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Recession takes its toll on ready-mixed concrete

DURING the last 12 months, BDS Marketing Research have identified more than 75 concrete plants that have closed due to the recession. Of these, 56 were operated by the top-five companies. During the same period, just 15 plants have opened.

These are some of the conclusions of BDS Marketing’s annual report on the industry entitled: ‘Estimated market shares of ready-mixed concrete companies in Great Britain’.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Julian Clapp, managing director of BDS Marketing, said: ‘Many of these plants had come to the end of their useful life and companies could not afford to replace them. Other plants were closed to stem losses.’

According to the report, Tarmac remain as the largest ready-mixed concrete company in the industry, having knocked CEMEX off the top spot last year. The top-five list is completed by Hanson, Aggregate Industries and Lafarge. These five companies together are said to represent nearly 80% of the market.

CEMEX continue as the largest suppliers in the South East, East Anglia and Wales, while Tarmac are thought to be the leading producers in the West Midlands, Yorkshire, northern England and Scotland. Hanson are the largest concrete suppliers in the South West.

Despite the concentration of the industry, BDS say they have identified a total of around 250 companies that continue to supply truck-mixed concrete. In addition, there are a further 150 companies that supply concrete in volumetric lorries.

Initially set up to cater for the small-loads market, this sector has grown in recent years and volumetric lorries are now increasingly taking share from the more traditional truck-mixed market. BDS estimate that volumetric mixed concrete now represents around 10% of the total concrete market.

As well providing data on company volumes and shares, the BDS report provides further information on smaller companies, including plant names, numbers of truckmixers and years of operation. It also reviews the overall market and provides a forecast until 2012.

The industry has been one of the hardest hit in the current recession. Volumes fell by 16% in 2008 and were down a further 30% last year. However, the month-on-month trend suggests that the market is unlikely to go any lower in the current year, and BDS are forecasting a marginal improvement in sales during 2010 and 2011.

For further information, contact Julian Clapp at BDS on tel: (01761) 433035; or email: [email protected]

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