ACIMIT Reports 18-Percent Drop In Italian Textile Machinery Production

The Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) reports that preliminary
year-end 2008 estimates indicate sector production totaled 2.285 billion euros – 18-percent lower
than in 2007, with the decline spread between domestic and export sales.

The export market totaled 1.782 billion euros in 2008, compared with 2.151 billion euros the
previous year. China remained the leading customer at 249 million euros, which was 25 percent lower
than in 2007. India was second at 110 million euros, a drop of 12 percent; and Turkey followed at
85 million euros, down 53 percent. Exports to fourth-place Brazil surged 22 percent to 66 million
euros, and shipments to seventh-place Russia jumped 59 percent to 47 million euros. Egypt and
Bangladesh, at ninth and 10th place respectively, also increased their orders of textile machinery;
while fifth-place Germany, sixth-place United States and eighth-place Switzerland placed fewer
orders than in 2007.

ACIMIT reported the drop in orders was even more precipitous for the last half of 2008 alone,
with a 52-percent drop compared with the same period in 2007. Furthermore, orders to date in 2009
are continuing the downward slide.

“A recent study conducted by ACIMIT shows that the most critical issues facing its members
relate to the current credit crunch, with an increase in the spread requested by banks on credit to
businesses, and a demand for greater guarantees in providing credit lines,” said ACIMIT President
Paolo Banfi.

In an effort to support its members, the association is partnering with the Ministry for
Economic Development and the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade to implement approximately 25
initiatives in 2009, including technology symposiums, trade fair participation and training courses
in about 10 of the industry’s most promising countries and markets.

“The main objective of our requests is to get through the current crisis with the entire
industry – suppliers, machinery producers, customers – becoming more competitive, and without
losing our capital of know-how, both in terms of technology and human resources, which has thus far
contributed so significantly to the success of the textile machinery sector and of our ‘Made in
Italy’ throughout the world,” Banfi said.

March 17, 2009