acquisition of Aperture, or rather the remaining ‘essential assets’ of Aperture,
by the Profi ne Group. I say remaining, because Ultraframe had already scooped
up the Global, Celsius and Stratus roofi ng products some weeks before, but
still, Profi ne had been looking at ways of bringing manufacturing to the UK for
a while, and had even had its eyes on another sysco before Aperture came up
for grabs. However, that one didn’t have a mixing plant, this one did, and thus
we witnessed what could be the fi rst (in this industry at least) and hopefully only
major acquisition ever to be made under lockdown rules.
As for what the future is for Profi ne UK, including plans for potential export
markets, we have an extended interview with managing director, Gareth Jones,
on page .
Will it be the last acquisition of
? Probably not. News that another major
UK fenestration group is up for sale has been widely circulated and rather than
being mere speculation, is being treated very much as a matter of fact. So, it is
more a question of when, not if, it gets split up.
Until then, what does the future hold for the UK fenestration industry? Well,
in terms of products, the focus would now seem to be on the premium end of
the market, more than ever – especially if homeowners decide to spend the pot
they'd put aside for a foreign holiday on home improvements or additional living
space instead. And if Google searches are anything to by, the data from which
has revealed the biggest spike for conservatories since records began, there are
positives for what could be a turbulent time ahead.
As the lockdown eases, and the industry at large begins to return to a
semblance of normal output, I was asked recently to give my opinion
on whether companies could have done things differently over the
last three months or so.
The answer to that was of course, that successful companies will always
evaluate their performance, good or bad, but that there was also no doubt
that there would be some organisations wishing they had done things very
differently. Those that shut up shop and switched off the phones for instance,
will most likely be wondering why their competitors – those that kept their
foot on the gas pedal – have disappeared off into the distance, or why their
customers have switched to a supplier that did more than simply pull up the
And while there was a degree of negativity and confusion in certain cases,
where perhaps moral judgements clouded fact and the misinterpretation of
rules hindered forward progress, those that have kept their heads should now be
as well prepared as possible to tackle the next three months and beyond.
I was also reminded of all those companies that went above and beyond to
produce PPE for the NHS during lockdown, often with D printers or in the
case of Liniar, actually investing a signifi cant sum in machinery and utilising
furloughed volunteers to manufacture at a large scale.
There have also been some hugely impressive commercial success stories,
such as Conservatory Outlet, that initiated a lockdown sales competition for its
installer network, one that resulted in over
contracts and £m in sales. The
use of new digital resources that facilitate remote selling and surveying, has been
instrumental in this, and many other examples.
Perhaps one of the biggest stories from lockdown however, has to be the
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