Monday, April 10, 2017

Builders Merchants Market - Europe 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • There has been good growth in the West European Builders Merchant Market over the last 2 years with value growth of 6% from 2014-16.
  • Significant variations in the definition of 'builders merchants' exist across the 12 countries examined, with many countries having specialists addressing either the lightside or heavyside sector.
  • Germany, Italy and France were estimated to account for combined 63% value share in 2015 with the rest of the market spread across 9 other countries.
  • Market structures have continued to change with increasing influence and expansion policies of the larger multi-national groups such as Saint-Gobain, Grafton, CRH and Wolseley.
  • Merchant organisation share varies considerably between individual countries, with direct supply, buying groups and other retail channels providing significant competition in some countries.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Builders Merchants Market - Europe 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Barbour ABI acquires AMA Research

We can confirm that we are now part of Barbour ABI. We will continue to provide research reports and bespoke research services from our Cheltenham base as before, so customers should not notice any disruption or major changes with regards to subscriptions or other services. However, if anyone has any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us on 01242 235724.

We are very pleased to be part of Barbour ABI, a leading provider of construction intelligence services, and believe that our products and services will complement theirs.

The text of the full press release is below, together with further information about Barbour ABI. You can also view it on our website in the news section.

Deal extends Barbour ABI’s marketing services offering in Built Environment.

Barbour ABI today announces that it has acquired AMA Research (AMA), a trusted provider of market research, data and bespoke reports to the UK construction sector.  The business has been acquired on behalf of Barbour ABI from its owners, Keith Taylor and Andrew Hartley. 
The acquisition of AMA will significantly strengthen the market research proposition of Barbour ABI’s market-leading business which already provides sales leads, client/competitor monitoring and market analysis for the UK construction market through the Barbour ABI, Barbour Product Search and Office Moves brands.
AMA provides c.150 market research reports, databases and bespoke research services (including commissioned market research projects and business surveys) to UK construction companies, with a focus on finishes, fixtures and fittings.  AMA reports provide both quantitative and qualitative analysis of market trends and are well regarded across their core sectors. AMA’s 10-strong team are based in Cheltenham from where Keith Taylor will lead the business as Director, also joining Barbour ABI’s management team.
Simon Mahoney, Group Director, Barbour ABI, said:
"I am very pleased to announce this acquisition, which will enhance our current product offering and complement our existing business. We are pleased to have acquired a high quality product that we can use to respond to our clients’ requests for market research and insight, as well as helping us to attract new customers. We believe that AMA will provide further opportunities across the rest of our business and generate strong revenue growth in the future”.
Keith Taylor, Director, AMA Research, said:
"We are delighted to be part of the Barbour ABI team, I believe the combination of the two companies provides a unique and complementary range of services into the building and construction industry.  Both companies are well regarded and AMA Research’s library of high quality market intelligence and insight represents a leading resource, which can now be marketed much more widely throughout the Barbour ABI customer base, complementing other product areas and strengthening AMA Research’s marketing and sales across the building and construction industry.”

Notes to editors:
Press enquiries to:
Jonathan Touhey at Barbour ABI
t: 0151 353 3605
m: 07976 837339

About Barbour ABI:
Barbour ABI is a leading provider of construction intelligence services. With a team of in-house research specialists and a dedicated economics team, it provides commercially relevant insight and unique analysis of trends and developments within the building and construction industry.

Barbour ABI is the chosen provider of Construction New Orders estimates data to the Office for National Statistics, provider of the Government’s Construction and Infrastructure Pipeline and provides the planning application and development data to the Department for Communities and Local Government. Barbour ABI also provides data for independent organisations, such as the Construction Products Association.

Generator Hire - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • Generator hire has grown by over 20% in the 2013-2016 period.
  • Market size depends on definitions of products/support services but it is estimated at over £350m.
  • Application sectors are diverse with construction and 'industrial' the 2 largest sectors accounting for around 50% of the market.
  • The top 3 hirers account for a combined share of around 30%.
  • Forecasts for growth up to 2020 remain optimistic with good opportunities in the events sector.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Generator Hire Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

