Tough times forecast for M&E industry with larger firms most pessimistic. By Lucy Handley
Electrical contractors of all sizes had a drop in turnover for the first quarter of this year – with 51 per cent saying it fell, compared to 17 per cent which report an increase. Greater London was the worst affected with about 60 per cent reporting a reduction.
Overall, expectations for the next quarter are pessimistic, but 14 per cent expect an increase in turnover, according to the Electrical Contractors’ Association’s quarterly business trends survey.
And 12 per cent forecast growth particularly in the maintenance, refurbishment and energy saving sectors
The next quarter is expected to be worse with those in the Midlands, and those with a turnover of more than £5 million being the most pessimistic.
In terms of enquiries, only 11 per cent of firms are expecting an increase in the next quarter.
More than 80 per cent of the comments in the survey were concerned with a fall in business, fewer enquiries or contracts, increased competition or lower margins. This compares with 70 per cent in the final quarter of 2008 and 8 per cent in the final quarter of 2007.