Clearview National September 2016 - Issue 178 - Page 8

INDUSTRYNEWS LETTER TO THE EDITOR Stock markets generally have recovered their shock at voters’ decision to Brexit, but construction and housebuilder shares are in the doldrums and sterling is down. It may rally when confidence recovers, but the pound is vulnerable to nervous sentiment. »»MOST OF THE window industry’s raw materials and components are imported, and priced in US dollars and Euro. Steel, aluminium, wood, PVC resin, hardware, reinforcement and imported components are all affected, and the pound has lost more than 10% against the dollar since June 25th. Some have already increased prices. Realistically it’s a question of how much and how soon, not if prices need to adjust. We don’t yet know where it will settle, but unless sterling recovers, timber, aluminium, PVC and other materials and components are likely to go up by 10 to 15% and stay up for the foreseeable future. Price increases are the elephants in the room. We know they’re looming but no one wants to think about them. Fortunately, Deceuninck maintains huge stocks of profile in our vast new warehouse at our extrusion plant in Calne, Wiltshire. We also buy forward and ‘hedge’ against short term currency swings to give customers greater certainty. So even though the price of PVC resin has already gone up dramatically to us and all extruders, we’ve taken the pain and not passed the increase on straight away, buying time to see whether rates would swing back. It’s important the industry does pass price increases on to Mr and Mrs Smith. Historically we’ve not been good at that! Why is it so crucial this time? Simply because no one in the industry is making the margins that would enable them to absorb these increases. In PVC resin alone, the increases systems companies have had to accept amount to around £40m over the course of a year. Add the increases for steel, aluminium, wood, hardware, reinforcement and other components, and retailers and installers need to be planning to raise their prices by 6-12% to maintain their margins. Britain is recovering from a momentary loss of confidence triggered by an unexpected referendum result. But the fundamentals of our market and our Deceuninck UK business are extremely strong. We need to make sure the industry’s margins stay strong enough to take advantage of the opportunity. Sincerely, Roy Frost Managing Director Deceuninck UK Do you have something to say? Email 8 » SEP 2016 » CL EARVI E W- U K . C O M 20 YEARS OF KITEMARK CERTIFICATION »»THE VEKA UK GROUP IS continuing a series of notable anniversaries in 2016 as it celebrates 20 years of its products bearing the BSI KitemarkTM; one of the UK’s most widely recognised and respected symbols of safety and quality. The Group, which also marks 30 years of UK manufacturing in 2016, is consistently at the forefront of PVCu system development. In 2005, for example, VEKA profile was used to fabricate the UK’s first BRFC ‘A’-rated window. And in 2007 the company opened a dedicated UK recycling plant, processing the old PVCu frames that ultimately go into VEKA’s pioneering Infinity profile. Dave Jones, Managing Director of The VEKA UK Group, commented: “The BSI Kitemark is an invaluable mark of quality for all sorts of products, but particularly materials and hardware for the construction industry. It’s of paramount importance that contractors and end users can place complete trust in the fabric of their buildings, and we’re proud that for an unbroken 20 years, VEKA products have carried that instantly recognisable sign of confidence.” Figures from BSI (British Standards Institution) show that 93% of UK adults believe products that hold the Kitemark are safer, with 88% placing their trust in the symbol and believing it to indicate a reputable company. Furthermore, 75% of UK adults believe the Kitemark makes choosing between products easier. Graham Wackett, Construction Products Group Manager, BSI commented: “It’s a huge feat to maintain BSI Kitemark status for such a significant period of time, and The VEKA UK Group should be proud of this achievement. “The Kitemark is a voluntary certification, therefore it’s a great indication of a company that pro-actively prioritises quality and safety in its products. To hold the Kitemark licence, companies have an initial audit, then are regularly re-audited to ensure their standards are maintained. That way, customers are assured when making a purchase, and Kitemark licence holders are able to grow their businesses with our certification.” Dave Jones added: “There’s an underlying principle throughout The VEKA UK Group that our actions should benefit all links in the supply chain. The BSI Kitemark certainly fits that bill, instilling homeowners, contractors, specifiers and more with confidence in our products.”