UK Event Equipment Hire sector now worth around £600m

The event equipment hire market has experienced growth since 2011, boosted in 2012 by the Olympic and Paralympic Games and by good weather in 2013 over the key events season, and there has been steady underlying growth since then, according to a new report published by AMA Research. The market is forecast to increase by a further 2% in 2017 to reach a value of around £600m. However, growth has been restricted by its highly competitive nature which has tended to increase pressure on prices.
The UK has a well-developed infrastructure of event destinations, venues and service suppliers, with estimates of around £40 billion annual income from UK events, which provides good opportunities for the event equipment hire market. There is no universally accepted definition of the ‘event hire’ sector, but AMA’s definition includes the key product groups of; staging & structures, portable buildings, audio-visual, power generation and climate control, interiors, traffic & crowd control, security, signage & portable access solutions and access & other plant hire.
It is estimated that the exhibitions & trade show sector accounts for the largest share of the event market, with an estimated 55-60% share. Other key sectors include sports, music, festivals & cultural events, corporate hospitability, charity events and hobby festivals. It is difficult to quantify the product mix as no two events are alike, but it is estimated that the largest equipment hire sectors are ‘staging, structures & seating’ and ‘portable buildings & sanitation’ – with a combined share of around 50% of the market according to AMA estimates. Other important hire sectors are power generation & climate control, audio-visual & lighting, signage, traffic & crowd control, security & portable access and interiors.
In terms of supply, this is a highly complex and fragmented market, with very few total event equipment hire companies. However, some sectors are more fragmented than others - for example, there are hundreds of companies supplying toilets, while sectors such as audio-visual equipment, power generation and staging are much more concentrated. ‘Cross-hiring’ is also a significant feature of this market, where hire companies’ own equipment levels are exceeded and they hire equipment from other companies as required.
Key trends in the market include increasing visitor expectations (reflected in a wider use of AV) and a greater focus on comfort and safety (marquees, environmental control, walkways, sanitation, power requirements) etc.  
“Overall, the event equipment hire market is expected to experience growth to 2020, although opportunities for individual hire companies are likely to vary depending on their product portfolio, network and local events” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “Whilst future growth rates can be significantly affected by changes in the climate in any given year, the underlying rate of growth is set to be positive”.
The market will continue to be highly dependent on performance in the overall events sector. One-off events, such as the Olympics in 2012 and the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, can significantly impact on the event industry, and upcoming events that should have a positive impact on the market include the 2017 World Athletics Championship in London and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The market is always prone to prevailing weather conditions in the peak Spring / Summer periods, but underlying trends remain positive given the general popularity of outdoor events and growing customer expectations for a ‘better experience’.
The ‘Event Equipment Hire Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

UK Health & Safety products market forecast to grow by 4% in 2017

The UK health and safety products market, in non-domestic applications, is estimated to have grown by 4% in 2016 in value terms, according to a new report by AMA Research. The market as a whole has experienced positive growth since 2014, driven by significant improvements in construction output - particularly in terms of housebuilding, a stronger manufacturing sector, ongoing changes or updates to legislation and higher levels of awareness and compliance.
Manufacturing is still relatively volatile; however, output rose to a 30-month high in December 2016, in part the result of a weaker pound stimulating exports. Stronger demand for UK products from the local as well as US, European, Chinese and other global markets has also benefitted business activity and employment levels. The maturity of the health and safety products market, and heavy reliance on construction and manufacturing activity and output, also means that it is reliant on public and private sector confidence, levels of spending and investment, and employment growth.
Simplification of health and safety legislation has led to a substantial fall in the number of health and safety inspections carried out in Britain, and also to a decline in the stock of health and safety legislation. At the same time, there has been a progressive rise in the value of fines levied – particularly since the introduction of new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences, which came into force on 1 February 2016, and this is leading to higher levels of compliance generally. Also boosting compliance levels is the focus on higher levels of comfort and improved wearability in new product development and innovation.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) dominates the health and safety products market, and accounted for an estimated value share of around 42% in 2016. The sector covers a very wide range of products including head, face, eye, hearing and respiratory products, as well as clothing, gloves, safety footwear and fall protection equipment. Hygiene products and first aid products also make up significant segments of the market.
The hygiene product sector covers both skin care and washroom products such as tissues, towels and wipes, while the first aid product sector is dominated by general purpose first aid kits. For consumables, users tend to opt for lower cost products that meet the minimum required standard, and there is also a strong presence of unbranded products in these sectors, something which has constrained market growth to some extent. There has, however, been growth in special purpose kits within the market due to the introduction of a British Standard in 2014 focusing on vehicle kits.
Distribution of health and safety products is influenced by a range of factors that includes the fragmentation of the market in terms of both products and end user groups, the trend for single source procurement, and the growth of the internet as a medium for both sales and price/product comparison. Distribution trends also vary between product groups, with technical, specialist items sourced from specialist suppliers, and consumables often purchased from general/industrial distributors or office suppliers. Competition will remain a factor in the market, a result of the growing number of companies supplying health and safety products, particularly at the commodity end of the market.
“In value terms, growth is likely to remain steady in 2017, at around 4%, underpinned by the relative strength in the construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as higher levels of awareness and compliance with health and safety legislation” said Fiona Watts of AMA Research. “However, given the uncertainties in the wider economy and the potential for a slowing of both economic growth and the labour market, we expect the rate of growth to decline slightly between 2018 and 2021.”
The impact of Brexit and, more importantly, the discussions and speculation surrounding are highly likely to impact business sentiment and levels of investment. Consumer spending is also likely to slow as a result of rising inflation. However, short term impacts are always unpredictable and have the potential to impact the market significantly in any given year. These include outbreaks of highly infectious diseases such as influenza, norovirus, meningitis and others; hospital acquired infections and epidemics, and the wider threat of antibiotic resistance.

