Data processed by the Italian Association of Manufacturers of Footwear, Leather-Goods and Tanning Technology (Ufficio Studi of ASSOMAC) shows that 2016 turnover reached €625 million, an increase of +7.2% compared with the previous year.

Sales were primarily export-driven (approximately 75% of turnover) totalling almost €467 million (+8.2% compared with 2015) compared with imports of just over €33 million, bringing the trade balance for the sector to a net revenue of more than €433 million.

“Our growth has come successfully through an obstacle course of market difficulties, but there the positive trend has been evident for the past five years," says Gabriella Marchioni Bocca, ASSOMAC President. "Compared with 2012, the last year our exports fell following the global recession, foreign sales have grown by 38.4%, a substantial recovery if we consider growth rates in the Western economies and the Italian one, in particular.

"The most positive aspect is the fact that this year’s growth has been virtually across the board: nearly all sectors and market areas are growing. Our companies have managed to find a competitive edge within the specificities of each market.”

The two principal areas of machinery for tanning and traditional footwear have seen exports rise by 9.4% and 2.1% respectively, while the figure for leather-goods machinery has also increased thanks to certain specific contracts.

Only manmade-footwear machinery (rubber and sports) recorded a decline, although this was compensated for by other areas including machinery parts, which recorded a figure of +7.2%, almost breaking through the €90 million export threshold.