Business 18/03/2021

Exporting industries break even in 2020 and expect a better 2021

Amec companies foresee sales and staff increases in 2021

2 min
Not being able to attend trade fairs such as the one in the image has made it difficult for companies to attract new customers.

BarcelonaGDP plummeted by over 11% due to the pandemic, but the fall has not affected all companies in the same way. The most internationalised industries, gathered in Amec, have proved to be more resilient and have broken even in 2020 with a slight decline in turnover and maintaining exports and employment, as shown by the Amec's Situation Report 2020, which also predicts a further increase in activity for 2021. "2020 has been a parenthesis," said general director of Amec Joan Tristany on Thursday. He believes these industries will "begin the new era well positioned."

According to Amec's observatory, the overall turnover of its member companies fell only 1.2% in 2020 despite the pandemic. However, covid-19 did affect results. But, even so, three out of four companies have closed the year without losses, said Tristany, who has indicated that this "guarantees continuity for most of them". "There is no risk of closures," he reiterated, highlighting the role the furlough scheme and government loans have had in ensuring these companies' continuity.

The observatory indicates that, overall, Amec companies increased their workforce by 0.9%. In total, they employ more than 39,800 workers. In addition, by 2021, 40% expect to increase their workforce and 52% to maintain it. Exports have been one of the main supports of these companies, because while Spanish sales abroad fell by 10% in 2020, in the case of Amec companies, it increased by 0.35%.

Growth in 2021

The general director of Amec has stressed that, unlike the financial crisis of 2009, the response now "has been quick" and has shown that "the export sector is one of the few who did their homework" after the previous crisis. Despite maintaining a good level of exports, the main problem that companies have encountered in international markets has been the attraction of new customers, largely due to restrictions on mobility. The forecast for 2021 is that there will be a growth in exports of 9.3%.