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Presenza_economica

 

Presenza_economica

 

The Italian companies in Sweden 

 
by Giovanni Camerini
trainee at the Italian Embassy in Sweden
June 2006  

Methodology comment:
The expression “Italian companies in Sweden” refers to Italian firms that made some kind of investment in Sweden, have a commercial branch as well as a branch sales office or operate on the Swedish market by means of a sole one-firm agent. The Italian companies that operate on the Swedish market by means of not-sole agent working for different firms were not included into this paper, because of lack of available data about that type of firms.  

INDEX  
1. Placement of Italy with respect to other Countries
2. Historical development of the Italian industry in Sweden: main players
3. Geographical location
4. Main sectors according to numerical data
5. Typology of presence
6. Number of employees and size of companies
7. Number of employees by sector  

1. Placement of Italy with respect to other Countries.  

When considering it as a whole, Sweden doesn’t represent a very strategic market for Italy: if compared with other Countries, in 2001 Italy ranked only 16th in the list of foreign-owned companies in Sweden according to number of employees. Also two small Countries as Singapore and Cyprus were before Italy in that list.
That outlook becomes a little bit better when considering the total number of foreign companies in Sweden: in that case Italy ranks 13th. In the general ranking the USA are in the first place (108.891 people employed by 1.057 companies), while Great Britain is in the second place (57.825 people employed by 700 companies) and Finland in the third (53.580 people employed by 709 companies).
The average number of employees per company is an important element to give a first evaluation of the predominant size of companies present in the Swedish market. Figures in table 1 show that the most common size is the medium one (n. of employees between 50 and 250 units): that size characterizes the companies of 11 Countries out of 16.
The small size (n. of employees less than 50 units) is typical of the companies of 4 Countries, Italy included: with regard to Italy that is not a novelty, because the Italian industry is based mainly on SME’s and on their key role in the internal as well as the international economy.
The only exception is represented by Singapore, the only Country whose companies present in Sweden belong to the big sized group (n. of employees higher than 250 units).  

Table 1: comparison of firms of different Countries operating into the Swedish market.
 
Foreign Country             Total number of       Total number of          Average number of
present on the               employees and       companies and           employees and
Swedish market            relative rank in        relative placement       relative company
                                   the ranking             in the ranking              size of membership
 
USA                           108.891 (1)                 1.057 (1)                   103 (medium)
 Great Britain                57.825 (2)                    700 (6)                     83 (medium)
Finland                         53.580 (3)                    709 (5)                     76 (medium)
 Denmark                     47.879 (4)                    816 (4)                     59 (medium)
 Holland                       44.495 (5)                    906 (3)                     49 (medium-little) France                        39.466 (6)                    309 (9)                    128 (medium)
Germany                     39.098 (7)                    700 (7)                      56 (medium) Norway                        38.974 (8)                 1.019 (2)                      38 (little)
Switzerland                  32.836 (9)                    340 (8)                     97 (medium)
Belgium/Luxembourg      6.604 (10)                  291 (10)                    23 (little)
Japan                            6.545 (11)                  119 (11)                    55 (medium)
Singapore                      4.990 (12)                      7 (16)                  713 (big)
Canada                         4.530 (13)                    49 (15)                    92 (medium)
Cyprus                          2.580 (14)                    50 (14)                    52 (medium)
Austria                          2.473 (15)                    70 (12)                    35 (little)
Italy                              2.388 (16)                    53 (13)                    45 (medium)  

Source: ITPS (Swedish Institute for Growth Policy Studies), 2002.    

2. Historical development of the Italian industry in Sweden: main players.  

Sweden is a relatively new market for Italian industry, because, with the exception of tyres sector (in relation to it Pirelli opened a commercial branch in 1960), Italian investments now operating in Sweden belong mainly to the Eighties and the Nineties.
In the Eighties some investments were made in the car sector (Iveco in 1982), the mechanical equipment and components (Datalogic in 1981, Metal Work in 1988, Biesse, Bonfiglioli and Corob in 1989) and in the glasses sector (Luxottica in 1988).
In the Nineties the number of Italian companies increases in the sector of mechanical equipment and components (Brembo and Camozzi in 1990, Pedrazzoli in 1992, GMV and Danieli in 1993, Structo in 1995, Ansaldo now Finmeccanica and Sogefi in 1996, Rollon, Vlm and Tecnomagnete in 1999). Other sectors characterized by italian investments are the glasses sector (Safilo in 1990), the ceramics sector (Finicisa now Ricchetti in 1995), the sea transportation (Grimaldi in 1996), the chemicals (Rescon Mapei in 1996), the curtains (Arquati in 1997), the high class fashion (Armani in 1998) and, at last, the food products (Barilla in 1999, which, with the acquisition of the Swedish company Wasabröd, is the largest investment ever made by an Italian company in Sweden).
Other investments recently made regard the sector of mechanical components (Lucchini in 2000) and the sector of kitchens/domestic appliances (FaberSpa in 2001).
During these last years Italian firms strenghten their presence in the chemical-food sector (Mare in 2000), in the sector of corporate consulting (Opera Multimedia in 2000) and in the sector of agendas and writing products (Lediberg in 2000).

