11 - 17 April 2001

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Manufacturing investments more than double last year
- budding radio, TV and communications sectors leads the climb

According to statistics released by the National Office of Statistics, total investment in manufacturing more than doubled last year, with Lm74.8 million being pumped into the industry. This compares with last year's Lm35.1 million.

Not surprisingly, Malta's strong radio, TV and communications equipment sector accounted for the better part of new investments, which more than half the global amount with a sum of Lm43 million.

Over the course of last year, meanwhile, total manufacturing sales rose by 29.7 per cent, Lm263.5 million and reached Lm 1.15 billion – up from Lm887.4 million recorded in 1999.

As in the case of investments, these sales mainly derived from the radio, TV and communication sector. Over 2000, the sector's sales increased by 61.4 per cent, Lm261.4, to Lm 687.2. This compares to the Lm425.8 worth of goods sold from the sector in 1999.

However, sales improvements were also noted in the performance of the food and beverages, tobacco, textiles, plastic and rubber products, fabricated metal products, machinery and equipment, the car industry and in furniture and manufacturing N.E.C.

Meanwhile, drops in sales were registered in the clothes, leather, wood, paper, printing and publishing, coke, petroleum and chemicals, non-metallic minerals, basic metals, office machinery, electrical machinery, medical and precision equipment and the transport equipment sectors.

At the end of December 2000, employment in the surveyed manufacturing concerns stood at 20,187 - a net increase of 585 on the previous year.

On its own the radio, TV and communications sector accounted for 448 or 50 per cent of all new job creation in the manufacturing industry, while most other sectors recorded employment increases somewhat smaller in scale.

The transport equipment sector, meanwhile, accounted for 42.3 per cent of job losses recorded for the industry over last year. Additional downsizing was noted in textiles leather; paper, printing and publishing; basic metals, the fabricated metal products furniture and manufacturing N.E.C., office machinery and the car industry sectors.

Total earnings from employment during 2000 were slightly higher and grew by Lm4.8 million to Lm113.2 million when compared to the previous year. In the same vein, average employment earnings in manufacturing increased to Lm107.83 from Lm106.31 in the previous year.

During last year's fourth quarter, total sales by manufacturing enterprises amounted to Lm 317.3 million, an increase of 33 per cent, or Lm78.7 million, over the same quarter in 1999.

Again, a significant increase in sales was registered by the radio, TV and communications sector, with sales increasing by 65.9 per cent, or Lm77.9, to Lm196.1 million from Lm118.2 million over the same quarter in 1999.

Among the sectors registering sales improvements during this period were tobacco, textiles, leather, paper, printing and publishing, coke, petroleum and chemicals, machinery and equipment, electrical machinery, medical and precision equipment, the car industry, furniture and manufacturing N.E.C. sectors.

However, drops in sales were registered by the food and beverages, clothes, wood, plastic and rubber products, non-metallic minerals, basic metals, fabricated metal products, office machinery and the transport equipment sectors.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt