Wednesday, June 07, 2017

UK healthcare construction prospects brighter than for some years

Health sector construction output increased by 7% in 2016 to reach £3.1bn, followed by a 6% increase in 2015. Prior to this, the sector had experienced four years of declining output between 2011 and 2014. Into the medium-term, AMA Research expects steady, if moderate, growth in healthcare construction output, with annual rates of growth of 3-5% currently forecast to 2021 as work on small hospital projects is boosted by privately-funded projects under PF2.
Health output has benefited from the hospital building programme initiated by the previous government, much of which was delivered under PFI programmes. Despite a handful of large PFI hospitals still expected to complete over the next couple of years, the emphasis is now firmly on smaller acute projects through Procure21+ and Procure22 and in the primary care sector on GP surgeries/health centres through ExpressLIFT. Public sector output has however experienced fluctuations due to budget cuts impacting on the sector.
As a result of GP-led commissioning and financial constraints, the procurement of services to the NHS, including construction, are increasingly looking towards increased partnership with the private sector. A further driver is also taking place in the acute healthcare sector with the creation of NHS Foundation Trusts, under which hospitals can generate their own income. As a result, there has been a rise in private providers refurbishing part of existing hospitals, adding extensions, new-build facilities or even taking on the full operation of a hospital.

Future prospects look relatively bright, with the Government having announced a forward pipeline of around £5.7bn worth of capital projects in the healthcare sector between now and 2020, and beyond. This includes nearly 600 individual health projects under almost 100 schemes, which are mainly spread across the English regions, of which there are around 10 large NHS-led capital programmes, in addition to smaller works and capital programmes procured via the Procure 21/Procure21+ frameworks. However, whilst the Department of Health was allocated £4.8bn for capital investment for each year to 2020-21 in the 2016 Budget, this represents a real-terms cut of 1.7% per year.

The moderate forecast of 3-5% growth per annum is based on the steady level of health sector new orders over the last 2-3 years, and the focus on delivery of local services and chronic disease prevention initiatives put forward by successive Governments. Health RMI into the medium-term is also likely to remain positive but moderate and there are likely to be significant regional differences, especially where demand for key services is high. The focus on partnerships to drive increased efficiency and productivity, whilst lowering construction and maintenance costs is forecast to continue.

Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research, commented: “The key construction opportunities in the healthcare sector are likely to be in the primary care sector and this may entail further opportunities for the development of hub facilities and integrated GP premises, while in the acute and secondary sector, much of the medium-term is expected to lie in refurbishment and extensions. Contractors will also be interested to see how new procurement routes and private finance initiatives, including P22, will be used to procure work in the health sector in 2017/18 and beyond, with the expiration of the Express LIFT framework and future options for health PPPs being explored.”

The ‘Healthcare Construction 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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Access Equipment Market - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The Access Equipment market is expected to grow by 8% between 2017 and 2020.
  • Overall, powered and specialist access equipment accounts for around 57% of the market.
  • Within the powered access sector, Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) account for the majority of the market, with an 87% value share.
  • Key to the overall performance of the access equipment market is the demand from the rental sector, which accounts for 75-80% of the MEWP sector.
  • Ladders account for the largest share of the non-powered access sector at 42% by value.