The ‘Health & Safety Products Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Passive Fire Protection - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The market for passive fire protection products is expected to see value growth of 8% by 2020.
  • New build growth in the offices and industrial sectors has supported demand across a number of product areas including structural fire resistance, glass, partitions, doors etc.
  • Fire resistant doors, fitting and seals are the largest sector of the market, accounting for around 60% of total market value.
  • Trade sources suggest that intumescent coatings are used in up to 70% of new steel construction.
  • New construction activity remains a key driver for passive fire protection products, and forecasts for 2015 indicate that non-domestic new work will increase by 4%.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Passive Fire Protection Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Value growth of 6% in the UK domestic garden leisure market in 2016

In 2016, it is estimated that the UK domestic garden leisure market - which includes garden furniture, barbecues and accessories - grew by 6% in value terms, compared with 2015. A new report by AMA Research, indicates that the performance of the market has been linked to improving economic conditions in recent years, also underpinned by reasonable spring and summer weather overall. There has also been a trend towards higher priced items as people invest in their homes.
However, while significant change in expenditure on domestic garden leisure products is due to a combination of factors which include the economy, consumer disposable income and confidence levels, the impact of the weather on the garden leisure sector in any given year cannot be underestimated. This is particularly relevant around the time of major sporting events and Bank Holidays, which provide opportunities for socialising outdoors.
Garden furniture continues to account for the largest share in terms of value mix, though the proportionate share of garden furniture has marginally declined in recent years, given growth in accessories and barbecues. This has been driven by the affordability of accessories, on the one hand, but also by product improvements and innovations in barbecues which have been focused on better performance, ease of use and versatility.
In terms of material mix, metal garden furniture has the highest share by value in 2016, closely followed by wood, with plastic/resin (including rattan effect) estimated to account for a slightly lower share. In recent years, metal and plastic have gained share at the expense of wood. However, evidence suggests that, whilst the trend towards weather-resistant all-year-round materials such as resin effect continues, there has been some renewed interest in different types of hardwood.
“The barbecue market in 2016 has been characterised by an element of trading up to more sophisticated models within each fuel sector, but also the continuation of the trend for replacing charcoal with gas” comments Jane Tarver of AMA Research. “Other characteristics include a better-informed customer base who are seeking product improvements and innovations for replacements, as well as the desire to use garden spaces for more regular outdoor dining and entertaining.”
The barbecue accessories sector includes barbecue fuel, domestic outdoor heaters, and other accessories such as tools, covers, cooking utensils, replacement parts, etc. The sector is dominated by fuel which is estimated to account for over 60% value share.
Garden leisure products are primarily sourced and manufactured abroad with key source regions including the Far East, China and Eastern Europe. Distribution of garden leisure products is centred on the DIY multiples channel with share estimated at 44% in 2016. However, the growth of the internet sales has been a key characteristic of the market in recent years with sales increasing for specialist e-tailers as well as other more traditional channels as omni-channel approaches are increasingly taken up.
Growth in the domestic garden leisure market is forecast to slow from 2016-17 onwards, with annual growth rates of 3-4% currently forecast to 2021. The domestic garden leisure market is mature, with high household penetration levels, and volume growth is likely to be moderate in the short to medium term. In addition, the UK is currently facing economic uncertainty over the short-medium term as the Brexit process begins.
The issue of increasing import prices is likely to be a key feature of the domestic garden leisure market into the medium-term due to the high levels of import penetration and this may result in a swing back towards cheaper replacement products for garden furniture, barbecues and accessories. Household incomes could also be squeezed due to inflationary pressures and uncertainties regarding job security and the wider economic environment may lead to the deferment of replacement garden leisure products.
However, the key determinant for the garden leisure market remains the British weather which can lead to wide annual variations in performance. Our forecasts assume that conditions remain relatively benign, similar to previous years, with largely favourable weather in spring and summer when consumers make most use of outdoor equipment.

