24-Apr-2014 - Frost & Sullivan

Strong activity in the manufacturing and oil and gas sectors drives Western European

Customised and adaptable personal protective equipment vital for market participants to widen their customer base

Increased activity in end-user industries such as manufacturing and oil and gas is expected to boost the adoption of above-the-neck personal protective equipment (PPE) across Western Europe. Opportunities abound, particularly in the manufacturing sector, where new jobs are being created due to in-shoring. Market participants will be looking to exploit these trends by rolling out customised, adaptable PPE that are fashionable and high on quality.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of the Western European Above-the-neck PPE Market, finds that the market earned revenues of €506.2 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach €565.6 million in 2018. The study covers head, eye, face, and hearing PPE. The eye PPE segment is expected to register the fastest growth over the next few years.

“The impending update to the PPE directive 89/686/EEC in 2016 will tighten the regulatory environment for occupational safety and health across industries in Western Europe,” said Frost & Sullivan Chemicals, Materials & Food Research Analyst Shray Sharma. “This, alongside increasing awareness amongst employees regarding the importance of better quality PPE, is lending momentum to the market.”

However, the downturn-impelled low employment numbers in southern European countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal have pegged the market back to some extent. Market participants are hopeful that this may soon be a challenge of the past as economies across Europe are recovering – Italy showed signs of stability in 2013, and the Iberian region is expected to witness positive growth by 2015.

Revenue growth has also taken a hit from the influx of low-cost private label products and cheap imports from Asia, especially in the head PPE segment.

“To combat the threat of cheap imports, manufacturers need to make end users aware of the long-term cost and health benefits of using robust PPE,” stated Sharma. “They should also build strong relationships with distributors and engage in mergers and acquisitions to strengthen product offerings and expand their regional customer base.”

In addition, manufacturers must offer innovative products, reliable customer service, and on-site training programs that educate employees on the proper usage, maintenance and replacement of PPE to taste success in the Western European market.

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