Thursday, November 30, 2017

Good growth in the modular floorcoverings sector underpinned by greater integration of flooring products

Higher confidence levels in the private commercial sector has been a key driver for growth for the modular floorcoverings market in 2016-17 according to a new report by AMA Research. Growth of 4% in 2016 and a similar rate expected for 2017 has meant that modular floorcoverings have performed better than the wider total floorcoverings market. Encompassing carpet tile, vinyl tile, floor tiles, including ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles, and other niche products, the market is highly competitive and increasingly price sensitive.
The trend for integrating different flooring materials within a single installation has also driven uptake of modular flooring products, and the popularity of LVT in both the domestic and contract sectors remains a key factor driving both sector growth and trends in the market. Although modular floorcoverings products are utilised in both the domestic and contract end-use sectors, the contract sector holds largest share estimated at around 65% in 2016-17. However, a key trend in recent years has been the increased uptake of some products, such as LVT and porcelain floor tiles within the domestic sector.

Carpet tiles account for the largest value share of the market, estimated at around 37% in 2016-17, with sales having followed a broadly positive path since 2012. Demand for carpet tiles has been underpinned by growth for key end-use sectors such as commercial offices and education, although are indications that sales of carpet tiles in 2017 have fallen below expected levels. The sector is also characterised by continued downward pressure on prices.

The vinyl tile sector has benefited from increased demand for luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) in recent years and LVT continues to outperform the wider modular floorcoverings market, and is also a key driver of demand in the modular flooring sector. Sales of modular vinyl products continued to strengthen 2016-17, with demand underpinned by the contract sector as well as a buoyant demand from the domestic sector. Market values are, however, being constrained by high levels of competition and significant downward pressure on prices, which is also impacting suppliers’ margins.

The floor tiles market, which includes ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, glass, cement, etc, saw value growth of 3% in 2016 and is forecast to achieve a similar growth rate in 2017. This upturn has been the result of a strong recovery in both housing and commercial construction. Demand for floor tiles in the UK is underpinned by positive performance in the kitchen and bathroom sectors, the result of a buoyant housing market and higher levels of consumer confidence and spending.

Demand for natural stone floor coverings has been boosted by the popularity of natural materials in the home and the trend for using neutrals and earth shades – particularly greys, in both kitchens and bathrooms. Stone flooring also has high eco-credentials, an increasingly important consideration for specifiers. However, all the products in this category have faced increasing competition from alternative smooth flooring types, in particular laminate and luxury vinyl tile (LVT).

“Prospects for the UK modular floorcoverings market are for continued growth in the short to medium term, although the rate of growth is expected to slow slightly in 2017 and may decline even further from around 2019-21” said Jane Tarver of AMA Research,
Sustained demand from the contract sector is likely to underpin the market into the medium-term, however the level of competition between products is likely to increase and price competition is likely to intensify”.

One of the key factors likely to affect medium to longer-term prospects remains the position of the UK in the post-Brexit world. Exchange rate fluctuations due to the lower value of Sterling against both the Euro and the US Dollar are already beginning to have an impact on prices for some products with the modular floorcoverings market having significant import penetration rates particularly for carpet tiles, LVT and floor tiles.

The ‘Modular Floorcoverings 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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Technology and sustainability key drivers of the UK Contract Cleaning market