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

UK office furniture dealers’ market increased by 4.5% in 2016

The UK office furniture dealers’ market has shown consistent growth since 2012, with an increase of 4.5% estimated in 2016. The sector is expected to show solid growth in the next few years, though at gradually declining rates. The steady increase in the office furniture dealers’ market has largely been the result of buoyant growth in the UK economy and strong recovery in office construction, rising business confidence and the surge in quality fit-out projects.
The two main distribution channels for office furniture are via the dealer network, which accounts for around 45% of the market, and direct to end users. Mail order, online sales and retail outlets make up the remainder. Office furniture dealers have lost share within the office furniture market in recent years as companies seek to reduce costs by dealing directly with the manufacturers and, as a result, the office furniture dealers’ market is forecast to grow at a slower rate than the overall furniture market over the next five years.
Public sector contracts have declined in recent years, also having a negative effect on the dealers’ channel. The recent growth in internet sales, particularly e-auctions and e-procurement delivering cost savings, has also had a negative impact on the dealers’ market. In addition, a large proportion of home office furniture is supplied in flat pack form by specialist manufacturers and importers and sold through retail furnishing outlets or online, by companies such as IKEA, Argos and Tesco Direct.
The office furniture dealers’ market is extremely fragmented with over 2,000 companies operating in the UK, largely single branch enterprises. Whilst supply capacity pressures as the market was restricted resulted in some consolidation, supply continues to exceed demand, maintaining high levels of competition.
There is significant polarisation of supply - whilst some suppliers focus on low cost markets, an increasing number are targeting the premium segment, offering high end products with a range of additional services in order to avoid direct price comparison.
In terms of product trends, the demand for smaller, sit/stand or height adjustable desks should stay strong, reflecting technological developments and changing work practices, while the demand for wave desks and benching systems is also expected to continue. The market for ergonomic seating is also believed to be resilient, along with demand for more casual seating for reception, meeting and leisure or breakout areas. However, the storage sector is forecast to decline, reflecting the gradual adoption of electronic storage and the greater use of electronic data.
Fiona Watts, editor at AMA Research, commented: “Despite recent solid growth, prospects for the office furniture sector are less certain. The continuing uncertainties regarding the form and process of Brexit are not currently conducive to speculative or substantial investment in new commercial premises. Therefore, it is likely that institutional investment in office building will fall in the short-medium term, while other factors that may provide a barrier for the office furniture dealers’ market include a reduction in capital investment from many large-scale public sector organisations.”

The ‘Office Furniture Dealers Market Report – UK 2017-2021 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.

Conservatory & Glazed Extensions Market - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • Growth of domestic conservatories and glazed extensions has remained relatively steady since 2014 with overall value growth of around 7% to 2016.
  • RMI is taking increasing share of the market and is now estimated at around 10% value share in 2016 but set to grow to around 14-16% by 2020.
  • Product development such as solid roofs and more energy efficient glazing systems have contributed to RMI trend with many householders now opting to refurbish rather than replace existing structures.
  • PVCu looks set to dominate as main material choice into the medium term but with timber continuing to retain significant share.
  • Volume growth is forecast to be less buoyant, with only moderate annual increases forecast to 2020. However, higher specification and product improvements are set to underpin value growth over the period 2016-2020.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Domestic Conservatory & Glazed Extensions Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling             01242 235724.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

UK home automation market grows by 20% in 2016

The UK home automation market has nearly tripled in size between 2012 and 2016, according to a report recently published by AMA Research. It is estimated that the market increased by 20% in 2016, in value terms. Although home automation systems have been available in the UK for many years, it is in recent years they have expanded from an upper market niche into a more mainstream market.
This crossover to the mainstream is a key development that is changing the structure of the market with a large variety of entry level and lower cost home automation products having been made available at very competitive prices in the past 2-3 years.
Technological advances driving the home automation market include the progress of wireless controls and “app” or application programme-driven control interfaces, which emphasize user-friendliness. Remote control of the system has meant that the consumer is increasingly able to control all aspects of the connected home from within the home, whilst travelling, at work or even abroad via smartphones, tablets and PCs. Take up of wireless routers/Internet has also benefited the home automation market, with increasing numbers of suppliers offering wireless systems based around the home Wi-Fi network.
The offering of modular systems which enable future expansion has also driven growth, and in addition, the development of systems aimed at self-installation has expanded significantly helping to substantially reduce costs and make systems more affordable to a wider market.
“Greater interest and purchase of home automation systems has been encouraged by the wider availability of smartphone app controlled devices that are now more affordable and enable greater monitoring and control of a range of devices and systems in the home” said Hayley Thornley, Market Research Manager at AMA Research. “Many suppliers of home automation systems have embraced these developments and introduced control panels with icons that resemble smartphone controls, which are deemed to be more user-friendly than some of those previously used.”
The rapid increase in availability of home automation products has led to many independent standalone systems and devices without inter connectivity. System manufacturers are working to find a standard protocol that would enable many more devices to operate across services even where devices are purchased from different manufacturers, with some opening up their operating platforms to third-party developers to encourage the development of suitable devices to fit their systems.
The market is currently considered to be in the initial growth stage, with medium-term prospects for home automation remaining positive with over 50% growth currently forecast to 2021. Growth rates are, however, expected to gradually reduce in the medium term.
The growth of intelligent heating controls is expected to continue into the medium-term, with rapid innovation likely to be the key driver, and micro-generation of energy is also likely to provide a key driver for growth in future years. More intelligent IoT devices that can make smart choices and an increase in voice control devices is also likely to generate interest.
However, ultimately the rate of uptake will be influenced by a number of factors including rates of disposable income, the extent that home automation systems are adopted by mainstream housebuilding organisations, modularity or inter connectivity of devices, ease of installation and the perception by householders of how much value the system will adds to the property when set against other choices.

