EPLF Meeting In Salzburg

The members of the EPLF met near Salzburg and discussed many interesting topics including, the situation on the world market, the Wood Flooring Summit 2014 and international standardization.


At the invitation of Kaindl, the members of the EPLF met near Salzburg for their annual general meeting on 5 and 6 June. Despite some people experiencing difficulties traveling through areas affected by flooding, over 70 members met at the idyllic Fuschlsee lake. Many exciting topics were discussed at the meeting of members, including the situation on the world market, the Wood Flooring Summit 2014 and international standardization. The president of the association, Ludger Schindler, welcomed Çamsan Entegre Agaç (Hendek – Sakarya, Turkey), a manufacturer of MDF board and laminate flooring, to Salzburg as a new ordinary member. The EPLF currently has 22 ordinary and 23 associate member companies. The ordinary members include the manufacturers of laminate flooring while the associate members are their suppliers.


One of the main topics of the meeting of members was the economic situation in the European laminate flooring industry. Positive developments in 2012 once again confirm how well the general public accepts laminate flooring. Compared with the same period in the previous year, the market for laminate flooring produced in Europe by member firms was relatively stable overall in the 1st quarter of 2013, although there were differences on the individual sales markets: figures for Asia and South America were up and Eastern Europe increased slightly too while North America and Western Europe remained stable at a relatively high level. Between 2007 and 2012, global sales of laminate flooring increased by 1.5%, but fell in Europe by 4.4%.


In 2012, the market share of laminate flooring production in Europe, including Turkey, supplied by EPLF members was 89%; globally the figure was 53%. – But the competition isn’t letting up. China has caught up and in 2012 was for the first time the largest individual producer with a market share of 28%, ahead of Germany with 27%. Given the current situation, intensive market development by the EPLF and its market companies is more important than ever. The EPLF continues to focus on the markets in Turkey and Russia. Turkey currently makes up 8% of global production while Russia has more than doubled its share of production since 2007 to reach 5%. There are three Turkish producers in the EPLF at present.


The EPLF is following the development of what are known as LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) with interest. The EPLF was involved in the founding of the new inter-trade organization MMFA (Multilayer Modular Flooring Association), a move praised at the meeting of members. It is hoped that convivial and constructive collaboration with the MMFA will continue in the future.


The EPLF is also working with trade fair organizer Deutsche Messe AG on preparations for the second Wood Flooring Summit, which will take place in 2014 at Domotex in Hanover. The international standardization projects undertaken by the EPLF’s Technology working group remain highly diverse. Chairman Dr. Theo Smet presented the most important results of the past few months. Good progress has been made on work to revise EN 14041 for elastic, textile flooring and laminate floors. The technical details in EN 13329, 14897 and 15468 are no longer up to date.