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The Fragmented European Tissue and Towel Business

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White Paper

By Fisher International

Mature markets consolidate for a variety of reasons. Typically consolidation happens when large players, answering to investors, look to wring additional profits out of the market by acquiring a larger share of the production capacity and therefore benefiting from synergies and efficiencies that come from the larger volume.

Moreover, with a large enough share, companies can optimize the use of their capacity to maintain their profitability despite market volatility or even declining demand. But the benefits conferred by M&A strategies do not seem to hold sway in Europe and the European tissue and towel market is no exception.

Looking at the demand side, tissue and towel historically grows with the population of a given market. In Europe, the expectation is that the market will be fairly flat for tissue and towel, with pockets of modest growth anticipated in the Western and Nordic countries. The impact, if any, of the refugee migration crisis notwithstanding, Eurostat projects a notable 2.6% decline in Germany’s population, but there are gains in both the UK (3.5%) and France (2.2%) which levels out the data to a mere 0.5% increase over the next eight years.

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