The latest catering equipment ‘barometer’ from industry trade association CESA suggests manufacturers of kitchen hardware are feeling positive about the market’s prospects.
65% of catering equipment companies polled for the latest CESA Business Barometer believe that the UK economy will improve in the next three months, while 80% expect their own company to perform better.
80% of respondents also claimed turnover was up compared to the same period last year, with 75% reporting an improvement in UK orders and 50% saying exports had increased.
More than 90% said that staff numbers, capital investment and investment in R&D had either gone up or stayed the same as the equivalent period in 2014.
The Barometer is based on a series of business questions that CESA asked its members during May and June this year. Respondents included manufacturers, importers, distributors and service companies from the association’s 170-strong membership base.
In terms of a snapshot of current sales, 75% reported they were up for the month, compared to May 2014. Respondents were also positive about longer term business prospects. 50% were cautiously optimistic while 45% were confident that business would increase over the next twelve months.
However, manufacturers did raise some concerns, with uncertainty over the UK’s role in Europe one of the biggest worries for the industry. The main headache is still the need to retain the best people, against a backdrop of a growing lack of appropriately-trained staff.
“The Barometer confirms that, for the vast majority of our members, business is booming,” says Simon Frost, chair of CESA. “I can’t remember a time when prospects have been so positive. It also underlines the need to focus on training – it has to be a top priority for our industry.”