Back to Archive “2011”

Rolf-Michael Müller reelected as Chairman of the Ceramic Industry Association (VKI)

Fine Ceramics Industry: Back on Track

Rolf-Michael Müller, CFO of CeramTec GmbH

“The technical ceramics industry is well on its way to surpassing pre-crisis levels; the porcelain industry is still experiencing some difficulties,” says CeramTec GmbH CFO Rolf-Michael Müller, who was once again elected Chairman of the Ceramic Industry Association at the association’s general meeting on May 20, 2011 at the Porzellanikon Museum in Selb, Germany. The past fiscal year 2010 was marked by the question of how long it would take the fine ceramics industry to overcome the far-reaching consequences of the 2009 financial crisis.

Technical ceramics manufacturing sales in fiscal 2010 climbed by 26.6 %. Domestic sales were up 18.9 %; exports grew by 32.4 %. Employment rose by 3.3 %. “The competition doesn't sleep,” says Müller, “so we need to continue to work on costs and our company's competitiveness, while at the same time investing in growing markets.” The increased sales were met with significantly rising raw materials prices and soaring energy costs. The energy transition in the Federal Republic will need to be carried out with sound judgment to ensure that German industry maintains its competitive advantage. The fine ceramics industry in particular, which not only has high demands in terms of personnel, but also in terms of energy, will feel the impact of these changes in a profound way.

The porcelain industry, also represented in the Ceramic Industry Association, was able to noticeably stem the tide of falling sales, but once again suffered from a downturn in sales, revenues and the labor force last year. “We were still unable to reach a turning point in the consumer goods sector in 2010, at least not in the porcelain industry,” says the Chairman. Fortunately, hotel porcelain manufacturers were able to increase their sales. The ceramic stove tile industry did not feel the effects of the crisis until 2010.