Question 1: How would you sum up 2016 for the public works sector? What targets have you set yourself for the rears ahead?
In mine years, our sector has shrunk by 26% compared with the rest of the French economy – our turnover generated on the domestic market has fallen from 47€ billion to 38€ billion, and we’ve lost 35, 000 jobs. Having come through the worst economic crisis in 30 years in 2015, public works companies’ turnover stopped falling in 2016: the construction sector’s recovery and an increase in order numbers from major operators (motorways, the Greater Paris region, companies laying fiber optics networks, etc.) resulted in 3,5% growth. We’re expecting a slight slowdown in 2017, with growth of between 2.5% and 3%.
Question 2: What are the growth prospects for the public work sector and what are the areas in which you are innovating in order to cater to the needs of the varied projects in France and throughout the world?
As activity in the sector starts to pick up again, as part of our ongoing drive to improve productivity, investment plays a key role in the policies of public works companies – particularly in machinery, which is vital for our projects. Whether it’s a case of extending the life cycle of our equipment, reducing sound pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, controlling energy consumption or recycling resources, there is no shortage of areas in which manufacturers can break new ground.
The acknowledged expertise of French companies at international level is inextricably linked with the performance of our equipment… equipment which is constantly being updated and whose high performance is vital if these companies are to remain competitive.
Question 3 : What can the companies that you represent expect from INTERMAT in terms of development and expertise?
INTERMAT is an outstanding forum for discussion and is the ideal framework within which professionals, stakeholders and partners, involved in the profession can meet and view new equipment.
It’s an event that is important for our profession. It’s an opportunity to meet equipment manufacturers, take stock of new equipment, see what changes and innovations they incorporate… and so get some idea of what our projects will be like in the future.
I am sure that this year’s edition – just like those of previous years – will be an opportunity to look afresh upon all the issues associated with the economy and the environment which characterizes the Public equipment sector.