Weak enforcement of workplace air quality laws contributes to slow growth in equipment sales

The European market for indoor air filtration equipment will not grow quickly over the next five years, according to a report. "Unenthusiastic enforcement and implementation of legislation and a general lack of end-user investment interest" are among the reasons for the slow growth forecast.

Overall growth in the European indoor air filtration equipment market will be slow, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan to be published next month. Frost & Sullivan predicts a market rise from $608.7 million in 1998 to $724.4 million by 2005.

Fastest growth is predicted for Spain, Portugal, and Greece, although these markets will not grow fast enough to threaten the dominant position of the UK, Germany and France. Scandinavia, which is already a leading market, will see faster growth than the UK, Germany and France, according to the report.

Better enforcement of health and safety legislation relating to indoor air quality will be a key factor in market growth. “The markets in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are underdeveloped and offer significant growth potential,” states the report. “The potential for growth is dependent upon much stricter enforcement of legislation and a greater willingness to invest in IAF equipment.”

Despite predicting slow growth, Frost & Sullivan says manufacturers that innovate and market themselves well should reap financial rewards. “The IAF equipment market is one in which manufacturers are required to make a major contribution to the creation of their own opportunities,” states the report. In order to succeed manufacturers will have to take account of and, in some cases, develop strategies that are contrary to the IAF market’s general profile.

Frost & Sullivan identifies the following as the key characteristics of the European IAF market:

  • mature markets at or near saturation
  • some underdeveloped markets
  • price orientation
  • an absence of high-impact technological innovation
  • long product lifecycles
  • increasing importance of replacement sales and consumables
  • over-capacity
  • little industry consolidation
  • unenthusiastic enforcement and implementation of legislation
  • general lack of end-user investment interest

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