The ‘Domestic Garden Leisure Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

UK industrial consumable products distribution market worth £1.8bn

The distribution of ‘industrial consumable products’ is fragmented and difficult to define. AMA Research have recently published a new report on this complex market in the UK which, as defined by AMA, is estimated to be worth over £1.8 billion in 2016. This is a mature market which has experienced relatively stable conditions in recent years, and estimates indicate the sector was relatively flat during 2015/16.
The key product sectors of the ‘industrial consumable products’ market according to AMA’s definition are power & hand tools, health & safety, engineering & metalworking, fluid & air control, workshop & maintenance, storage, security, access, site equipment & handling equipment, with fasteners, janitorial and abrasives products each accounting for smaller shares of between 2-4%.
In recent years, the market has benefited from a growing focus on health & safety, energy efficiency and environmental issues, which have largely been legislation-driven. In addition, the development of value added services, such as VMI (vendor managed inventory), continues to represent a growth area, as customers look for a wider level of support from the major distributors.
Key external factors impacting the market include the state of the economy and the relative performance of key customer sectors. Also impacting on the market are general levels of maintenance & repair, legislation, costs of fuel, energy & raw materials, and the volatility of Sterling. The sector has an extremely fragmented customer base operating in a diverse range of end-use applications, which tend to experience varying performance levels. Some sectors of the market are relatively stable (such as utilities and food & drink) whilst other sectors are more volatile and/or cyclical, such as automotive.
Distribution is diverse with a mix of some distributors operating in all product sectors, while others focus on a narrower range underpinned by their history and expertise in key markets. One-stop sourcing remains important for customers, which is particularly applicable to commodity type products. This trend is underpinned assisted by a growing focus on e-commerce as company websites can display more products than shown in catalogues, though predictions of the death of the catalogue have not been borne out to date.
“The impact of Brexit on the industrial sector and thereby the industrial distributors market is extremely difficult to forecast and its implications are likely to become clearer as the UK begins the process of negotiating trade agreements in order to leave the EU” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “With a recent study indicating that many manufacturers are likely to hold back their investment in plant and machinery, maintenance and repair will continue to be important, providing opportunities that will help to underpin the market, which is forecast to experience modest growth of 1-2% per annum to 2021.”
As indicated earlier, the future performance of the market is closely linked to the overall state of the economy and general conditions in sectors such as manufacturing, engineering, transportation, utilities, public sector and construction. Increasing levels of health & safety, environmental and energy legislation are driving product demand, with value added opportunities. The future performance of individual distributors will primarily depend on their product and customer profile, together with regional strengths, pricing and stockholding strategy. In addition, those that are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by value added services such as VMI are likely to benefit.

The ‘General Industrial Products Distribution Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets.  The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Kitchen & Bathroom Products - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The market for kitchen and bathroom products in the housebuilding sector is expected to see value growth of 4% by 2020.
  • Kitchen appliances were the largest sector of kitchen and bathroom products in the housebuilders market with 40% share by value.
  • Built-in appliances dominate the mix of kitchen appliances in the new build sector accounting for a 75% share by value.
  • Housebuilders have focused on additional bathroom facilities in new homes in recent years with 78% containing at least one en suite bathroom.
  • Wetroom products are increasing in popularity and are expected to account for a 33% value share of new build shower products by 2020.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Kitchen & Bathroom Products in the Housebuilding Furniture Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Electrical Accessories - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The UK market for electrical accessories is expected to grow by 10% through to 2020.
  • Low voltage cable systems account for 60% of the overall Wiring Accessories market.
  • Circuit protection equipment is the largest product sector within the Low Voltage Circuit Protection & Switchgear market, accounting for 40% of the market, ahead of switchboards and distribution boards.
  • The outlook for low voltage cable systems is positive as the economy modestly improves, leading to growth of 12% by 2020.
  • The wiring accessories market is dominated by 5 key suppliers which together accounted for an estimated 59% of sales.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Electrical Accessories Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724