20303875_sEUROPE: The non-residential air conditioning market in Europe is continuing to slowly recover lost ground since the last crisis. 

In a new report, market research company Interconnection Consulting says the top six European markets – Italy, Spain, France, UK, Germany and Poland – experienced a modest volume growth of 0.4% reaching 1.1 million units in 2013. Value sales reached €3.6bn, an increase of 1.3%.

In 2013 the non-residential air conditioner market was said to have reflected the slow recovery in the non-residential construction industry, although some of the markets such as Italy and Spain have not yet reached their pre-crisis volume and value sales.

Despite the decrease in 2013 of almost 2% in volume terms, Italy remains the strongest non-residential air conditioning market in terms of total volume and value sales in Europe. Italy accounts for a share of 28.2% in volume terms in 2013. Italy is currently more focused on export to Eastern Europe generating only 30-35% of their total turnovers in their home market.

Paradoxically, the second best performing country Spain also experienced a decrease of 3.3% in volume terms, however remained quite strong with a market share of 23%, followed by France accounting for an 18%, UK 13.8%, Germany 10.3% and Poland 6.7% of the total volume sales in the top six European countries.

Single split market

Single split air conditioners were the best performing product type in 2013 accounting for a 67% of the total number of units sold. However, this market segment generated 23.9% of the total value sales. 

It was the chiller segment which dominated value sales in 2013 generating 33.5% of the total value sales but accounting for just 2.3% of the volume sales.

In 2013 there were only 27,500 chillers (>100kW) sold, while rooftops and VRF reached 12,000 and 79,200 units respectively. The VRF market is expected to exhibit the strongest driver for growth but the domination of the single split is also expected to remain strong.

Rooftops were the poorest performing market segment in almost all the countries, suffering strong competition from air handling units especially in Germany.

The strongest market share was the commercial office sector, which accounted for 51% of the total value sales. This market is also expected to be driven by the growth in non-residential building completions with a forecasted average annual growth rate of 6.4% in the next three years.

According to Interconnection Consulting the volume sales are forecast to see an average annual growth rate of 3.3% to reach 1.3 million units in 2017, while the value sales are set to increase at an average annual growth rate of 3.6% to reach €4.1bn in 2017.