Following three years of marginal growth, the UK contract cleaning market accelerated between 2014 and 2016 in line with the economy. Uncertainty caused by factors such as Brexit mean that this market growth is unlikely to be sustained over the next few years. Looking forward, demand is likely to be relatively buoyant in the transport sector, while the retail, commercial offices and the government sectors are likely to provide fewer opportunities, at least in the short term.
Contract cleaning is a mature market covering both single and multi-service contracts, in the commercial, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, transport, local authority and central government sectors. There has been an underlying trend towards greater levels of outsourcing over the last decade which has driven demand for the contracting out of cleaning services. Cleaning and hygiene services often form part of a total facilities management contract, typically comprising around 12-15% of the contract value.     
Despite over 40,000 businesses operating in the cleaning industry, the market for contractors is dominated by a relatively small number of large IFS/IFM and multi service providers and large and medium sized specialist cleaning contractors. There is also a significant franchise sector in the market, as cleaning remains one of the most popular franchise opportunities, offering a relatively low-cost investment, in a robust market with relatively few barriers to entry.
Fiona Watts of AMA Research said: ”Cleaning is one of the most competitive of all contracted-out sectors, and profit margins are under significant pressure due to rising labour costs and increasing raw material and equipment costs. In addition, there is pressure on the cleaning industry to improve standards, particularly in the healthcare sector, while also increasing efficiency.”
The drive towards more sustainable cleaning practices has become an important issue within the industry, with clients demanding more sustainable practices from contract cleaning companies.
The market is also embracing the use of technology, which is driving advances in performance and efficiency. For example, the first fully automated robotic floor cleaning machines have been launched in the UK and robots using UV lights to kill the DNA of bugs have been trialled in the NHS to help fight HCAI’s. Other technological developments include increased connectivity, which allows contractors to digitise cleaning procedures using sensors, gather and analyse real-time data to help them work smarter, create efficiencies and raise standards. Technology is expected to become ever more present within the industry over the coming years.
Looking forward, moderate growth is expected to continue within the contract cleaning market with a mix of negative and positive factors impacting the market. The demand for bundled service and Total Facilities Management contracts will continue to be a strong driving force as public and private sectors look to maximise value from contracts. However, there is concern that the Brexit decision may have an impact on the labour market and, with labour costs accounting for an estimated 80% of any invoice within the contract cleaning market, changes such as an increase to the National Minimum Wage have a significant impact on the health of the sector.
The transport sector is forecast to show good growth, driven by the expanding UK aviation and rail infrastructure and growing passenger numbers, something which should have a positive impact on the contract cleaning industry. Demand in many sectors are expected to decline in the coming years, such as the retail sector and the commercial office sector where reduced development activity will limit new contract cleaning opportunities in the short term.

The ‘Contract Cleaning 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 in the construction and home improvement markets.  The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Construction Chemicals Market - 5 Key Facts

  • The market for Building and Construction Chemicals was estimated to have grown by 20% since 2012. 
  • It is estimated that resin flooring systems typically account for approximately 8 million m² of area laid down per annum.
  • Around half of the concrete, cement & mortars admixtures are used in the ready mixed concrete sector. 
  • Silicone sealants account for around half the UK market for specialist sealants by Volume.
  • Floor & wall tile adhesives & grouts constitute the largest sector of the market for adhesives, estimated at 33%. 
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Construction Chemicals Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Domestic Garden Landscaping Materials Market - 5 Key Facts

  • The market for domestic landscaping materials has grown by 16% between 2012 and 2016, benefiting from increased spending as consumers seek to enhance outdoor areas.
  • Low maintenance is a key trend with products such as artificial grass, paving and decorative aggregates all benefitting.
  • High import penetration levels mean that the market remains vulnerable to the possibilities of price inflation when Sterling exchange rates decrease.
  • Online sales have become increasingly important with the increased penetration of specialist e-tailers but also the increasing adoption of the ‘omni-channel’ approach by the more traditional retail channels.
  • Forecasts indicate steady, if modest, growth to 2021 but with the market remaining susceptible to the vagaries of the British weather and the level of consumer spending on non-essentials.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Domestic Garden Landscaping Materials Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Modest growth forecast in the UK building insulation market

