Western Europe follows in at the third place with a share of 15.5%.

Partition systems are coming up

Swivel chairs represent the dominant office furniture segment and account for a total of 27.5% of global sales. This will remain the state of things for the near future. With an average annual increase of 4.0% between 2019 and 2023, this product group will quickly recover from the brief slump of this year. The future looks even more optimistic for office partition systems, which have become the new must-have in the office scene due to the pandemic. This area will see the strongest percentage growth. After swivel chairs, office tables are the second largest product segment worldwide with 21.5%. It is reportedly the largest product group in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Australia. Lounge sofas and conference tables will naturally lose market share in order to avoid unnecessary personal contacts in everyday office life.

One region towers over everyone

The office furniture market is dominated by producers from the United States. These old-school manufacturers cluster around the State of Michigan. The most prominent of them currently occupy four of the top five placements in the TOP 5 world office furniture suppliers, thus accounting for almost a fifth of the world production. They are followed by Asian producers from China, Korea and Japan, making up the Top 10. Overall, it can be seen that the market concentration is rising slightly.

> read more

Severe crash, quick recovery on the market for suspended ceilings

The market for suspended ceilings in the top 7 regions of Europe (Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, France, Russia) experienced an abrupt fall of 10.0% this year due to the COVID 19 crisis. Interconnection’s forecast shows that market volume will not return to pre-crisis levels until 2022.

Southern Europe hit the hardest

The forecast numbers for this year are like an omen for the industry. As expected, the southern European countries are being hit the hardest by the crisis not only in terms of health but also economically. The Italian and Spanish markets for suspended ceilings plummeted by 12.0% and 12.8%, respectively. In the UK, the expected decrease amounts to 10.9% and in Russia the same figure is posited to be higher than 11.1%. In Russia, recovery will take a little longer than in the Western European countries, and therefore the market level there is expected to achieve pre-crisis levels in 2022 only.

In Rome, do as Romans do

Office buildings were the strongest area of ​​application in 2019 with a 26.5% market share, ahead of commercial applications, standing at 20%. “The COVID crisis could also lead to shifts there. For instance, owing to smart working, companies will need less office space per employee,” stated Vito Graziano, author of the report. However, there are also country-specific differences in the areas of ​​application. The share of the industry segment in Germany amounts to 23.1%, while it stays consistently below 10% in all other markets examined. In France, the healthcare sector records a disproportionately high share of 18.2%. In terms of materials, the cheap plasterboard gets the lion’s share with over a third of the total market, followed by mineral fibers and metal. An emerging material is veneer wood, which will continue to experience strong growth in the years to come in spite of the crisis. Plank ceilings represent the largest product segment with a share of 35.0%.

Strong market concentration

The market concentration varies greatly between countries. While the markets in Germany and the Netherlands are very concentrated, the markets in Italy and Spain are rather fragmented. Nevertheless, the European market for suspended ceilings is dominated by a few corporate conglomerates from Germany, France and the Benelux countries. The market share of the top 5 companies in Europe amounts to 48.6%.


> read more

Dynamic economy in Southeast Asia is making a quick comeback

The market for curtain walls in the ASEAN countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand) is bound to plummet by 9.6% this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, the market will recover very quickly and by 2022 will have already exceeded the pre-crisis market volume, as a new report by Interconnection Consulting shows.

Good conditions for a quick rebound

The integration of the ASEAN region into the global industrialization process, as well as into global tourism and the construction sector, offers strong impulses for the construction industry. The wave of urbanization is also a strong driver of the construction industry and is even more dominant in the ASEAN countries than in Europe or the USA. These factors are decisive for the construction industry and thus also the market for curtain walls to keep going faster than e.g. in Europe.

Vietnam benefits from the trade war

Indonesia and the Philippines are not only the most populous ASEAN countries, but also the most dynamic markets, recording an astounding growth level. Indonesia is also the largest market for curtain walls in the ASEAN region with a share of 32.5%. Vietnam benefits from the trade war between China and the United States, as many foreign factories move from China to Vietnam to avoid trade tariffs. Therefore, despite Corona, the industry growth in Vietnam will average 2.4% annually over the next few years until 2022. By contrast, while Singapore and Thailand have poorer growth prospects, Malaysia has stable growth prospects.

Smart working instead of office presence

The most important material type is reportedly aluminum glass, with a lion’s share of 84.3%. Above all, it is the cost efficiency that speaks for aluminum and against e.g. Steel / glass, which only has a market share of 8.0%. The largest application area for curtain walls is office buildings with a share of 32.8%. In contrast to many other regions, the residential sector (e.g. apartments) remains a very important segment for curtain walls in Southeast Asia at 27.2% of the total. There could also be shifts in favor of co-working spaces in the future. “There will be more smart working and it is likely that there will be less office space for the same number of employees,” stated Vito Graziano, author of the report. Furthermore, it can be expected that the new development of hotels will only progress very slowly in the next few years due to setbacks in tourism.

Downward trend in raw material prices strengthens margins

Overall, the renovation sector makes up a small chunk of the market with around 15% of the total volume. Conversely, new construction makes up for a share of 85.7%, and this trend will not change in the next few years. But the corona crisis also has immediate positive effects for producers: in the wake of the corona crisis, raw material prices are on a downward trend worldwide, which should strengthen the margins of facade manufacturers overall.

