THE BUSINESS PILOT BAROMETER IN BRIEF
• Liniar has announced it has
made further investment into
its PVC-U extrusion facility.
Not only is this positive news
during a time of uncertainty,
Liniar says that customers
can ‘rest assured’ that the
‘high quality of products
remains safeguarded for the
director, Eddy Webb,
commented: “This week, we
received delivery of two new
extruders. Both will be taking
the place of end of life, older
extruders to ensure that the
efficiency of our operations
remains excellent whilst also
providing our customers with
consistently high quality
“The upgrades in our
extrusion hall include a twin
strand extruder and a single
strand extruder, and these
are just part of the ongoing
investment we receive from
our parent company, Quanex
Building Products. Whilst
there is currently a period of
economic turmoil because of
the instability caused from
COVID-, we remain
committed to providing the
highest of standards. These
standards require us to
continue to invest across the
business, ensuring our
success for years to come.”
Liniar says that its new
extrusion machinery is ‘good
news’ for its ever-growing
“When it comes to
investing across our business,
we’re putting customers at
the heart of everything we
do,” said Eddy.
The Business Pilot Barometer offers
a monthly analysis of the key trends
defining window and door retail.
It draws on industry data collated
by Business Pilot, the cloud-based
business management tool developed
by installers for installers. To find out
more visit: www.businesspilot.co.uk/
Headline analysis by Neil Cooper-
Smith, senior analyst, Business Pilot:
Before I get to our own figures, I want
to reflect for a moment on an analysis
released at the beginning of this month
June by Nationwide.
First, it recorded a .% drop in house
prices – the largest monthly fall for 11
years. Annual house price inflation also
fell to .8%.
Part of this it attributed to the
fact that one in eight of homebuyers,
according to its research, were delaying
purchases and choosing to sit out the
crisis in their existing properties (around
one in eight prospective homebuyers).
It also said that policies adopted to
support the economy should ‘set the
stage for a rebound once the shock
passes’ something that would limit longterm
damage to the housing market.
So, looking at that cold, and ignoring
all other data, what assumptions could
we make? Well, a slowing of house price
increases during March and April isn’t
much of a surprise. That homeowners
don’t want to over-extend themselves
right now is also logical.
The question is where are they
going to put their money? The holiday
industry is still grounded; the Bank
of England has set the base rate at
.% – an all-time low – so returns on
investments are low and stock markets
remain volatile. Could this lead to a
boom in home improvement – in the
short-term at least?
The answer is far from certain.
What we can say with authority, is that
window and door retail sales saw a
bounce of % in May on April, at a
time when our estimates suggest up to
8% of the industry was still not back
This needs to be caveated. It follows
the % drop in sales that we saw in
April on March as the crisis took grip.
In short, the baseline for May was
pretty low – but sales are, nonetheless,
heading in the right direction.
The million-dollar question? How
much of this was pent up demand i.e.
sales and leads taken before lockdown?
It’s difficult to call but what we can say
is that new leads, those coming onto the
system in May, were also up.
The base rate was again low but
leads in May compared to April, also
jumped %. Compared to February,
this still represents a drop of more than
%, at a time when it could be argued
that the industry had re-entered a
period of sustained growth.
However, what it does hint at, is
that many of the leads the industry is
now seeing are in fact new, and for the
moment at least, consumer confidence
remains, to a degree, intact.
Conversion rates, which never
actually took the same tumble during
lockdown, also remain high, .8% in
May compared to 6.% in April and
.% in March. If this can be sustained
next month, it gives us an indication
that we may well see, ‘R’ rate permitting,
a period of growth through to the end