The ‘Home Automation 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.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Modest growth forecast for the UK panel builders market

The UK panel builders’ market has been increasing since 2013, reflecting a strong performance in a number of product and end use sectors. Market value saw particularly strong growth of 8% by value in 2015, as a result of the robust performance of the infrastructure and industrial sectors during the year. Current indications are, however, that the UK panel builders’ market experienced a dip in 2016 as industrial and infrastructure output declined.
Factors supporting the market include growth in specialist markets, such as hazardous environments, along with tightening regulation, further environmental legislation and investment in development of the renewable energy sector. Other positive influences include the growth of R&D in the advanced manufacturing sector, the increasing adoption of automation in manufacturing, increasing investment in UK datacentres and the modernisation of the country’s rail network.
Factors negatively affecting market growth include ongoing public sector austerity measures and a very competitive market that is keeping prices deflated. Also, some significant end use sectors, such as oil and gas, have seen sharp falls in capital expenditure which may affect growth if fresh investment is not committed in the short-term.
Leading end use markets include industrial and manufacturing, water and sewage, power generation, oil, gas and marine, construction and transport. Power distribution panels represent the largest product sector, followed by motor and process controls and building control systems. Safety, security and other panels make up the remainder of the market.
Product development is primarily concerned with modularisation, allowing for quick and flexible installation, reduced maintenance, environmental factors and health and safety, motivating demand for more sophisticated products which can withstand hazardous environments. Product development has resulted in panels becoming smaller and more streamlined with quicker fit solutions and more standardised components, which should lead to panels becoming more standardised, and modular elements becoming increasingly common in panel building.
“The panel builders market is expected to return to growth in 2017, and to maintain moderate growth levels of around 2-3% per annum until 2021” said Fiona Watts of AMA Research. “Refurbishment and development of the power generation asset base, other than coal-fired power stations, and integration of renewable energy technologies into the ‘smart grid’ will provide opportunities for panel builders.”
Growth in the pharmaceutical / chemical and advanced manufacturing sectors will also continue to benefit the panel builders’ market, as a result of increased construction and further development of factories and research and development sites in these sectors. Other sectors providing opportunities for the panel builders’ market include the IT and datacentre sector and the rail sector. However, investment in capital projects in oil and gas needs to improve if the sector is to significantly benefit the UK panel building industry in the medium term.

The ‘Panel Builders 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.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

UK waste management contractors benefit from new income streams

The UK waste management contracting market, which includes collection, treatment & disposal and materials recovery, was estimated to have decreased slightly in 2016 compared to the previous year. The reduction has been partly due to the impact of Central Government cuts to local authority environmental services budgets and the impact of falls in global commodity prices on recyclable materials.
Up to 2015, annual growth was primarily 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.
From 2014 through to 2015 the drop in the price of crude oil also contributed towards a fall in prices for key commodities including certain grades of steel, plastics and glass. This then forced down prices for recyclates in turn making single-stream waste collections and recycling financially unviable. Also, with reduced volumes of higher value materials being accepted for treatment at recovery facilities, growth overall gate revenues have also been constrained. However, later in the second half of 2016 through to early 2017, commodity and recyclate prices for some grades have recovered.
Growth in contractors’ annual revenues has been driven by the development of relatively new income streams, including segregated recycling collections, organic waste collections and the development & operation of energy-from-waste (efw) plants. Investment in the expansion of efw and recycling infrastructure capacity has contributed towards growth in aggregate industry revenues from these sub-sectors, and diversification into new areas of product recycling e.g. WEEE (waste electronic & electrical equipment), ELV (end-of life vehicles) and mixed plastic packaging have also stimulated growth.
EfW, landfill and other non-hazardous waste treatment & disposal services are estimated to account for up to 45% of industry revenues, with collection and recycling services each contributing around a quarter of the total. However, as a considerable proportion of MSW, CIW and C & D waste management services are delivered under bundled contracts covering most or all elements of waste management, these are only broad estimates. There is still a need for the UK to improve commercial and industrial waste recycling although in recent years there have been improvements in recycling rates, mainly driven by voluntary initiatives, there being far fewer legislative drivers than for municipal waste.
In recent years, there has been substantial market consolidation through acquisition resulting in an increased level of polarisation between the national contractors and also larger regional operators and smaller contractors operating mainly within the commercial and construction markets. The creation of added-value income from the sale of recycled materials, compost, electricity sales and refuse derived fuel (rdf) has also brought in recent market entrants from the energy, facilities management, composting and manufacturing sectors (especially paper).
Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research, commented “Over the short term, industry prospects will still be determined by EU legislation. However, now that Article 50 has been signed, there may well be a possible slowdown in household spending combined with rises in imported goods, driven by uncertainties surrounding 'Brexit’ and likely volatility in the economy. There are also concerns as to whether the Government will remove some of the more prescriptive elements of EU waste legislation and replace them with voluntary targets for local authorities and businesses.”
Even before the 'Brexit' referendum, the government had already stipulated that after March 2018 there will be no subsidies for new AD plants under 5MW and EfW plants of 5MW and above, thereby most likely leading to a decline in capacity over the medium term. However, there remains a substantial volume of EfW incinerator and gasification capacity in the current development pipeline scheduled for completion by 2020.

