Thursday, November 20, 2014

UK Household Textiles Market worth almost £1.4bn

UK household textiles market was worth an estimated £1.36 billion in 2013, according to a recent report by AMA Research, with further growth of 3-4% estimated for 2014.

This market is mature and demand is heavily influenced by external factors such as household income, consumer confidence and spending, underlying strength of the housing market and trends in home decor.

Sales of bed linen are valued at around £560m in 2013, with steady growth forecast for 2014. Duvet covers accounted for the largest sub-sector, followed by sheets, pillowcases, bedspreads/throws/bed runners and blankets. Sales of filled products increased by around 2% in 2012-13 but with good growth in 2014 as the economy slowly recovers. Sales of duvets are likely to remain positive with evidence of consumers trading up to higher value products likely to underpin the sub-sector. The market for bathroom textiles is valued at over £200m, with towels accounting for over 80% of the sector.

Supply and distribution of household textiles is extremely fragmented reflecting the wide product range and alternative routes to market. Many suppliers and retailers have reported increased footfall and stronger demand, while others have seen less of an upturn, and there have been a number of high profile closures in recent years. Some traditional retail outlets have also come under increasing pressure from online sales channels.

The rise in housing transactions and significant improvement in the number of first time buyers are key to ongoing growth in demand for household textiles. The market is likely to experience shorter replacement cycles in some sectors into the medium-term as consumer confidence and spending recovers, which should also help underpin steady growth.

The bed linen sector is set to remain the largest sector with share value remaining at around 40%, while a high demand for duvet covers, particularly for children’s character sets, is likely to underpin the sector into the medium-term. Duvets are likely to benefit from trading up to more natural materials and consumers owning different weights for summer/winter usage, whilst pillows and cushions are likely to show steady underlying growth.

“Polarisation of the market is set to continue into the medium-term with intense price pressure at the lower end of market likely to constrain future value growth” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “Continuation of the trend to ‘on-shoring’ may lead to some value growth in the mid-upper market sector, though this could be partially offset by low cost imports driving the lower market sector into the medium-term.”

The current positive trends in the housing market and underlying economy are likely to remain key drivers for growth in the short-medium term. However, more moderate annual rates of growth are expected towards the end of the forecast period in 2017-18, resulting in market value of around £1.6bn by 2018.

The ‘Household Textiles Market Report - 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Pharmaceutical Construction sector sees slowdown in growth

UK is the 9th largest pharmaceutical market in the world, and the sector makes a greater contribution to the UK economy than any other industrial sector – and also generates an annual trade surplus of almost £3bn.

The industry is particularly important in terms of its R&D contribution and the pharmaceutical sector alone accounts for more UK-based business R&D than any other manufacturing sector – around £4.2bn is spent on pharmaceutical R&D in the UK, almost 25% of the total industrial R&D spend.

The top 10 global pharmaceutical companies account for around £24bn or almost half of total UK sector turnover. Many of the top global pharmaceutical companies have a considerable manufacturing and research presence in the UK, with 12 out of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies accounting for a total of 55 UK sites.

Known as ‘The Golden Triangle’ the centres of London, Cambridge, Oxford and Stevenage house the UK’s largest biomedical cluster in the UK. Clusters of pharmaceutical companies are also found in areas close to universities. The North West, in particular, is home to ‘Big Pharma’, with several global pharmaceutical companies operating a facility in the region.

Capital expenditure by pharmaceutical companies in the UK has been in decline, with R&D capital expenditure falling from £496m in 2002 to just £137m in 2012, and manufacturing capital expenditure declining from a peak of nearly £1bn in 2001 to just £422m in 2012.

However, the Government has announced a forward pipeline of over £200m worth of capital projects in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors between now and 2018. In addition to these confirmed capital projects, a number of expansion plans have been announced by leading pharmaceutical companies, which are reviewed in AMA’s report and should be of interest to construction companies and their supply chains operating in the pharmaceutical sector and to suppliers of laboratory and allied products. Increasing specialisation within the pharmaceutical industry has also brought about varied opportunities for construction engineers and contractors, and also broadening into other niche construction sectors in advanced manufacturing, food processing etc.

“Current design and construction trends are moving away from ‘bespoke’ buildings to flexible and mobile laboratories and cleanrooms requiring less time to design and build, and incorporating modern methods of construction. The demand for mobile or modular cleanrooms is increasing driven by industry cutbacks which have forced many pharmaceutical companies to rethink their business and manufacturing operations” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research.

The ‘Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Construction Sector Report – UK 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Slow but steady growth forecast in the UK Electrical Accessories Market

The electrical accessories market is estimated to be valued at just under £1.5bn in 2014, according to a new report from AMA Research. The market has seen growth of 16% since it bottomed out in 2009 and is now only 7% below its peak in 2007.

Although the difficult economic situation impacted negatively on market value between 2008 and 2010, a substantial rise in raw material costs inflating prices and offsetting low demand, coupled with modest improvements in the economy and growth in the construction market resulted in 10% market growth in 2011. While the market declined in 2012, signs that the economy was improving started to appear in 2013, housebuilding picked up and in addition, the electrical accessories market continued to be supported by major public sector projects, committed to prior to cuts, and as a result the market saw healthy growth in 2013.

