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Record demand for concrete block paving

DEMAND for concrete block paving in Great Britain increased last year to more than 20.5 million m², despite difficult trading conditions in the sector. Marshalls are estimated to be the largest block paving manufacturer in the country with a market share of 40%, while the top five companies — Marshalls, Tarmac, Aggregate Industries, RMC and Brett — between them are thought to have nearly 80% of the market.

These are some of the headline findings of BDS Marketing & Research Ltd’s latest report on the block paving industry, which estimates the outputs and shares of all works and companies in the industry.

Recent increases in the block paving market have been small, which, according to BDS, suggests that block paving may be reaching its natural market penetration after 20 years of almost continuous growth. The consultancy is forecasting some further growth over the next few years, up to 22.5 million m² by 2005, however a number of new investments have recently been announced and BDS is concerned that unless there is an upturn in the market, the industry could begin to suffer from too much capacity.


At the same time, BDS have also published their annual report on concrete block companies. This market has also seen recent growth, with volumes rising to 88.5 million in 2000. Market leaders Tarmac are estimated to have a 16% share of the total blocks market, while Marley are thought to be the largest aircrete company. The top five players also include RMC, H&H Celcon and Hanson, and between them have over half of the blocks market.

This year the analysis has been expanded to include sections on opportunities and threats. Around 75% of block companies see timber frame as a threat, 17% expect a higher demand for blocks over the next three years, and 30% believe the market will turn down.

The reports on block paving and concrete blocks are available together or separately.  


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