Clean film sales thrive despite tight market conditions

Clean film sales thrive despite tight market conditions

Mountain View, CA — Amid a shrinking and rapidly changing global market, sales of clean films are still managing to thrive.

The latest report (5713-39; $3,950) from research concern Frost & Sullivan estimates the world market for high-performance films at $7.3 billion in 1996, with revenues projected to grow to $12.2 billion by 2003 — an average growth rate of 7 to 8 percent during the forecast period.

According to analysts, the growth trend is driven by factors such as technological developments in certain films` performance properties and expanded application capabilities, healthy growth of the packaging industry, and a global move from rigid to flexible packaging materials.

The polyester film sector accounted for the majority of revenues reported in 1996. It alone is projected to exceed $7.6 billion in 2003. Other popular film materials making an impact on revenues are nylon, polycarbonate and polyimide.

According to the Flexible Packaging Association (Washington, DC), flexible packaging is now the second largest sector of the $101 billion packaging industry. The trade association`s State of the Industry Report 1998, which is based on responses from 82 percent of its member companies, predicts that flexible packaging shipments will continue to increase. Almost 65 percent of converters surveyed reported an increase in production in 1997, while 57 percent of suppliers reported an increase.

Related research shows that total cumulative sales of printed flexible packaging were $6.2 billion in 1997, compared to 1996 sales of $5.8 billion. These figures are based on an annual survey of 98 ranked companies (95 ranked companies in 1996) conducted by Packaging Printing and Converting. PP&C has tracked and ranked the largest flexible packaging converters in North America for the past 12 years.

Consensus is that the flexible packaging industry is redefining itself through mergers and acquisitions, which have seen record activity for each of the past three years. Its report found that 32 mergers and acquisitions took place in 1997, compared to 21 in 1996. Forty-four percent of surveyed converters, or manufacturers, report that they are planning a domestic merger or acquisition in 1998; 60 percent say they plan to expand a domestic plant in 1998. — TGW


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