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24th March 2017
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Ceramic tiles market strengthens in 2014
Findings from a new report on the ceramic tiles market by MTW Research indicates that the market is now experiencing above inflation growth for the first time since 2007, with tile sales set to grow by more than £15 million in 2014.
Boosted by rising domestic sales coupled with a strengthening of demand in several key commercial sectors, prospects for the UK tiles market appear increasingly positive in 2014 according to MTW. The recent rise in the number of domestic property transactions coupled with a buoyant housebuilding market is underpinning volume growth, with a number of key consumer trends now offering added value growth.
The research involved analysis of companies with £500 million of sales in 2014 and generally offers an optimistic outlook for manufacturers, distributors and retailers of ceramic tiles in the UK active in both domestic and commercial markets. A number of positive key market influences are identified, such as the increasing prevalence of professional installations in the domestic sector giving rise to a number of added value opportunities. The influence of social media and consumer behaviour is also identified in the report as a key opportunity for adding value, with certain 'on-trend' designs and styles identified by MTW as offering healthy opportunities for growth in 2014.
Discussing the findings, MTW's director Mark Waddy commented: "We clearly have some way to go before sales reach pre-recessionary levels of 2007, but these new findings are the most positive yet that tile manufacturers and distributors are finding ways to identify key market opportunities and grow sales."
The report provides sales forecasts to 2018 with growth forecast to outstrip inflation in the next few years, though prospects are for a more complex market in terms of demand patterns. Mark pointed to "A likely return to 2007 levels by 2017, though demand characteristics are quite different to pre-recession sales patterns, with more discerning specifiers and increasingly complex trends to decipher across the domestic and commercial sectors."
MTW's near and medium term forecast models suggest that steady yet tangible growth in 2015 is likely to strengthen further in 2016 as consumer and business expenditure levels continue to rise with confidence levels rising across most key end use sectors of the UK tiles market. However, the report also sounds a note of caution, identifying a number of non-domestic sectors which are less likely to exhibit growth in the near to medium term as well as pointing to the likely lack of investment in a number of key public sector end use markets which may depress demand for ceramic tiles.
The 150 page report also reviews the tile retail market in detail, finding that almost 40% of tile retailers exhibited some level of growth in the last 12 months. It identifies a large number of positive and negative influences which may have contributed to this improving level of performance for some retailers and discusses some of the key tactics employed to outperform the overall tiles market. MTW's research found that around 60% of tile retailers were now regarded as having a sound financial footing with a credit rating of either 'good' or 'excellent' in 2014, representing a substantial increase from the company's last review of the market.
The report identifies an increasing gap between the winners and losers in the UK ceramic tiles market, with more successful companies apparently more able to adapt to the increasingly complex market in 2014. The message is clear - new trends, influences and perceptions are leading to new opportunities for growth - but only for those able to identify and act on them.
19th September 2014