The market for building insulation products in the UK has been fairly flat over the last couple of years following substantial volatility in the preceding years. The fall in government subsidised retrofitted installation activity drove some of the decline in the market in 2015 for example. Although there was a growth in demand for insulation products from increasing levels of newbuild housing and in non-domestic building, the total market fell by around 2% in 2015, before recovering in 2016, as construction output and housebuilding levels continued to rise. Forecast growth will be subject to any further Government subsidies, though growth rates are forecast to be modest over the next 2-3 years.
Key market influences include changes to building regulations, such as the amendments to Part L in 2013, and energy prices. Government subsidy schemes also drive growth in the domestic market, however, domestic installations have been at a significantly lower level since the Green Deal was scrapped in 2015 and the funding to deliver the Energy Company Obligation (ECO)was reduced.
PUR / PIR products now have the largest market share in the insulation products market, accounting for around 40% by value in 2016. That said the current shortage in PUR raw materials may well result in share shifting away from this sector in the short-term future.  The market value of mineral wool products has fallen due to the fall in demand for such products under the Green Deal and ECO, but they still account for a significant share of the UK market. Although installations have fallen in recent years, domestic retrofit remains an important market sector in the building insulation market, with cavity walls and lofts key application areas.
The key supply route for insulation products is the specialist (interiors) distributor channel. Builders merchants account for just below 20% of the market, the remainder being split between direct sales to installers, direct sales to external wall insulation systems companies, converters and DIY stores. The installation market for insulation is polarised between a small number of national companies and many regional and local independent firms, with the leading contractors typically provide additional energy efficiency services.
Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research commented: “Looking forward, the market for building insulation products is likely to be comparatively less volatile, though a modest decline is forecast for 2017. Overall, modest growth of 1-2% per year is expected over the next few years, in value terms."
Key trends over the next few years include; a decline in output for key non-domestic construction sectors, slower growth in new housebuilding compared to 2016, limitations in Government funding and new schemes to support installation, reduced levels of consumer and business confidence due to uncertainty regarding the EU exit situation.
That said, the potential for growth through retrofitted insulation to Britain’s existing housing stock is substantial, with an estimated ~7.8 million uninsulated dwellings with solid walls, and significant numbers of lofts and uninsulated cavity walls. In addition, there is also a substantial area of non-domestic flat roofs that have no or inadequate insulation.
Added value solutions will also potentially add substance to the market, with the introduction and growth of certain products with claimed high thermal insulation values creating growth in some sectors. There may be an impact from the increased awareness of fire retardancy properties amongst building products and materials.
Although industrial energy costs have fallen recently, over the longer-term energy prices are forecast to rise, which is likely to result in higher end-product prices for insulation products, something that may be exacerbated by the falling value of the pound, leading to increased import prices for many materials.

The ‘Building Insulation 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 in the construction and home improvement markets.  The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

UK commercial and industrial doors market regains pre-recession level

The commercial and industrial doors market increased by an estimated 3% in 2016, following 4% growth in 2015, though there are indications that the growth rate is slowing in 2017. Key factors underpinning growth in the market have included the increase in private commercial and industrial newbuild and non-residential RMI since 2012. While the market for industrial doors regained their pre-recession level in 2016, commercial and personnel access doors remain nearly 7% below its 2008 peak.
Sub-sectors within manufacturing such as transport, aviation and food production, have helped sustain construction demand for a variety of door products - from high insulated systems for refrigerated units, to large transport warehouse industrial doors. The chemicals and pharmaceuticals sectors also require very high-quality door systems and materials including high value specialised hygienic products developed for use in these industries. Changes to building regulations and increased requirements in terms of security, as well as sustainability issues, have also helped to assist market growth with increasing emphasis placed on higher-quality products.
The market for personnel doors is directly related to commercial and industrial new build and RMI demand, which declined between 2008 and 2012, but has seen continuous annual growth since 2013. In overall terms, the industrial doors market has demonstrated erratic trends at times with demand sometimes bucking an otherwise falling economic trend with rising demand. More importantly, an underlying steady level of servicing and maintenance expenditure has also contributed towards smoothing out demand.
Jane Tarver of AMA Research commented: “The market outlook for commercial and industrial doors over the next few years is positive, but forecasts indicate only modest growth in the short-medium term, based on a slowing trend of new construction orders and the uncertainty affecting business confidence and investment levels as a result of the Brexit process.”
Short-medium term prospects in construction activity in 2017/18 have gone from modestly optimistic to ‘relatively cautious’, with variations between construction sectors. Modest growth is currently forecast in the leisure and industrial sectors but with the commercial offices and retail sectors forecast to show short-term decline as they come under pressure reflecting reduced confidence and investment levels.
Given the above background, the forecasts are that the commercial and industrial doors and shutters sector will show low to modest annual growth from 2016-21, with only 6% overall value growth currently forecast 2016-2021.
Demand will continue to focus on automated systems, more energy saving and security door systems, and for sustained RMI work across sectors leading to some market growth in the replacement market, while new build volumes for both personnel access doors and industrial doors will see lower rates of growth. Product innovations and increased security and insulation properties for both personnel access and industrial doors are also likely to be key factors underpinning market value into the medium-term.

