Insight Data publishes latest window industry report

Insight Data’s Andrew Scott says there are still opportunities in the window industry despite current business ‘challenges’

Insight Data’s Andrew Scott says there are still opportunities in the window industry despite current business ‘challenges’

Insight Data has published its latest industry report, giving a comprehensive overview of the UK window, door and conservatory industry along with the top performing companies.

The report follows research carried out on more than 15,000 companies and includes analysis, trends and opinion on the current state of the industry, including detailed information on fabricators, installers, trade counters and the growth of ‘builder installers’ as well as developments in products and materials.

According to the report, the industry has experienced an ‘unpredictable’ year with more companies reporting a slowdown in sales, some by as much as 15%. However, others are recording strong performance, particularly in premium products and commercial/new build sectors.

The report states that there are 15,099 window, door, IGU and conservatory companies in the UK, an increase of 328 since 2014.

In 2008, there were 2,370 PVC-U fabricators, but this number has declined year on year and by 2014 had dropped to 1,534 companies.

However, over the last five years, aluminium is said to have enjoyed a ‘considerable resurgence’ within the residential window and door market, with the main driver said to be aluminium bi-fold doors, as consumers ‘demand greater space and light within living areas’.

Meanwhile, composite doors, were found to have moved from ‘a niche product into the mainstream’, single storey extensions and tiled roof conservatories are said to be ‘creating new opportunities’ and trade counters were found to be ‘expanding rapidly, potentially disrupting the market’. There was also found to be a significant rise in ‘premium’ products, such as vertical sliders
Despite what is described as a ‘tumultuous period’ including the Brexit vote, and ‘huge political upheaval on both sides of the Atlantic’, many companies are said to have made significant investments in the last 12 months.

While, says the report, ‘we don’t yet know the full extent of Brexit, imported raw materials prices have risen due to the value of the pound against the Euro, while skills shortages are affecting the entire construction industry’. According to Insight Data, this is likely to worsen if tighter immigration controls are enforced.

However, on a more positive not, the report states that interest rates remain low, unemployment is at a record low and consumers are spending, ‘albeit more cautiously’. Furthermore, recent government stimulus to increase house-building will ensure the new-build market will remain buoyant while a continued drive towards lower carbon, energy efficient homes will help bolster the replacement market.

Product diversification and economies of scale are said to have become ‘major drivers’ in the fenestration industry and this has created a new round of mergers and acquisitions. This, says the report, is likely to continue as banks and private equity/venture capital firms take ‘renewed interest in the UK manufacturing sector.

Insight Data’s managing director, Andrew Scott, commented: “The industry is currently facing some challenges with more companies now reporting a slowdown in business, some by as much as 15%. However, there are still plenty of opportunities and a number of companies are bucking the trend. The increase in mergers and acquisitions over the last year also points to a realignment of the industry. Market intelligence is the key to informed, strategic decisions.”

The Insight Report gives a full snapshot of the industry, analysing fabricators and installers by region, sectors, products, financial performance and more. It also includes a ‘Top 100’ list showcasing the top 100 companies by turnover and the top 100 companies by net worth.

The full report is available free, for a limited period, at