16.01.2009 - 13:13 - Age: 13 Jahre

European business press conference on 4th December 2008 in Cologne

Address by Dr. Martin Rickert, Chairman of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers (Verband der Deutschen Dental-Industrie - VDDI), on the occasion of the European business press conference on 4th December 2008 in Cologne, in the run up to the IDS 2009 (from 24-28 March in Cologne)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our press conference in Cologne, with which we would like to present the 33rd International Dental Show (IDS) 2009 to you. I would like to extend a warm welcome on behalf of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers e.V. and its commercial enterprise, the GFDI mbH (Society for the Promotion of the German Dental Industry), and am delighted to see you here today. I would also like to thank you very much for your particular interest in the International Dental Show (IDS) and at the same time the achievements of German dental industry.

The IDS (Internationale Dental Show), which is held in Cologne every two years, is the worldwide dental industry’s leading international trade fair. The IDS is organised by the GFDI Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Dental-Industrie mbH, the commercial enterprise of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers (VDDI) in Cologne, and staged by our long-standing partner Koelnmesse GmbH, Cologne. We have invited you here today in order to give you comprehensive information about the forthcoming “33rd IDS - International Dental Show” that will be held in Cologne from 24th until 28th March 2009.

Participation at the IDS, the world’s leading trade fair for dental products, is literally a must for all exhibitors and suppliers of innovative dental products and for the dentists and technicians who use them. For all those active in the dental industry as dentists, dental technicians, assistants or dental hygiene specialists, dental prophylaxis assistants or even as actual or prospective manufacturers or retailers, attendance at this international market place in Cologne is absolutely essential. The IDS is held at a central location in one of the world’s largest and strongest economic regions. With a population approaching half a billion, the EU is an extremely attractive and hence also highly competitive market for products and services. According to a joint study conducted by the ADDE (the Association of Dental Dealers in Europe) and the FIDE (the Federation of the European Dental Industry), more than 268,000 dentists and over 158,000 dental technicians offer their services to their patients Europe-wide.

Stable demand on dental markets

The worldwide financial and business news is currently affecting all of us. The global economic situation has been tense for some months now. The financial systems of a number of countries and economic regions have been subject to severe fluctuation and even turbulence. Governments and economies alike are anxious to get the tense financial situation under control. The first signs of success are already evident.

You will be pleased to hear me report that our German industry – and with it the dental-industry – is proving to be a stable factor in a troubled environment. As an industry predominantly dominated by small and medium-sized business, many of which are owner-run, our industry has barely been affected by the developments on the financial markets so far. On the German domestic market and worldwide, the manufacturing trade is considered to be a reliable partner that avoids risks on the financial markets as far as possible on the basis of sound business strategies.

Market conditions may deteriorate arise as a result of falling demand on the part of patients and service providers, who in economically unsettled times tends to hold onto their money. After all, the dental market is a central element of the rapidly-growing health care market. However, based on experience, we do not expect the willingness of people to invest in their own health to be affected to any significant degree by general economic conditions.

Investments in our personal health are investments in our own well-being, in the quality of life, and hence investments in our own future. This is why cyclical fluctuations rarely had any permanent impact on patient behaviour in the past. Patient demand for health services is determined by specific impairments to health and the desire to be healthy again and enjoy life once more.

And how are things looking in terms of investments by our customers, the dentists and dental technician, I hear you ask?

Our experience has shown that investments by dentists and dental technicians will also only be affected by global economic developments to a very limited degree. At most, occasional delays or investment reticence were observed in the past in the case of large medical devices such as treatment units, x-ray equipment and apparatus in dental practices and laboratories. With all other product groups, sundries, dental prosthesis materials, small devices and instruments, dental practices and laboratories showed hardly any fluctuation in demand.

However, we believe that especially in turbulent times on the financial markets, specific commercial investments are the best way to hedge one’s personal finances with excellent future prospects.