The electrical accessories market, according to AMA’s definition, is dominated by low voltage cable systems with value share of over 50%, followed by circuit protection with around a quarter of the market and wiring accessories, which accounted for the remainder. As the electrical accessories market is mature, the product mix has remained fairly stable in recent years.

Raw material prices play an important role in determining market performance for electrical accessories, with the price of cable in particular being highly dependent on copper prices. These have fluctuated widely in recent years. Legislation on energy efficiency and carbon emissions as well as volatile fuel prices has seen interest in, and use of, integrated systems spreading into the wider domestic and light commercial markets to provide greater control for heating, lighting and all electrical systems.

Activity at supplier level during the recession has been focused on consolidation, rationalisation and cost cutting exercises, with many taking the opportunity to integrate earlier acquisitions, streamlining purchasing processes and even repositioning their businesses.

As the electrical accessories market is a mature and sizeable market, recovery will be relatively slow and steady. However, market value is expected to surpass its 2007 peak level by 2016. Pressure on pricing is likely to remain a key aspect of the market for some time. The current focus on solutions and systems within the electrical products market will continue to lead to demand for integrated systems in both the domestic and commercial sectors in the medium term, as well as an increased use of pre-fabricated wiring assemblies and wireless switches.

The demand for environmentally friendly products continues to be a major issue and this is a factor which is likely to be more influential in future years, as homeowners and business operators alike, use whatever means they can to improve the environmental credentials of their properties. This will lead to increased use of individual and central controls for lighting and other electrical products, perhaps creating demand in the electrical accessories sector.

Product development will continue to focus on environmental efficiency, wireless systems, integrated controls, reduced space and impact, quick installation such as prefabricated units and low installation application such as plug and play connections to reduce time on site and cut ‘down time’ during RMI situations.

“Current forecasts indicate annual growth rates of 5-6% from 2015 as the economy improves and house building activity increases” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. “It is expected that the market value will be around £1.8bn in 2018. However, this will depend on the speed of economic recovery and any fluctuations in raw material prices.”

The ‘Electrical Accessories Market Report - UK 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Consistent growth in Bed Market despite intense price competition

The market for beds and mattresses fell steadily in the 2008-2011 period, before showing consistent growth to reach an estimated value of £650m in 2013.

This market is mature and as such is experiencing high levels of price competition, in particular from imported products. Faster replacement cycles and trading up to higher value products are some of the factors that have contributed to market growth in recent years.

Divans account for around a third of the market by value, although market share has been eroded steadily by the strong growth in demand for bedsteads, including wooden, upholstered and metal bedsteads. Overall bedsteads currently account for around 28%, with growth supported by a wider range of product options.

Mattresses sold separately have grown to account for around a quarter of the market in value terms. This growth has been underpinned by the growth in the higher value pocket sprung sector and by the growing popularity of other materials, such as memory foam. Mattresses are one specific area of the beds market where opportunities for value growth exist, with consumers trading up to higher quality products. In addition, the growth of bedsteads has also supported the demand for higher quality mattresses.

During the last 5 years there has been a marked trend away from single to double beds and, in particular, to king sized beds. This growth can be attributed largely to falls in the price of double beds relative to single beds, with prices being driven down as a result of the high level of price competition within the market.

The beds sector is dominated by several large suppliers. Total imports of beds and mattresses have increased steadily in the last few years, reaching £164.2m in 2013, with imports of metal bedsteads accounting for 53% of bed imports by value in that year. Since declining to £23.7m in 2006 exports have expanded steadily to reach £52m in 2013. The distribution of beds is dominated by the furniture multiples with 46% of the market.

Total sales of beds are forecast to reach £760m by 2018, with the market showing steady and increasing growth during that period. This market is also likely to benefit from investment in the contract sector, particularly in the hotel and leisure sector, although this may be offset by reduced Government expenditure in the education and health sectors.

Manufacturers are likely to continue to add value with features such as integral side tables, storage and upholstered bedsteads, particularly in leather, along with higher quality mattresses, in order to combat the declining average prices in the beds sector.

“The mature nature of the beds market has resulted in the emergence of niche sectors, which are expected to support volume growth in the near future, as prospects for the UK economy improve. In addition, the market will be supported by higher levels of replacement purchasing, added-value purchases and some value growth at the upper end of the market” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research.

However, the beds and mattress market is mature and heavily reliant on manufacturers encouraging shorter replacement cycles. As a result the development of value added features and the communication of these benefits to the consumer are likely to continue to be key elements in terms of product development and the stimulation of early replacement sales. Parts of the contract sector are not expected to experience the high levels of growth seen in the past, as expenditure in sectors such as health, education and the MOD has been reduced as part of the Government’s austerity measures.

The ‘Upholstered Furniture and Beds Market Report - UK 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Waste Management Market expected to reach £24bn in 2018

By value, data indicates that the market for the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of controlled waste was worth an estimated £18.9 billion in 2013. Strong underlying annual growth rates have been driven by the implementation of EU Directives, aimed at reducing the volumes of landfilled waste and increasing the levels of material recovery through recycling, composting and energy-from-waste.

