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More than 100 quarries closed over last two years

BDS Marketing Research Ltd publish latest annual report on the aggregates sector in Great Britain

A DECREASE in aggregates markets during the recession has resulted in more than 100 quarries and pits closing over the last two years. This is one of the conclusions in the latest annual report on the sector by marketing consultants BDS Marketing Research Ltd.

The consultancy has identified 35 sites that have closed over the last year, in addition to more than 65 sites that closed in the previous 12 months. Some of these sites have closed through the completion of reserves, but many have closed due to the need to reduce losses.

However, the last year has been relatively busy in terms of company development, with Tarmac and Lafarge announcing a merger of their operations and Breedon Aggregates recently acquiring C&G Concrete. The report also lists another half a dozen smaller acquisitions and identifies three companies that have gone into administration.

The annual report entitled: ‘Estimated outputs of pits, quarries and marine wharves in Great Britain’ shows company market shares on a local, regional and national basis; these are derived from output estimates of individual pits and quarries. It is the only report of its kind to estimate shares and volumes for all sites.

Tarmac continue as the largest aggregates company, followed by Aggregate Industries. The top five companies also comprise Hanson, CEMEX and Lafarge. Between them, these businesses accounted for 71% of the market in 2010, yet there remain some 230 other companies in the industry.

This year BDS expect volumes to be slightly down on 2010, but in 2012 the consultancy is forecasting a 4% fall in the market, due to the completion of a number of road projects and the general cut back in public expenditure.

However, the market is expected to pick up again from 2013, by which time most of the public expenditure cuts will have worked through the system and the private sector will be growing more strongly, helped by a number of planned infrastructure projects, including power stations, the Forth Bridge and those relating to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Although the world economy will continue to be buffeted by financial difficulties in countries such as Italy and Spain, BDS say they do not believe the effect on UK aggregates markets will be significant.

For further details of the report contact




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