The ‘Waste Management 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, May 08, 2017

Wall Cladding Market - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The overall value of the market has grown by 16% in the last 4 years.
  • The share of the market taken by EWI and renders is around a quarter of the market.
  • The end use mix for composite wall panels is led by commercial and public sector new build, which is indicated to account for 35% of the sector.
  • There has been a drop in activity levels for external wall insulation systems, to around 7m m2, reflecting the demise of the CERT energy programme.
  • Natural stone is used as traditional masonry and as façades on backing panels, with a market size estimated towards 1 million m².

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

Friday, May 05, 2017

Market growth of 4% in the UK Shopfitting sector

The shopfitting market has increased by 4% in 2016, following steady growth in recent years, according to a new report by construction market analysts AMA Research. The market has been driven by leading retailers and supermarkets in particular investing in existing portfolios through fit-out and improvement works, rather than adding new space through new build development. In 2017, the value of the UK shopfitting market is forecast to rise by a further 2%. 

The pace of convenience/discount store format roll-out programmes, changing consumer habits, shifts in fashion, shrinking retailer budgets and the challenge of shopper expectations impacting on store design and space requirements, are all influencing the sector and providing opportunities for shopfitters. The challenge for shopfitting clients in the retail sector is the growth of online sales, as retail footfall continues to decline as more consumers focus on online shopping.

A number of other key issues are affecting the retail sector including the Government’s overhaul of the planning system on retail planning and development; the growing importance of sustainability and ethical retailing and the growth of technology, which is changing how shoppers, retailers and suppliers engage with one another. 

The UK shopfitting sector is complex and highly fragmented, and has seen a relatively high level of consolidation in recent years, which has led to the number of suppliers focused on shopfitting declining over the past 8-10 years. Market consolidation has also led to a shortage of specialists to carry out the available work. Going forward, it is expected that the rate of consolidation activity will slow, however competition continues to be high and companies are increasingly required to provide a wider number of services to their customers. 

Profit margins also continue to be under pressure. For a number of years, the focus on low price management contracts under competitive tendering has increased for smaller projects. However, procurement routes such as partnering and framework agreements are predominantly used in major roll-out programmes. There is an indication of a slight increase in formal framework and partnership agreements in the shopfitting sector, although winning future work is still heavily performance based.

“In the short to medium term, the UK market for shopfitting is forecast to increase by around 3-4% per year, reflecting the projected increase in refit programmes compared with new build schemes” said Hayley Thornley, Market Research Manager at AMA Research. “Short-medium term opportunities for shopfitting contractors are likely to come from the value and discount retailers and the grocery convenience sector, along with refits and re-branding programmes in the entertainment sector. The adoption of in-store concessions and collaborations between retailers has also grown.” 

Construction output in the overall retail sector is expected to fall further in 2017 and 2018, before seeing moderate growth rates of between 1% and 3% until 2021. Growth prospects vary considerably between sectors and those with the best prospects for growth include budget and high end hotels, budget gyms, food-led pubs and restaurants. In 2017, output in the entertainment sector is expected to rise by around 3% with growth rates set to remain at around 3% per annum over the remainder of the forecast period.

