German cleaning associations look ahead to CMS Berlin

3rd of June 2013
German cleaning associations look ahead to CMS Berlin

Germany's leading cleaning associations gathered in Berlin recently to discuss current market conditions and look ahead to the industry exhibition CMS, which takes place in the city from September 25-26.

Dr Christian Göke, chief operating officer at Messe Berlin - where CMS will take place - said he is expecting around 350 exhibitors from over 20 countries, and more than 15,000 visitors. And for the first time the International CMS Congress will take place during the show, with the theme Sustainable Competitiveness in the Cleaning Sector.

President of the BIV contract cleaning association Dieter Kuhnert went on to give his views on the sector. "This is a year that promises to be particularly exciting for the building cleaning trade. Our forthcoming wage negotiations, for example, represent an aspect that is fundamental to the workings of our organisation.

"We are confident they will come to a successful conclusion by the time CMS begins because we wish to continue to provide our companies, a workforce of close to 590,000 employees, and naturally our customers, with a sense of security in the shape of acceptable tariffs."

Kuhnert continued: "The number of people including active entrepreneurs employed in the building cleaning trade in 2010, figures for which were only recently released in April, was 587,485. In 2010 the number of companies, counting only those with a minimum turnover of 17,500 euros, was 17,059. Their combined turnover equalled 12,433,299,000 euros.

"Consequently the building cleaning trade has recovered from the interim decline in business that 2009, the year of the recession, brought with it. Based on data received for 2011 and 2012 we can safely assume that during that period the number of existing companies increased yet again, by eight per cent, with figures reaching around 20,100 in 2012. Turnover rose by around 3.3 per cent in 2011 and by 2.6 per cent in 2012.

"Lastly, the number of employees, for which figures are available only for 2011, fell slightly by 0.5 per cent and at that time equalled 584,000. That figure should be regarded as purely relative, as in recent years the number of employees in jobs requiring social insurance has risen throughout. In 2010, at the last count, they had reached 10 per cent, the logical result of which has been an overall drop in employees."

Markus Asch, president of cleaning machine manufacturers' association VDMA spoke about the latest results for this part of the sector. "For German manufacturers of cleaning machinery 2012 was in most respects an encouraging year, while the start of 2013 revealed some difficulties, with a number of uncertainties, and not just in economic terms, although the overriding trend is a positive one.

"By and large currency fluctuations in relation to the dollar are still as expected. On average the prices of raw materials have risen sharply and, combined with the continuing depressed state of the world economy, this presents a challenge to German manufacturers."

Asch continued: "The overall economic situation is a complex one and its negative effects are apparent in the reduced volumes being achieved by the cleaning machinery sector, especially with regard to European exports. Developments have remained fairly stable in Northern Europe but the situation in Southern Europe, in particular as a result of the debt crisis, continues to give cause for concern.

"Growth in Eastern Europe and Asia is expected to be at a low level. Consequently the German cleaning machinery industry is, at the present time, adopting a wait-and-see attitude."

Asch went on to examine the global picture. "Statistics released by Euroconstruct, however, indicate that there will be increased investment in commercial buildings again from 2014 onwards, with a correspondingly positive impact on the cleaning machinery industry. There will be continued positive development in the BRIC countries in 2014, with major sporting events taking place in Brazil (Football World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympics) and Russia (Winter Olympics 2014 and the Football World Cup in 2018) that will give an additional impetus in the commercial buildings sector, and hotels in particular. In the next stage this will also have a positive effect on sales by the manufacturers of cleaning machinery.

"Another welcome piece of news is that, according to the IMF, there will be an increase in GDP in the eurozone in 2014, with above-average growth in Germany. The countries currently affected by the euro crisis can expect a change for the better, beginning in 2014, which should also help to stimulate consumption."

He then focused on the German manufacturing industry. "In general, for 2013 as a whole the industry association within the VDMA is expecting steady growth of between one and three per cent. VDMA represents some 40 suppliers of cleaning systems, making up approximately 90 per cent of the German market.

"Last year the cleaning machinery industry accounted for a volume of domestic business amounting to some 920 million euros, and had a workforce of around 5,000 people. Exports accounted for about 70 per cent of its sales. German manufacturers have a 20 per cent share of the world market, and roughly 48 per cent of the European market."

Finally Frank Vancraeyveld, divisional chairman and member of the board of the IHO - which represents the chemicals industry - presented his viewpoint."This year's CMS is taking place against the background of a difficult economic situation. In the building cleaning sector the market for cleaning and care products continues to report a stagnation or even a slight decline in sales.

"The cost situation is forcing customers to economise on the amount of chemicals used and to reduce cleaning intervals, and the effects continue to be felt. In the public sector in particular there are many instances of a decline in the levels of hygiene, accompanied by a reduction in values."

He explained that this part of the industry employs around 5,000 people and generates sales of around 800 million euros annually.

For more information about the CMS Berlin exhibition visit


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