In 2013, the western European core markets in the European laminate flooring industry experienced a slight decline of just under 3% overall. In absolute figures, western European sales fell from 298m m² in 2012 to 290m m² in 2013.
Germany saw a decline with approx. 72m m² (previous year: 76m m²), yet remained the largest single market, leading the ranking of western European markets. Turkey occupied second place with over 65m m² (previous year: 66m m²). This slightly lower but still satisfactory result was achieved partly thanks to the Turkish member companies of the EPLF, and partly due to economic growth in this country. France saw a slight decline with 39m m² (previous year: 40m m²) and continued to hold third place within Europe. The United Kingdom was stable with 29m m² (previous year: 29m m²) and held fourth place, while the Netherlands occupied fifth place with 19m m² (previous year: just under 19m m²). Spain remained in sixth place with 14m m² (previous year: 15m m²).
European laminate flooring manufacturers sold 103m m² (previous year: 99m m²) in Eastern Europe in 2013, an increase of 4% compared with the previous year. Poland once again came top with approx. 25m m² (previous year: 24m m²). With 23.9m m² (previous year: 23.7m m²), Russia held a strong second place in the sales ranking, and promises further growth rates in the future. Romania occupied third place with 10m m² (previous year: 9.8m m²), while Ukraine maintained its fourth place with a rise to 9 million (previous year: 8m m²). Hungary remained in fifth place with 4.6m m² (previous year: 4.2m m²).
As recently as 2011, North America experienced a dramatic slump: sales dropped from 41m m² in 2010 to 27m m² in 2011, while only 23m m² was achieved in 2012. This was caused by the challenging economic situation in the USA. In 2013, North American sales picked up once more, with 28m m². The USA in particular showed an encouraging result for European laminate flooring manufacturers, with 16m m² (previous year: 12m m²). Canada remained stable in 2013 with 11m m² (previous year: 11m m²).
In Asia-Pacific, the total sales of European manufacturers for 2013 stood at approx. 13m m² (previous year: 12m m²), representing a slight increase. The Chinese market, including Hong Kong, showed particularly clear growth due to exports from European producers in the premium sector – this market achieved sales of over 4m m² (previous year: 3m m²) in 2013. The Iranian market fell even further in 2013, achieving less than half of its already rather poor 2012 sales figure of 1.6m m².
South America remained stable in 2013 with 17m m² (previous year: 17m m²). The Chilean market showed a somewhat disappointing result compared with the previous year, with sales of 6m m² (previous year: 6.5m m²), while sales in Mexico shaped up better, rising to 5m m² (previous year: 4.3m m²).