Monthly Email News for the Architectural Aluminium Industry

Fabricator survey
January 2020

The UK could see fewer than 800 PVC-U fabricators by 2024, based on worst-case projections of number of current business being almost halved since 2008, according to a new market review by INSIGHT DATA.

“It is not just the small retail ‘lifestyle’ businesses packing up, but based on frames per week,” the report continues, “Larger fabricators are shutting their factory doors too. 8.5% of fabricators have either closed their business, ceased fabricating or reduced their frame per week output since 2017.”

Nearly a quarter (23%) of PVCu fabricators have adopted aluminium into their portfolios as of 2019,, led by high-end products such as bi-fold doors and sliding doors.

Despite a decline in the total amount of fabricators in the UK, confidence is still high, it adds: “70% of respondents said that they performed either “well” or “very well” during 2019. This, alongside 80% of respondents saying they were confident or very confident going into 2020, suggests there is a feeling the sector is starting to stabilise.

Despite data showing no significant increase in frames per week being fabricated, 46% of respondents said they had increased fabrication volumes in 2019. Delving more into the data in a more granular manner suggests that this is correct - but on a smaller scale. 

For example, a company fabricating 100 frames per week would have easily increased to 120. 65% of the products being fabricated are going into replacement projects rather than new-builds. The replacement market is still strong, but with Government targets for over 300,000 new-builds by 2020, there is an opportunity to work within the new-build sector.”
Brexit uncertainty is revealed as the biggest challenge companies are facing. Raw material costs are a close second, which is suggested to be linked to Brexit uncertainty. Suppliers from outside the UK in all industries are acting cautiously without clarification on what the UK’s position is on Brexit. Skills crisis, decreasing market, competition and demand in products are all heavily mentioned.

The report, based on a telephone survey of more than 190 fabricators can be seen in full at:

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