The sector remains optimistic and cautious about the future
Based on results of an economic study of 2020 carried out by the Spanish Federation of Machinery Manufacturers’ Associations for the Hospitality, Catering and Related Industries and Communities (Felac)—co-organiser with Fira de Barcelona of the Hostelco show—it can be seen that, after the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, the equipment and machinery sector for the hospitality, catering and related communities has begun to recover at a double-digit rate.
According to Felac’s economic study, the overall turnover of the 130 companies in this group fell by 26% in 2019 to 1,393.50 million euros due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All the sub-sectors that make up the hospitality equipment sector performed negatively in 2020, the worst hit being textiles (-51%), laundry equipment, (-35%), and café equipment, (-31%).
Likewise, the impact of the health crisis was more pronounced for those manufacturers that only target the Horeca channel, while the diversification of certain companies in segments such as healthcare, retail or household goods buffeted an even sharper fall.
Down by 31% in the domestic market and 21% abroad
The biggest drop in the market in 2020 was in domestic demand, with sales of 681.19 million euros, 31% less than in 2019. A smaller decline was seen in the turnover of Spanish companies abroad, which amounted to 712.31 million euros, representing a drop of 21% compared to 2019. As a result, the overall export share stood at 51%, up three points compared to 2019. In terms of employment, the number of workers in these 130 companies fell in 2020 to 9,380 employees, 7% less than in 2019.
Assessment of the 2020 financial year and forecasts for 2022
Although the final overall figures for 2020 have shown a somewhat less abrupt fall in turnover than initially expected, the equipment industry has suffered a hard blow as it is a supplier to sectors highly affected by closures and restrictions due to Covid-19, such as the hospitality and tourism industries.
“After a complicated year in the red, companies began their recovery in the second quarter of 2021 at a double-digit rate thanks to the reactivation of demand”, said Rafael Olmos, president of Felac and Hostelco. “We expect to continue on the path of recovery throughout 2022 and return to pre-Covid figures as soon as possible, but it is risky to make forecasts as we are in an environment conditioned by the ebb and flow of the pandemic—which fortunately is improving—and other factors such as the disruptions that are occurring in the global supply chain or the escalation of electricity prices,” he adds.