The crisis continues, but sector professionals are seeing signs of a rebound, above all thanks to exports. There have also been some important acquisitions, including the merger of Pozzi Ginori into the Geberit Group (through Sanitec): “We can thus manage productive activities, but above all those of distribution,” says the communication director for Italy Alberto Rovati. In 2013 Samo took over Inda, a brand that is “very strong on foreign markets, accounting for 70% of sales,” CEO Denis Venturato explains, announcing a major update to the product range.“Geberit operates all over the world – Rovati continues – but our market of reference is still Europe.”
The United States and the Middle East continue to look to Italian products, though the export & marketing manager of Flaminia Francesco Bravini notes that “instability in the Arab world can make promotional investment less productive.”
“Our articles are found in over 45 countries,” says Giampaolo Calisti of Scarabeo Ceramiche. One problem on the market indicated by many operators is the relationship between production and distribution, which has prompted Flaminia to look for “different sales channels – Bravini adds – passing to the two steps of installers and private customers, bypassing wholesalers.”
Color is back for high-impact solutions. “Products with a high level of personalization are offering important results on the contract market,” says Alessio Coramusi, CEO of Ceramica Cielo.
While the young company CeaDesign, already a reference point for the yacht industry and for stainless steel faucets, stands out for a resistant coloring technique that penetrates into the material “for very clean design results,” says company owner Roberta Bertacco. Tones “inspired by the natural and aquatic environment” for the Gastone collection by CeaDesign, while a ‘Bath of color’ in fourteen variations is offered by the range of Ceramica Globo.
“The bathroom is the most dangerous place in the home – says Jacopo Antoniazzi, general manager of Thermomat – and because we specialize in products for safety we can offer beautiful, multifunctional items.” Investments are also being made for the Ever line of bath fixtures, promising unprecedented developments at the Salone in 2016.
Looks are definitely the main thrust at Antrax IT as well, where the radiators Tavola Mo and Total Mirror transform heating units into decor elements. Managing director Alberico Crosetta announces the firm’s collaboration with Daniel Libeskind on an “amazing project that will soon be in the catalogue.”
“We are exploring complex solutions for spas and resorts” at Fantini Rubinetti, which offers the Lamé mixer faucets designed by Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez, “summing up the company’s DNA for design and awareness of the changing scene,” says Daniela Fantini.
At Cielo the spotlight is on the ultraslim Extrà Ceramic, which “with just 5 mm of thickness reduces weight, offering more space and savings on raw materials,” Alessio Coramusi explains. Flaminia is ready with a new line of bath fixtures designed by Nendo and an extension of the Archivio line, while Geberit is wagering on the AquaClean Mera toilet-bidet, which is “innovative and comfortable.”
“We are working on a combination of steel and wood that will revolutionize the idea of the faucet,” they announce at CeaDesign. Wood is also the focus of the Par-ker® collection of floors by Porcelanosa, a group that makes kitchens and facings, and has developed Krion®, a surface similar to stone with antibacterial properties.
“Among the most successful new initiatives” of Gruppo Samo “the Perfetto furniture collection has a very functional design, while the Avenue accessories and the Teknoair shower walls have a clean, minimal look,” Venturato explains, adding that “the demand is increasingly oriented towards total relaxation.” The sales staff at Porcelanosa sees “a return to 1960s vintage, with a new interpretation.” What counts is for the “know-how of a company to including consulting,” CeaDesign concludes.
by Paola Romagnoli