The ‘Shopfitting 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, May 04, 2017

UK electrical wholesale market to grow by 14% over the next 5 years

In 2016, the electrical wholesalers market was estimated to have grown by 4% compared with 2015. Following a period of consistent growth since 2013, supported by a strengthening economy and improved construction output, growth is estimated to have slowed in 2016 as uncertainty about the impact of ‘Brexit’ constrained construction output, raw material prices declined, and Government austerity measures continued to restrain public sector markets. These factors are expected to continue to limit the market growth somewhat in 2017/18.
There are plenty of factors supporting the market however, including growth in specialist markets, product development, demand for additional services and non-core products, and evolving legislation leading to a requirement for higher specification and new products, in addition to an improving economic and construction background and improved consumer confidence. Wholesalers’ margins have also continued to improve over the past 2-3 years.
Factors currently affecting market growth negatively include continued public sector budget constraints, uncertainty over the outcome of a Brexit process, price competition with many products in the mature phase of their life cycle, threat from competitive channels and longer product life-spans reducing the replacement market. The decision to significantly reduce Feed in Tariffs, is also impacting negatively on the renewables sector, a market that had offered good potential to wholesalers.
Cables and lighting remain the largest product sectors within the electrical wholesale market, accounting for almost 50% of the value of products sold. Product sectors experiencing relatively good performance in the current market include electrical accessories such as cable systems, circuit protection and wiring accessories as well as lighting and newer product areas such as smart control and automation, with product development primarily driven by environmental concerns, renewable energy issues and energy efficiency, motivating demand for more efficient products and more sophisticated control and testing equipment.
Electrical wholesalers remain market leaders in the distribution of electrical products and are particularly strong in core product areas such as electrical accessories and lighting equipment. Whilst the wholesalers’ share of lighting is currently marginally down on historical levels as newer LED technology has a higher proportion of direct sales, this is unlikely to be a long-term trend, with wholesalers expanding LED ranges and gaining knowledge and experience in the field.
“The electrical wholesaler market continues to be dominated by three large companies, which together account for the majority share of the market” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. “However, some newer entrants to the electrical wholesaler market, which offer a multi-channel approach coupled with more transparent pricing, have seen rapid share growth in recent years, and could potentially threaten the hold of the ‘Big three’ in the future.”
The wholesalers also face significant competition from the direct sales and specialist distributor channel, as well as internet retailers, merchants and electronic component distributors.
The electrical wholesaler market is expected to continue to grow in the short to medium term, although at a more modest rate, with current forecasts for construction output more cautious due to the uncertainty of the outcome of Brexit and continued restrictions in the public sector. From 2017, average growth levels of 2-3% per annum, with overall growth between 2016-2021 of 14%, is forecast. Obviously, the withdrawal from the European Union will have an impact on the overall economy and the construction industry, though quite what this impact will be remains to be seen. Price increases will also have an impact.
Going forward, electrical wholesalers are expected to continue to widen product portfolios, introduce additional value-added services and embrace e-commerce to become more flexible and remain competitive. The development of niche product sectors will provide an opportunity to add value and differentiate on a basis other than cost, reducing price sensitivity.

The ‘Electrical Wholesale 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.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Internet Garden Market - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • Growth of online sales of garden products has outpaced the overall garden products market in recent years, with internet sales more than doubling in value 2011-16, reaching an estimated £635m in 2016.
  • In 2015, the Internet sector accounted for an estimated 12% of the total garden products market and is forecast to increase to over 18% by 2020.
  • Non-specialist e-tailers (such as DIY multiples) account for the majority share of internet garden products sales in 2015-16. 
  • The garden centre has been a 'late adopter' in terms of internet sales focusing instead on gardening tips & advice, but this is now beginning to change with a number of the larger garden centre chains now offering some products for sale via the internet.
  • Outlook for the sector remains positive with increased sales of garden products via the internet.

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

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Bi-fold Doors Market - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • Bifold doors are a rapidly growing niche sector of the glazing industry - with over 50% growth in the last 4 years.
  • Aluminium is the dominant frame material with over 50% share but PVCu and timber also hold significant shares.
  • Residential applications have experienced good growth and now account for over 50% share.
  • The supply structure is very fragmented, though several specialist suppliers have emerged in recent years.
  • The volume of bifold doors is forecast to grow by over 40% in the next 4 years.

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

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.