> read more

IC Events


On 08.&09.04.2021 we are organising the solarcom in Vienna for the first time. Together with leading representatives of the industry and experts, we want to look at new challenges in the sun protection industry, analyse the status quo of the markets and present innovations. We will hear best cases on and multi-channel management and digital distribution. And expert opinions on innovation topics such as outdoor living, smart home technologies, sun protection in glass and sun protection in the contract sector.

We discuss success stories and best cases, new opportunities and approaches to solutions over a total of 1.5 days, within key note speeches, empirical market analyses and panel discussions.

Panel discussions & think tanks | Award ceremony

Our conference is a communication platform! Our target group are managing directors and decision makers from marketing and sales of companies in the sun protection industry. We address manufacturers ans sales partners. You will meet representatives of the media and associations and last but not least experts from the economy. Our discussions provide impulses for interactive think tanks and strengthen communication and exchange among those present, just as our evening event on 08.04.2021 strengthens the networking character of the event.

Details of the agenda will be available shortly!
Information & Registration:


WE for YOU | Your contact for further questions:
Mag. Nina Serfözö | Projektmanagement Events

> read more

Vienna Window Convention 2020

Due to recent events we announce our new date for the 2nd Vienna Window Convention on 19 & 20 November 2020! This year our 1.5-day conference for the window industry will be held under the motto Strategies | Sales | Innovations. With Dr. Andreas Sönnichsen we present a public health expert who will open this year’s congress on living with the corona virus & the future from a public health perspective.

Also in 2020 we will make Vienna the meeting point of the window industry. As before, the focus will be on innovators and influential personalities in the industry who drive and shape the development of the markets. We take a look at strategies that became necessary after the crisis and analyse their effects on the industry. Best cases in the areas of digitalization, sustainability and BIM are also on the programme, as well as first-hand information and personal exchange, is in focus !



After the opening by Dr. Andreas Sönnichsen (MedUni Vienna) on the effects of the current crisis, Patrick Seitz (aluplast & EPPA) will present approaches to reconcile sustainability and corporate growth in his lecture Green prospects. Helmuth Berger (Internorm) gives strategic input regarding distribution and positioning and Jens Eberhard (Oknoplast Germany) shows strategies of the price market leader to position the company successfully also in terms of distribution. With Roberto Antoniotti (Voilap Digital) we will look at digitalization in distribution. He presents new approaches to Retail 4.0 for windows and doors.

Two market analyses provide additional input on strategic positioning: Christoph Blepp (S&B Strategy) presents current study results on the window industry, as well as challenges and opportunities it is facing.  The digital turnaround and the changes that come with it are the focus of attention. And as InterConnection, we will then present a contribution on the window market(s) after the Corona crisis, analysing in particular the effects on the industry.

With Patric de Hair (Plan.One), we will focus on digital cooperation with architects. Plan.One, the search and comparison portal for building products, forms an interface between the digital planning level of architecture and the manufacturers of building products. The expert Christopher Strobel (CS Consulting), who specialises in the fields of smart home and digitalization issues in building services engineering, will present smart future concepts for the industry. And Roger Wollhaupt (Jansen) will be presenting digitalization concepts with regard to Business Information Modeling (BIM) for window and facade construction in his lecture.

Key note speeches, empirical market analyses and two panel discussions on the success factors on the window market – moderated by Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Mund (GLASWELT) – and the effects of digitalization on the industry – moderated by Frank Lange (VFF) – provide impulses for interactive think tanks and strengthen communication and exchange among those present. They accentuate our event as well as the award ceremony in cooperation with bauelemente bau and an evening event on 19.11.2020.



WE for YOU |
Iris Wildauer, BA BA | Eventmanagement
Phone:+43 1 58546-33

> read more


On the 15th & 16th of October 2020 we will be holding the FLOORING Business Convention in Vienna for the first time. Here we offer insights into current topics of the industry, including innovation and distribution strategies, market specifics, appropriate marketing tools and success strategies. Following our themes Sales 2.0 I Innovation I Strategies, we want to sound out current opportunities, product innovations and positioning strategies together with leading representatives and companies in the industry.


Sales 2.0 | Innovation | Strategies

With regard to digitalisation and distribution, we will look at cross-material strategies, channel management and online trade. Regarding market and success concepts, we will present a market check and analyse communication strategies, visualisation and standardisation tools and last but not least take a look at innovations in the industry. We will cover a broad spectrum, from strategies concerning ecological change to an example of innovation (people tracking). And of course we will also analyse new strategies that have become necessary following the crisis.


Information & Registration:

WE for YOU |
Iris Wildauer, BA BA | Eventmanagement
Phone:+43 1 58546-33

> read more

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)

Do not hesitate to contact us

Please describe your needs or request a callback. We look forward to hearing from you and contact you immediately.

By submitting the request, you agree that your personal data in the database of the Interconnection Consulting Group will be stored until further notice and used for further processing and sending of information. The data will not be shared with third parties.

You can revoke your given declaration of consent with effect for the future here at any time here.