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The ceramic sector today in the Walloon Region
The major part of companies working in the ceramic sector in the Walloon Region are SME’s. Except for the sanitaryware (number of employees in the company = 328 persons), le average number of employees is less than 100 in all sub-sectors and is even lower than 40 for 6 sub-sectors.
Ceramic is a very important sector with an constantly increasing turn over. The products and the technologies used are more and more complex.
Figures presented below are related to 1999. The turn over was over the 275 million € and the number of employees over 2400 persons.
A closer look to the figures shows that a large part (90 %) of the ceramics produced are for technical use. Among these, the traditional building sub-sector (bricks and tiles) represents 20 %, the technical ceramics and refractories 49 %, the refractories 30 %. Sanitaryware and tableware are not well present (2 companies) and their influence on the global turn over of the ceramic sector is limited (6.5 %). The eleven SME’s producing craft pottery are representing around 1 % of the global annual turn over of the ceramic sector.
In term of employement, the sanitaryware and the tableware companies are employing nearly 17 % of the ceramic workers.
The major part of the ceramic industry is located in the Hainaut.