Executive Hire News › Archives › November/December 2019 › Executive Report : Showman’s snapshots
Executive Report : Showman’s snapshots
At the recent Showman’s Show in Newbury, Alan Guthrie asked a number of hirers and suppliers about the state of the market and future prospects as we near the start of 2020.
David Hunt, MD Sales, John F Hunt Power
"We’ve had a fantastic summer season. There was a slight slowdown towards the end of the events season but it had nothing to do with Brexit: demand from this market always tail off in September and October, and we then receive more orders from the construction sector and other industries. Our customer base is growing, demand is increasing and our expansion reflects that. We’re prepared to continually invest in new equipment and that’s one of the things that differentiate us at the moment."
Allan Binstead, MD, Morris Site Machinery
" It’s been a phenomenal year, and not just because the Morris & Company group has been celebrating its 150th anniversary. The Morris family and the Board are investing in the future and we expect to move into our new headquarters adjacent to Jaguar Land Rover at the i54 Technology-based Business Park in Wolverhampton by the end of next summer. We are concentrating on new product development and adding new manufacturing technology to achieve that. There is huge interest in hybrid and solar powered lighting equipment, and we also plan to unveil an exciting new machine at the Executive Hire Show in February."
Neil Fenwick, MD, Illumin8 Lights
"It’s been a good year. There was a slight dip in February/March - but that, of course, was the original Brexit date and there was market uncertainty.
As soon as the events season kicks off, which for us is always the Cheltenham Festival, business steadily builds to a crescendo around the August Bank holiday. Overall it was nothing short of phenomenal. The season is actually getting longer with more events planned during Halloween and Bonfire Night. Then we start serving clients in industrial markets. We now have 320 Trime lighting towers in the fleet. We’re opening our second depot, in the Midlands, in April and we’ll be buying more machines for it."
Laurie Anthony, Director, Easy Petrol Post Driver
"We’ve launched a new marquee post driver accessory here at the Show to meet demand. Overall, the market is steady. We’ve been talking to the Department of Trade and Industry and attending their events to help British companies exporting and the atmosphere amongst other businesses is always really positive. At every exhibition we attend, visitors say they are busy and looking for new equipment. People are ignoring the political background and just getting on with business."
Chris Archer, MD, BGG UK
"We’re always busy and currently it’s absolutely manic. It’s due to the introduction of the EU Stage V emissions regulations. And the actions of the Extinction Rebellion activists in London have put the environmental agenda firmly on the agenda - the Mayor and other city administrators don’t have an option but to ensure suppliers comply.
The market is strong and I don’t think Brexit is really having an impact. We have no supply chain issues and we don’t foresee any - we always commit to having large stocks available for quick delivery."
Paul Hay, MD Trime UK
"By the end of September, we had already sold the same number of lighting towers as we did in 2018 and we estimate we will end 2019 32% up on last year. This has been driven by demand for eco-friendly equipment, including battery powered and hybrid machines, and there’s no reason why that should slow down in 2020. Customers want to be eco-friendly and we are backing that up not just with appropriate products, but also with technical information and support."
Douglas Anderson, Joint MD, GAP
"The trading environment is challenging. There are always pressures on margins but our
profits are up because of good management practices (in October, GAP announced record annual results, achieving a pre-tax profit of £18.7m in the year to 31 March 2019, an increase from £16.7m in the preceding 12 months, as annual turnover rose by 8.8% to £203m). There is uncertainty among some customers, yet they have healthy order books; many aren’t pressing the ‘go’ button simply because of Brexit.
The whole world economy is driven by confidence, but too many people seem to lack the backbone to make decisions. Even central and local government contracts that have already been approved and funded are being delayed for no apparent reason except, perhaps, Brexit. But the problem isn’t Brexit, it’s the uncertainty around it. Some people just seem to look for excuses not to do things, or to blame someone or something else."
Josh Llewellyn, Chairman, MHM Plant
"We are buoyant and hugely optimistic because we serve a market where there is an increasing awareness of the need for carbon reduction in construction sites, events and other markets. Here at the Showman’s Show we showed our latest solar, battery and hybrid options and the positive reaction reflects the market’s interest. When we first launched this kind of equipment five years ago, the appetite wasn’t as strong and we put them on the back burner; now the demand is growing and the technology is constantly advancing."
Greg Bennett, VP, Point of Rental Software
"There is growing interest in the circular economy as an environmentally sound way of procuring equipment. In the US, for example, we see sporting goods retailers starting to hire items like tents and camping goods, and using our software to manage that. The younger generation value sustainability: why buy equipment and clutter up your house when you can hire it, return it and let someone else use it?
Similarly, we have introduced our Rental Locker software for people to hire on a self-service basis. Residents in apartment blocks can hire equipment like a vacuum cleaner for, say, an hour by paying for it, taking it from a locker to use it and then return it. General tool hirers are also looking at this for self-service selection of things like spares and consumables."