We met Eloi PLANES, Managing Director of the FLUIDRA Group, at the recent Salon in Lyon. He granted us an interview during which he analyzed and took stock of the pool market in 2009 and 2010. He also spoke to us about FLUIDRA's positioning and development in the water sector.

EuroSpaPoolNews / Michele Ravizza: Mr. Eloi PLANES, after the difficulties experienced in 2009, what is your analysis and what is your perspective of the swimming pool market in 2010?

Eloi PLANES: We think the worst is over. All the swimming pool markets have suffered because of the international situation, but they proved to be rather resistant to the crisis because they have a strong ability to attract the end consumer.
So far, we see countries that are recovering slowly, such as those of Southern Europe, countries where recovery is easier, like France, Germany and Austria, and regions with strong development such as South Africa Australia and Southeast Asia.

EuroSpaPoolNews / Michele Ravizza: What was the impact of the crisis on the pool market?

Eloi PLANES: There was a selection that was fatal to weaker companies, but those who remained in the market have had to concentrate their efforts on product innovation and a search for excellence in services offered to clients. In this sense, Fluidra is a global forerunner; the launching of many new products and the satisfaction of our customers that we witness every day are proof of this.

EuroSpaPoolNews / Michele Ravizza: Regarding Fluidra as a group, what are the strong points of your strategy in the water management sector?

Eloi PLANES: Fluidra's strategy is based on the internationalization of the Group. Right now we are looking at markets such as Egypt, South Africa and Thailand with great interest and we wish to continue investing in two or three emerging markets every two years.
This is part of our plan for diversification on an international scale with a view to offering products that are unlike those of the pool sector but which still remain in the field of water management.
Regarding the pool market, our strategy is to continue to develop a product line that improves the lives of users, even in terms of health, and which is environmentally friendly.

EuroSpaPoolNews / Michele Ravizza: At the end of this year, we will be celebrating ten years of the creation of EuroSpaPoolNews.com. Thank you for having accompanied us throughout this period and for having stood by us since the beginning: what more can we do to improve upon the information regarding the pool sector?

Eloi PLANES: You have already attained a very important goal - which is to provide a global view of the market; thanks to your various media supports, I get to know what's happening in the pool world, there is no other magazine that does what you do; if I can give you some advice, it would be to increase the frequency of your publications and carry on keeping us informed about emerging markets.