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Boom is Followed by Slump in Biomass Boilers

The EU countries' desired phase-out of gas and oil heating systems sent biomass boiler sales through the roof from 2019 to 2022, with average annual growth of 36% in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy. But the boom appears to be over as 2023 begins, according to a study by Interconnection Consulting. This year, the market for biomass heating boilers is expected to decline 19% in the markets studied. The rise in pellet prices made pellet biomass boilers, which account for nearly two-thirds of the market, unattractive to many. In this segment, therefore, the decline will be as much as 24.7%. In addition to the sharp rise in pellet prices, discussions in Europe about the climate friendliness of pellet biomass boilers also contributed to the decline in demand. "Finally, the active promotion of heat pumps in the States also leads to a decline in the biomass boiler segment," as Yuliia Hrebenkova, the author of the study explains. Replacement Is Most Important Purchase Motive After the pellet biomass boilers, which are mainly used for low required heating capacity (between 20 and 400 kilowatts), wood biomass boilers are designed for larger heating capacity of up to 3 megawatts. Due to the higher prices, these account for around 34% of the shares in value, of the entire biomass boiler market. Especially in the segment of boilers with low heating capacity, sales are strongly dependent on the price of the fuel, explains Hrebenkova. "When wood in Austria fell in price by 25%, sales of such boilers increased by 12.4%." Nine out of ten biomass boilers are sold due to the replacement of old heating systems. This segment continues to ensure the growth of the industry. From 2023 to 2026, sales of biomass boilers are expected to increase by an annual average of 3.9% in the countries studied. Germany Far Ahead Within the five countries in the study, Germany is by far the largest sales market with a share of 57.2%. Between 2020 and 2022, Germany experienced a boom in demand for biomass boilers. During these years, sales increased by an average of 57.4% per year. The government played a major role in boosting demand with attractive subsidies. In comparison, France only has a share of 16.5%. There, more use is made of electric heat pumps for replacement. Between 2020 and 2022, the country recorded an increase of only 12.5% per year. In Italy, too, biomass boilers only enjoy a niche existence. There, 80% of energy consumption is still met by fossil fuels. In 2022, only 9606 biomass boilers were sold in Italy, which meant a decrease of 17.9%. The Austrian market developed with 30% growth per year between 2020 and 2022, while the Swiss biomass boiler market performed a bit weaker with a growth of 16.5 p.a.. The top 5 suppliers generate a market share of 41.7% in value and 38.1% in volume in the five countries studied.

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Europe's Markets for Baby Products Are far From Unified

On the occasion of the Children and Youth Fair, Interconnection Consulting, a leading market research institute for baby products, has released its latest study titled "Customer Insight - Baby Products in Europe 2023." The study reveals that despite the geographical proximity and cultural ties in Europe, significant differences exist in brand awareness and preferences for 1st- and 2nd-hand baby strollers and car safety seats. While Italy leads in brand awareness for strollers, France has the highest brand awareness for safety seats. This study is based on a comprehensive survey of 1,000 parents from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Spain, focusing on baby strollers and safety seats. Brand Awareness for Strollers is Highest in Italy at 66% A key finding of the study is that brand awareness for baby strollers and safety seats varies significantly across different countries. Notably, in Italy, brand awareness for strollers is with 66% the highest, while it is lowest in the United Kingdom. The brand Chicco has achieved the highest brand awareness in Italy with impressive free recall values of 43.0% and also leads in France, with a free recall of 32.0%. In contrast, top stroller brands in the UK only have a free recall value of up to 16.5%. A similar pattern emerges for safety seats, with brand awareness in Italy, Spain, and the UK, being lower than that of strollers. France leads with the highest brand awareness at 69.0%, while the UK ranks last again. Spain Leads in the Market for 2nd-Hand Strollers and Safety Seats The study also highlights interesting differences in purchasing behavior and reasons for buying new or 2nd-hand baby products in different countries. For example, the UK has the highest proportion of 1st-hand products (baby strollers 83.5%, safety seats 84.1%), while Spain leads in 2nd-hand strollers (31.2%) and safety seats (31.9%). In Spain, 41.4% of used strollers and 27.1% of used safety seats are given to parents by friends and relatives. In contrast, in Germany, parents primarily purchase 2nd-hand strollers and safety seats on online platforms like eBay. The main reasons for buying new strollers and safety seats across all countries are higher product quality and novelty. For used products, cost savings, environmental considerations, and rejection of the disposable society are the primary factors. The European Buyer of Baby Products is not in Sight The study emphasizes that Europe still exhibits a variety of market differences in baby products and underscores that brand strategies must vary significantly in different countries. Companies operating in this sector should carefully consider regional preferences and brand awareness to successfully establish themselves in various European markets. Panorea Kaskani, the author of the study, emphasized the relevance of these findings for businesses: "Our research shows that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for baby products in Europe. Brands need to be aware of how different the markets are and adjust their strategies accordingly to succeed."

