Austrian Textile Industry at a glance

Austrian Textile Industry at a glance

At the occasion of ITMF’s latest Annual Conference Dr. Dionys L. Lehner, President of VTI Austria gave an overview of Europe’s textile industry, and in particular evidenced also the Austrian Textile Industry

In 2012 the Austrian textile industry employed 12200 persons or roughly 2 % of EU 27 textile industry. The number of firms decreased 35 % or from 200 to 130 companies over the past ten years. Dr. Lehner stated that the nation lost around one third of its textile employment over the past ten years. On the other hand, total turnover dropped 20 % or from EUR 2.9 billion to EUR 2.3 billion.  Austrian Textile Exports decreased from EUR 2.4 billion to EUR 2.1 billion or 15 % but the export quota increased from 83 % to 91 % of total turnover.

Some of the outstanding and leading Austrian textile companies are Linz Textil (EU market share in cellulosic yarns 35 %), Sattler (Sun Shading, EU market share 30 %)and Getzner (Shirts, EU share 10 %), however Lenzing (Cellulosic Fibre, world market share 21 %) enjoys the same position in the world market to compare with the mentioned three companies having their leading part in Europe.

Lehner is convinced that the next 10 years might entail a further decline of the Austrian textile industry, however smaller than over the past 10 years, but the leading companies will likely contain their size or will add growth.

The speaker underlined the position of European dominance in high end spinning machinery (Ring, Rotor Airjet) by Rieter and Saurer and others achieving 50 % worldwide market share in view to machine shipments. Further Europe is number two behind China (USD 248 billion) in worldwide garment and textile exports of USD 141 billion within EU 27 and USD 52 billion outside EU 27. The next rank with USD 20 to 30 billion each are India, Turkey and Bangladesh, whereas USA, Vietnam, Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia and Taiwan export each between USD 10 to USD 20 billion. He made out also another stronghold for “Made in Europe”: Technical Textiles (market size 2012 EUR 28 billion) enjoy a market share of 80 %. And another trump card for Europe is textile distribution: the ten most important retailers, namely Swedish H&M with sales of EUR 12.9 billion,  British Marks & Spencer with EUR 11.5 billion, Spanish Inditex (Zara) with EUR 11.2 billion, C&A (B/D) with EUR 6.8 billion, British Next with EUR 4.3 billion, Primark EUR 4.3 billion, Arcadia EUR 3.3 billion, Debenhams EUR 3.3 billion, German Esprit EUR 2.4 billion and Italian Benetton EUR 1.6 billion.

In view to European Textile Distribution he was almost a philosopher by indicating “that today you don’t buy a textile product anymore, but one buys distribution margin, along with quasi an extra, the textile product”. He explained the cause: imbalance created by the low price of garments in Asia and the high price distribution demand from customers. He supplied the figures: The total distribution margin and transport reflects about 80 to 85 % and more. Inditex reported in 2012 an EBIT margin of 20 %. For certain textile products this shows twice the product price. Lehner stated also that if profit margin is more than 100 % of the price translates to the fact that the buying price of fibre, to spin the yarn, weave or knit the ^fabric, dye or print the fabric, finishing the fabric, making up the clothes and packaging is lower than the profit retail cashes selling the end product. He further pointed that this doesn’pt look like a very fair sharing of profits between industry and distribution these days, but admitted that distribution disposes of profound know how in fashion trends and logistics.


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