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Difficult times continue for concrete paving suppliers

Industry still operating below full capacity despite numerous plant closures in recent years

DESPITE plant closures in recent years, UK suppliers of both block paving and paving slabs continue to operate below full capacity, according to industry marketing specialists BDS Marketing Research Ltd.

The consultancy estimates that the market for paving has fallen by more than 45% during the recession, and that despite 17 works having stopped production, the output from these plants is much less than the fall in demand over the same period.

The same problem affects producers of concrete block paving. In this sector, seven works have closed in recent years, but remaining sites continue to struggle.

Both block paving and paving slabs have been affected by the decline in private sector building, and increasingly, from a fall in public sector demand as well. Paving manufacturers have also had to face increased competition from imported paving and the development of recycled paving products.

In their latest published biennial report on both sectors, BDS estimate that Marshalls continue as the largest concrete block manufacturers in the country, producing the most in five out of 10 economic regions. Brett, Aggregate Industries, Plasmor and CEMEX are the other market leaders, and these five companies represent over 85% of the market. BDS have identified a total of 12 companies in the industry, operating some 29 works.

In the concrete paving sector, BDS list around 70 works operated by 50 companies. Here, Marshalls and Aggregate Industries are the leading players, having two thirds of the market between them.

BDS say they are not expecting a recovery any time soon. Demand has weakened in the second half of 2011 and is expected to carry over into 2012, and while there are signs of some recovery in private housing and commercial markets in the London area, these are not expected to compensate for further decline elsewhere. However, some improvement in paving markets is expected in both 2013 and 2014.

For further information about the report, which lists all known works for each company together with an estimated output for each, and provides information on plant changes plus a three-year forecast, contact BDS Marketing.




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