The ‘Commercial and Industrial Doors and Shutters 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 in the construction and home improvement markets.  The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Domestic Kitchen Furniture Market Report 2017-2021 - 5 Key Facts

  • The kitchen furniture market comprises furniture, worktops and sinks, with furniture accounting for 79% of the market in value terms.
  • The kitchen furniture market is at the mature stage of its product lifecycle, with replacement sales accounting for almost 80% of sales.
  • Imports currently account for less than 7% of the kitchen furniture market (excluding worktops and sinks), with Germany and Italy being the major sources.
  • The worktops market is forecast to show good growth in the period to 2021, with share increasing to 13% of the total market.
  • The top 3 suppliers account for around 59% of the kitchen furniture market.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Domestic Kitchen Furniture Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now. 

UK Construction Equipment Rental market set to exceed pre-recession value by 2019

The UK’s construction equipment rental market is forecast to be worth over £4.7bn in 2019, exceeding its peak value reached in 2007. Growth in this market has been continuous since 2011, at a level of 3-4% per year. The primary driver for growth is the performance of particular end-use sectors, with hire of planers, pavers and rollers depending on the level of highway repair activity, and forklift hire on the level of distribution & warehouse activity, while the weather can have an impact on the level of hire of pumping and climate control equipment, for example.
Although growth has tended to remain steady, the market performed particularly strongly in 2014 when it increased by around 8%, driven by a higher demand in housebuilding, among other factors. Overall infrastructure remains the key end-use sector, although certain parts of the infrastructure sector have performed differently in recent years; the rail sector, for example, has been declining in recent years, whilst the utilities sector – in particular electricity - has performed well. Other key end-use sectors include housebuilding, offices, education and industrial, while major non-construction sectors include manufacturing, waste management and events.
In terms of equipment categories, earth moving equipment represents the largest sector, accounting for around 22% of equipment hire value. Other key sectors include lifting, access equipment, skips & rubbish chutes, portable buildings & environmental control and hand & power tools.
The construction equipment rental market is highly competitive, which can impact hire rates. The upturn in demand in 2013 and 2014 in particular saw some hirers start to increase rates, however, the trading conditions in 2015/16 have seen prices become more stable. The market is relatively fragmented, reflecting the high number of specialist operators with different competitors in different hire product sectors, though this fragmentation is set to reduce going forward, with acquisition activity increasing.
The level of hire is also dependent on companies opting to hire rather than buy. Many companies choose to hire plant and tools, generally to avoid risks such as capital investment risks, operating risks and legislative/compliance risks, but hiring construction equipment also provides other benefits, such as use of the latest machinery, which can lead to improved productivity levels and higher standards. Additionally, machinery repair and maintenance costs are borne by the hire company and not the owner/contractor.
Trends within the construction industry are likely to impact on different sectors of the hire market. One trend likely to benefit the market is the expected switch back in favour of flats rather than houses, which is likely to benefit some hire sectors such as some primary construction equipment needed for the construction of multi-story apartments. However, the underlying long-term growth in off-site manufacturing (OSM) will tend to erode on-site hire requirements. Additional hire demand will be achieved from non-construction sectors such as manufacturing, events and recycling/waste management.
From 2018 onwards, construction sub-sectors forecast to increase output include infrastructure, entertainment & leisure, industrial and health, as well as housebuilding, while sectors such as education, offices and retail are not forecast to experience growth in the short term” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. “The biggest risk factor in the forecast will be the effect of the ‘Brexit’ negotiations on the levels of business confidence and investment, which in turn will impact on the construction industry.”

