Change of direction for graphic industry in the Netherlands
ING Bank is positive about the graphic industry in the Netherlands, according to a recently published report. After years of decline, turnover increased in 2016 (expected to be 1.5%). Production increased even more (3%). Because of a general positive trend in the Dutch market, production is expected to remain stable in 2017. The number of bankruptcies is at a very low level for the first time in many years and is comparable with industry as a whole.
The combination of digitization and the financial crisis has hit the hardest in the graphic industry. Turnover in the Dutch market halved in eight years, the number of companies (excluding independent contractors) decreased by a third. Specific segments such as packaging were okay, but did suffer from smaller margins. 2016 seems to have been the end of this negative trend. The number of companies is expected to decrease, mainly through consolidation. The transformation of the industry will, because of further technological developments, continue, but will result in more positive results.
The graphics industry has always been focused on the internal market. Consolidation and digitization of the sector has improved professionalism. Digitization is no longer about replacing print (and as such threatening to the industry), but it is about offering the best services to the customer whilst improving processes. Online services make the step to go outside of the Netherlands easier, especially with the digital platforms available. Currently export is only 10% of the industry´s turnover. For a healthy future this percentage can and has to improve.