3. Geographical location.

As shown in Table 2, the majority of commercial and production units is concentrated in the area of Stockholm. A slightly lower share is located in the area of Göteborg (the second largest city of Sweden after Stockholm in terms of population) and in the area of Malmö: that location reflects the distribution of the Swedish industries on the territory (the production of the Country is centred on the above-mentioned areas) as well as the availability of infrastructures.
With regard to infrastructures, Stockholm is endowed with a well-developed and efficient network of infrastructures, while Malmö is a very strategic area from a distribution and logistic point of view with respect to both Sweden and Denmark , because it is located very close to the populous area of Copenhagen.

Table 2: geographical location of the Italian companies in Sweden.

Stockholm area     31 %
Göteborg area       24 %
Malmö area          24 %
Rest of Sweden    21 %

Source: personal processing of available data about Italian companies in Sweden – June 2006.


4. Main sectors according to numerical data

Italian companies are mostly present into those sectors in relation to which Italy is usually more known abroad, i.e. the sector of mechanical equipment and components and the sector of fashion/textiles/clothes. Those two sectors alone include 60 % of the 55 Italian firms recorded in June 2006: the first sector counts for 44 %, while the latter for 16 % of the total, as shown in Table 3. Italian companies are less present in the chemical sector, in the car and motorbike sector, in the food industry and in the service sector. Italian firms are very few in the other sectors: companies operating into them are 7 out of 55, i.e. 13 % of the total.

Table 3: main sectors of membership of Italian companies in Sweden and their relative incidence on the total.

Mechanical equipment and components    44 %
Fashion/textiles/clothes                           16 %
Chemicals                                              10 %
Cars/motorbikes                                       7 %
Food                                                       5 %
Services                                                  5 %
other sectors                                          13 %

Source: personal processing of available data about Italian companies in Sweden – June 2006.

5. Typology of presence.

The majority of Italian companies in Sweden (84 % of the 55 companies recorded in June 2006) has a “weak presence” on the market, i.e. they are present by means of commercial branch, retail branch or through a sole one-firm agent (see Table 4). There are also some Italian companies which have a “strong presence” on the market, even if they count for only 16 % of the total: it is the case of the companies which have transferred part of their production in Sweden by establishing a production branch or by acquiring a Swedish company.

Table 4: main forms of presence of the Italian companies in Sweden.

“Strong presence”                     16 %

“Weak presence”                      84 % 
        thereof 
        commercial branch    69 % 
        retail branch             10 % 
        sole one-firm agent     5 %

Source: personal processing of data available on Italian companies in Sweden – June 2006.


6. Number of employees and size of companies

The Italian companies in Sweden give employment to a limited number of people, since the total number of employees is equal to about 2.260 units, with an average number of employees by company equal to around 41 units.
As shown in Table 5, most of the Italian companies are included into the small-size group (n. of employees equal or lower than 20 units), while the other 27 % contains medium-sized (n. of employees between 21 and 50 units) and big-sized companies (n. of employees higher than 50).

Table 5: breakdown of the Italian companies in Sweden by size

Big-size group (n. of employees higher than 50)                     14 %
Medium-size group (n. of employees between 21 and 50)       13 %
Small-size group (n. of employees equal or lower than 20)      73 %

Source: personal processing of available data about Italian companies in Sweden – June 2006.


Among the 8 companies belonging to the big-size group the most important ones are Barilla (whose Swedish subsidiary company Wasabröd employs around 660 units) in the food industry, Danieli (whose subsidiary Morgårdshammar employs about 290 units) and Structo (129 employees) in the sector of mechanical equipment and components, FaberSpa (whose subsidiary Futurum employs about 195 units) in the sector of kitchens and Ricchetti (whose subsidiary CC Hoganas Byggkeramik emplyos about 186 units) in the sectors of ceramics and tiles.
The overview resulting from the breakdown of the Italian companies according to their size is coherent with the picture resulting from their classification according to their type of presence: small-sized firms have usually a “weak presence” (they usually are commercial branches), while big-sized firms have mostly a “strong presence” on the market.

7. Number of employees by sector

The breakdown of employees of Italian companies in Sweden according to the key sectors described in paragraph 4 (in this regard see Table 6) shows that the sector which employs the largest number of people is the sector of mechanical equipment and components (around 797 employees out of 2.257), even if three companies, Danieli (through its subsidiary Morgårdshammar), Structo and Lucchini, count for 66 % of that value, giving employment to 522 people.
The second most important sector in terms of employees is the food industry (about 690 units out of 2.257), but the majority of them is employed by Barilla through its Swedish subsidiary Wasabröd, which gives employment to around 660 people.
Other important sectors (textiles/fashion/clothes, chemicals, cars/motorbikes and services) count for a little in terms of workforce, because each one (with the only exception of the first) gives employment to less than 100 people.
When considering the other sectors as a whole, they employ around 431 people out of 2.257, but two companies, FaberSpa (through its subsidiary Futurum) in the kitchen sector and Ricchetti (through its subsidiary CC Hoganas Byggkeramik) in the sectors of ceramics and tiles, count for 90 % of that value, since they employ around 381 people.

Table 6: number of employees by sector and their relative incidence on the total of employees in the Italian companies in Sweden.

Mechanical equipment and components    797         35 %
Food                                                      690         31 %
Fashion/textiles/clothes                           159           7 %
Cars/motorbikes                                       69           4 %
Services                                                   53           2,5 %
Chemicals                                                31           1,5 %
other sectors                                          431         19 %

Source: personal processing of available data about Italian companies in Sweden – June 2006.

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