Above all, the impact of the Landfill Tax escalator on landfill gate fees has made these alternative approaches more commercially attractive. The downturn in the UK economy suppressed growth rates in 2012 due to lower levels of waste arisings, declining prices for many types of recyclate and the delay to many infrastructure projects.

Over the medium-longer term, however, the key 2020 targets for both the EU Landfill Directive and renewable energy mean that regardless of the economic situation, central government, local authorities and businesses do not have the option of scaling back waste reduction and recycling objectives. There remains a pressing need for the UK to improve waste recovery rates, particularly in the commercial and industrial waste (CIW) sector, and to develop a suitable waste collection, treatment and recycling infrastructure in this sector.

From 2014 through to 2018, it is expected that there will be an increase in the market growth rate, underpinned by the EU Landfill Directive target for 2020 which will necessitate an increase in waste recovery rates and a major increase in investment in the infrastructure needed to deliver this, by possibly as much as £5bn.

To achieve both these aims, energy-from waste (EfW) technologies, in particular advanced conversion technologies (ACT), will be core to government plans to meeting both the Landfill Directive and renewable electricity targets. Despite opposition from local interest groups and NGOs, there are a large number of 'mass burn' EfW incineration and ACT plants in the development pipeline that will be used to dispose of large volumes of the 21 million tonnes of residual ‘black bag’ waste currently being landfilled.

There has also been marked growth in the rolling out of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants treating food waste, underpinned by Landfill Directive requirements to divert biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. From just one facility in 2005, there were over 60 AD plants taking food waste at the end of 2013.

Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research said: “The current rate of expansion and convergence with the EfW sector continues to attract new players into the UK waste management industry, particularly from overseas. The market has also seen further consolidation among UK companies over the past 2-3 years.”

By 2018, it is estimated that the market for the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of controlled waste will be worth around £24bn, following annual growth rates of between 3-7% per annum during the period.

The ‘Waste Management Market Report - 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Energy efficiency drives growth in the UK Central Heating market

The UK domestic central heating market is substantial, with an estimated total value of around £1.1 billion at manufacturers’ prices in 2014. Over recent years this market has benefited from more stringent energy efficiency legislation and a drive towards sustainability.

Currently around 92% of UK homes have central heating installed, but while the market can now be considered mature, it still offers plenty of growth potential through upgrade and replacement purchases as well as product innovation to improve thermal performance, energy efficiency and control.

Between 2009 and 2012, the UK domestic central heating market was comparatively volatile, in line with the uncertain economic situation at this time. However, since January 2013 the market for domestic central heating products has seen a notable increase, with demand picking up as the economy improves. This growth can be partly attributed to the introduction of Government initiatives such as the ECO scheme and the Green Deal in 2013 as well as the further tightening of energy efficiency legislation in all product sectors of this market.

Estimated at £637 million at MSP in 2013, the boiler sector dominates the industry's sales. This is followed by radiators, heating controls and circulator pumps. The majority of these products are distributed via the trade channels such as builders/plumbers merchants and electrical wholesalers. However, replacement and retrofit products are often distributed via the DIY multiples and Online retailers. Other distributors include specialist heating retailers, hardware stores and catalogues. A number of products are also sold into OEMs.

In 2013 the market for domestic central heating products could be broken down into three key areas; refurbishment, which accounts for over 80% of sales, new build and first time installations. A major area of support for the market is expected to come from the domestic refurbishment sector. With new legislative measures, householders are now more aware of energy efficiency and the environmental impact of domestic central heating products.

The future performance of the UK domestic heating market is likely to be influenced by overall trends in house building, home improvement, fuel prices, energy efficiency legislation, renewable technologies, and technological developments also niche market drivers such as the self-build and conservatory markets. 

Increasing legislation represents a major influence in the long term development of this market. In addition to the demands of the European ErP directive, all radiators sold in the UK since July 2013 have to conform and have outputs verified to British Standard BS-EN442, something which is supporting the UK radiator industry as a whole, as it will eliminate low cost, imported products that do not meet this new mandatory standard. Higher levels of efficiency are also likely to be driven by the 2014 revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations.

Increasing awareness of energy usage and cost among consumers, partly as a result of the smart meters installation programme under which 53 million gas and electricity meters will be replaced with smart meters by 2020, is also a factor. This will also drive growth and product development within the heating controls sector, as demand for more sophisticated control products filters through into the consumer segment. The Governments’ renewable energy strategy with initiatives such as the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) is likely to lead to further development of heating systems that are compatible with these technologies.

“The outlook for the UK domestic central heating market in Q4-2014 remains positive, with the continuing recovery in the UK economy and the related upturn in housebuilding and consumer confidence. However, with the election in mid-2015, uncertainties do exist regarding Government policy after this time” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. “By 2018 it is estimated that the UK domestic central heating market will be worth some £1.3 billion, representing an increase of around 18% when compared to the estimated market size in 2014.“ 

The ‘Domestic Central Heating Market Report - 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.