UK plastics: confidence high but plateauing

PRW

Published: July 15, 2014 10:56 am ET
Updated: July 15, 2014 10:59 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Europe

Business confidence among United Kingdom plastics companies remains high but has “leveled off” in the last six months, according to new research from the British Plastics Federation published today.

The BPF's latest Business Conditions survey found that 72 percent of respondents expected to see an increase in U.K. sales in the coming year, vs. a 73 percent figure recorded in January.

The percentage of companies expecting profits to rise in the next 12 months dipped from 49 percent in January’s survey to 46 percent.

Philip Law, the BPF’s director-general, said the overall message was that the level of business confidence remained high “but has reached a plateau, at least momentarily.”

Exporters believed their prospects had also leveled out, with 56 percent expecting sales to remain the same in the coming 12 months, vs. 50 percent in January.

The survey reinforced what appeared to be a perennial problem for the sector, namely the recruitment of suitably skilled staff.

Nearly half — 49 percent — of companies expected their employee levels to stay static, and of those looking to recruit a similar figure, 48 percent, admitted they were “having difficulties” in finding the right candidate.

Technical managers were particularly hard to source, the BPF said, followed by sales people. A quarter of firms said apprentices were hard to recruit.

The survey said the number of companies having problems finding the right caliber of personnel was “worrying and is a clear sign of the growing skills shortage,” with the percentage of such responses rising steadily in recent years.

More positively, the BPF found that investment intentions were growing, with 42 percent of respondents planning what they described as “significant investments,” up from 36 percent in January 2014 and 31 percent in January last year.

And getting access to funding appeared to be a minor issue for companies, with 93 percent experiencing no problems in obtaining a loan and only 1 percent saying they had been refused a facility.

Meanwhile the prospect of an independent Scotland on the horizon failed to faze firms, with nearly half (48 percent) believing it would have no effect on their business, 22 percent saying it would be a negative move for them and only 4 percent arguing it would positively benefit their operation.

The BPF found the most optimistic operators in the industry to be injection molders, windows, packaging and pipe companies.


Comments

UK plastics: confidence high but plateauing

PRW

Published: July 15, 2014 10:56 am ET
Updated: July 15, 2014 10:59 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

San Antonio launching curbside recycling of plastic bags

July 21, 2014 3:06 pm ET

Curbside plastic bag recycling is coming to one of the largest cities in the country.    More

Image

Grocery store chain says bag recycling up by 10 percent

July 21, 2014 2:54 pm ET

Kroger Co., with more than 2,600 stores in 34 states and sales nearing $100 billion, saw plastic bag recycling increase by 10 percent last year.    More

China launches investments in Belarus

July 21, 2014 10:10 am ET

China is preparing to invest in a major bottle grade PET production project planned by the Belarus PET and polyester fibers producer...    More

Image

Engineered Plastic Systems cited for recycled content wording

July 18, 2014 4:04 pm ET

Elgin, Ill.-based Engineered Plastic Systems, LLC (EPS) is under fire for using phrases such as “made entirely of recycled plastic synthetic...    More

Image

This is one bump that looks good on a car

July 18, 2014 1:34 pm ET

PSA Peugeot Citroen Group is using plastic for both design and protection on the exterior of one of its newest cars.    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events