The ‘Construction Equipment Rental 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 in the construction and home improvement markets.  The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Modest growth forecast for UK Powered Access Equipment Hire

The UK powered access equipment hire market - which consists of a range of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) including scissor, boom and spider lifts, vertical masts and vehicle and trailer mounted lifts - saw an increase of 2% in 2016 in value terms, with a further 2% average annual growth forecast for the next 5 years. The powered access hire market is influenced by the health of key end-use sectors, principally new build construction and infrastructure, but also other sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing and the events industry.
Whilst the hire of powered access equipment forms part of the wider plant and tool hire market, it is dominated by specialist access equipment hire companies, who make up a majority share of the total hire market revenue in the UK, with only 25 – 30% being accounted for by more generalist plant and tool hire companies.
Between 2012 and 2016, the UK powered access equipment hire market saw reasonable growth, sustained by the buoyancy of the construction market and by the recovery in manufacturing industry, and the market also benefitted from growth in other sectors including warehousing, telecoms and events. However, growth has been inhibited by a persistent tendency for oversupply, with new companies entering the market and existing companies expanding their fleets, leading to downward pressure on rental rates. 
While scissor lifts dominate the hire market in volume terms, representing nearly half of the total fleet, boom lifts are clearly the largest product segment by value. The mix of product types in the powered access hire market has changed somewhat in recent years with demand for low level access products, including small scissor lifts and vertical masts, growing more strongly than medium height access products, driven by the shift from non-powered to powered access in this segment of the market. The market has also seen a significant expansion in the number of spider lifts in the UK fleet.
Hayley Thornley, Market Research Manager at AMA Research said: “Legislation is an important driver of fleet renewal, and the current legislation changes in the area of engine emissions is leading to an increased focus on electric and hybrid-powered equipment among powered access equipment hire companies. Recent product developments that have added value to the powered access equipment hire market have been centered around the area of telematics, in order to improve safety and to improve equipment efficiency.”
There has been some consolidation in the industry in the last few years as leading companies have sought to strengthen their market penetration through acquisition, and the market has also seen the loss of Hewden, a major player in the hire market. The powered access hire market now has a relatively high level of concentration, with the top 3 companies accounting for around a third of the overall market. 
Prospects for the construction industry, which remains the key influence on the powered access equipment hire market, is for low level growth in the medium term, and a similar trend is forecast for the powered access equipment hire market, which is expected to see growth of 1-3% per annum until 2021. Infrastructure construction is likely to be a key driver of demand, with the government being committed to over £100 billion worth of investment under its National Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

However, prospects for private commercial and industrial construction are less positive and vulnerable to economic uncertainties. The Brexit decision has already led to a market decline in the value of sterling which, as most powered access equipment is manufactured outside the UK, is leading to higher new equipment costs in the short term. Given the continuing issue of oversupply and depressed rental rates, hire companies may find it difficult to pass these higher costs on to customers.

The ‘Powered Access Equipment 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 in the construction and home improvement markets.  The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Construction Contractors Market Report - UK 2017-2021 - 5 Key Facts

  • The aggregate turnover of the UK's 30 biggest construction firms (Tier 1 firms), reached around £53.3bn in 2016-17.
  • London was the most significant area in terms of contracts awarded in 2016, with the total value of contracts awarded reaching around £14.5bn for the year.
  • With significant infrastructure projects planned, the North West is also a key region for contractors, with the value of contracts in 2016 worth around £7.9bn (11% of total UK contracts).
  • In terms of construction supply, two thirds of the top 30 contractors are engaged in University construction.
  • Commercial offices have experienced the highest level of construction output growth in 2015 and 2016, increasing by 33% to £11.9bn.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Construction Contractors Market Report – Focus on Sector Capability and Strategy - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now.