It is therefore worthwhile for dentists, dental technicians and above all dental suppliers to plan a visit to the 33rd International Dental Show, in order to find out all about the latest innovations for dental practices and laboratories and the dental markets worldwide. Developments in medical technology and investments made by our industry in research and development are constantly resulting in new system solutions for dental practices and laboratories that are likely to be of considerable interest to dentists and dental technicians especially with regards to profitability. They will be able to see and experience first-hand the full spectrum of modern dentistry at the IDS 2009.

The importance of the dental segment in the health care market

Within the health care industry, the dental market is a central specific and independent part of the globally expanding health care market. Among other things, growth in this branch of industry and the economy is determined by: 

  • The ageing population; a phenomenon that is affecting virtually every nation on the globe equally.

  • The interest in aesthetic dentistry, which has also increased significantly in many parts of the world. In addition, progress in medical technology has led to people’s own teeth lasting longer.

  • The 4th German Oral Health Study (2006) proved that although optimum dental care on the part of the patients and the best possible professional prophylaxis result in teeth lasting longer, the risk of periodonitis increases with increasing age.

  • The steadily rising standard of living of people and national economies in emerging nations such as Russia, China, India and Brazil is a further driving force behind the development of the health care market.

So how is the German dental industry contributing to the worldwide health care and dental market?

Facts and figures on the German dental industry

In 2007, the 200 member companies of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers employed a workforce of almost 17,900 people both at home and abroad (+ 2.5 %). In 2007, our members generated turnover totalling almost 3.8 billion euros (+ 7.4 % compared to 2006). Of this amount, in excess of 2.1 billion euros was generated on international markets; an increase of at least nine per cent. Our companies are equally optimistic with regard to the export business in 2008, because 73 % the VDDI members anticipate rising sales, while just under 25% expect revenues to remain on par with those of 2007. Only three per cent of our members expect export revenues to fall in 2008. This means that we will be able to consolidate our export strength further in future. During the year under review, domestic sales accounted for some 1.6 billion euros, which represents an increase of almost 5 % compared to 2006.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The basic conditions on the global markets are characterised for all industry participants by increasing competition, which our German enterprises are facing up to, conscious of the fact that they are continuing to contribute energetically to dental progress and with their top technology, are actively helping to shape dental future. The generally known international currency and exchange rate fluctuations have had a particular impact on the development of the dental market. Nevertheless, our members have succeeded in further consolidating their positions in the global markets and in many cases have even been able to expand them significantly. The impressive increase in the export volumes posted by the German industry is last but not least no doubt decisively bolstered by the positive developments in the European dental markets. This growth development is underscored by a recent market study on European dental suppliers.

In this regard, I would like to point out some of the highlights of the abovementioned survey of the ADDE (Association of Dental Dealers in Europe) and the FIDE (Federation of the European Dental Industry): 

  • The absolute volume of corporate sales (not including metal implants) for all surveyed countries increased by around 6 per cent compared to 2006 to just under 5 billion euros.

  • Besides Germany further major European dental markets posted encouraging growth rates: Italy + 11 per cent, France + 7.5 per cent, UK + 8.6 per cent.

  • Sales of sundries in Europe increased by 5 per cent to 3.079 billion euros.

  • European sales of durable equipment increased by 9 per cent to around 1.4 billion euros. Sales of metal implants increased on average by 12 per cent to 685 million euros.

  • The individual sales segments accounted for the following market shares: Artificial teeth: 2 per cent, Technical service: 7 per cent, Capital goods: 29 per cent and Sundries: 62 per cent.

The development of the export business is of top priority for our globally oriented dental industry, something that is particularly obvious given our industry’s high export quota of currently well over 50 per cent. The basic conditions on the global markets are characterised for our companies, too, by increasing competition, which our companies are facing up to conscious of the fact that they are continuing to contribute energetically to dental progress and with their top technology are actively helping to shape the future of the dental industry. From that point of view, as part of both the German and global dental industries, we have good reason to look forward to the international industry meeting, the 33rd IDS!

< Europäische Fachpressekonferenz am 4. Dezember 2008 in Köln

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