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Strong Rebound for Textile Rental Services

The market for textile rental services in Western Europe will see an increase in value of around 7% this year. Last year, the market already exceeded the pre-crisis level with an increase of 15.3%. In particular, the countries hit hardest by the pandemic, such as France, Spain, Portugal and the UK, are experiencing a strong upswing, according to a study by Interconnection Consulting. Catching Up in Hotel & Gastro The study examined the markets for textile rental services in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. In total, this resulted in a turnover of €11.9 billion in 2022. Germany is the largest market, with nearly €3.8 billion, followed by France (€2.2 billion) and the UK (€1.9 billion). In Germany, the main focus of the market for textile rental services is the industry, handcraft & trade segment, with a market share of around 46%. Therefore, the country was not as affected by the decline of the industry as Southern Europe, where the market is more dominated by the hospitality customer segment. As a result, the rebound of the German market did not have the same impact as in Spain or France. In France, the market grew by 22.1% last year and in Spain by as much as 34.1%. Compared to Germany (19%), the share of the hospitality segment in Spain is 55.1% and in France around 30%. The UK also saw a disproportionately strong rebound in recent years, but after the market also suffered a disproportionate slump during the Covid-19 pandemic. The increase last year was 24%. Industry, Handcraft & Trade Largest Customer The largest customer segment is industry, handcraft & trade with a turnover of €4.9 billion, followed by healthcare with €3.3 billion and hospitality segment with €2.9 billion. While hotel & gastronomy suffered dramatic losses in 2020 due to the administrative closures, the healthcare sector was actually the only sector to increase slightly during this period (+1%). Thus, however, there are hardly any catch-up effects in this sector. The healthcare sector is most strongly represented in Italy, with a market share of 59%. The largest product group is linen service, which is in strong demand in the hotel & gastronomy sector, but is also used in the healthcare sector. Cleanroom textiles show stronger growth rates than the overall market. Last year, the segment grew by around 13% and should reach a sales volume of over €600 million in 2023. High Market Concentration Elis from France is the market leader in Western Europe, covering all products and customer segments. Other important players are Bardusch, CWS, DBL, Johnson Service Group, Mewa, Rentokil-Initial. CWS from Duisburg is a very important player in hygiene (mats and washroom). Mewa, in turn, is number one in the industrial wipers business. In the cleanroom segment, besides Elis and CWS, Servizi Italia and Bardusch are also important players. The market for textile rental services is highly concentrated. The top 5 companies have a market share of around 47%.

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China Full Speed Ahead

The global market for extrusion machinery grew by 4.7% in volume last year and will continue to achieve stable growth in the coming years. For example, growth is expected to continue at more than 4.5% annually until 2025, according to a study by Interconnection Consulting. In 2020, the industry suffered greatly from the effects of COVID. In the process, market volume declined by 0.7% in global volume terms. In the meantime, the momentum of the 2021 catch-up process has slowed down a bit again. The forecast global growth up to 2025 is 5.9% per year. Europe Falling Behind China & Taiwan continue to act as the growth driver for the entire industry, with average annual growth of 7.1% up to 2025. The market volume in this market region is EUR 1.7 billion, making it the largest submarket examined. India shows even stronger dynamics with average growth rates of 8.1% until 2025, but with a yet still small market volume of around 170 million euros. North America will also show strong growth in the next few years from today's perspective, with growth rates of around 5% in volume. The current market volume is around 500 million euros. In Europe, we will have to be content with smaller growth. The rising cost of energy and raw materials, as well as uncertainty in supply chains due to the Ukraine war, will cause investments to decline, which will also reduce demand for extrusion machinery, as Yuliia Hrebenkova, the author of the study, explains. However, with these developments, Europe is also losing significant market share to North America and China. Sheet vs. Pipe Sheet extrusion machinery is the top-selling product group, accounting for 32% in value. One reason for its popularity is the universal application of these machines in growing industries, such as packaging and medical, as well as construction and advertising.  In comparison, machines for window profiles are used only in the construction industry. Pipe extrusion machines are the leading product group in volume, with a share of 31%, mainly due to the low price as well as a dynamic global construction industry. There is a large difference between regions in terms of market share for each product segment. In Europe, pipe extrusion leads (35%) ahead of window profiles (31.7%) in China, sheet extrusion leads (30%) and in the USA & Canada, pipe extrusion leads ahead of sheet extrusion (37 and 16% respectively). High Market Concentration The total global market volume in 2022 in the global core markets was around 4.4 billion euros. The market for extrusion machinery shows a high level of competitive concentration... The seven largest manufacturers share around 60% of the total market. The study examined the following markets: China & Taiwan, India, South Korea, Japan, Latin America, USA & Canada, France & Benelux, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe.

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Leading Companies trust in Interconnection Consulting


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

Deutscher Holzfertigbau Verband

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

Thomas Schäfer (Managing Director, Deutscher Holzfertigbau-Verband)


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

Gerhard Schuller (CFO ELK)


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

T.Murakami (Brand Management, Seiko Epson Corporation)


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


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

Österreichs Personaldienstleister

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

Dr. Gertraud Höltl (Generalsekretärin Österreichs Personal Dienstleister)

Saint Gobain

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

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


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

Pedro Posada (CEO Salamander Industrial Products Spain)

Scandinavian Business Seating

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

Beatrice Sotelo (Director Business Development , Scandinavian Business Seating)

Schneider Electric

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

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


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