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AMA Research are pleased to announce the publication of the first edition of the report ‘Groundworks Contractors Market Report – UK 2013-2017 Analysis’. This new report provides an informed and up-to-date analysis of this market and includes a review of the recent market performance and issues that continue to impact on the market, with forecasts over the next few years.

The report contains:

REVIEW OF THE MARKET 2007-12
FORECASTS OF MARKET DEVELOPMENTS 2013 - 2017.
MARKET STRUCTURE FOR GROUNDWORK CONTRACTORS.
IDENTIFICATION OF KEY CUSTOMERS
REVIEW OF MAIN MATERIALS USED BY GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS
The health of the groundworks market is directly related to the performance of the UK housebuilding and construction sector. The market was significantly affected by the construction downturn 2008-11, but 2012 has indicated some return to stability.

The current outlook for the market into the medium-term is for a return to growth in 2013 followed by prospects of good annual rates of growth to 2017. However, the speed and extent of recovery in housebuilding and construction in general is likely to be the key determining factor for market recovery.

Of particular interest are the following:

Analysis of market performance in 2007-2012.
Structure of Groundwork Contractors market – market structure, identification of leading players, material sourcing, pricing etc.
Identification of key customer groups for groundworks contractors – including public & private sectors, domestic & non-domestic , new build & RMI, etc.
Key building materials used by groundworks contractors – market size, recent trends, distribution, etc.

Review of market performance in 2012 and current forecasts to 2017.

Contractors profiled in the report include:

AJ Morrisroe, Blaze Construction, Churngold Group, Clifford Devlin, Coinford Construction, Cuddy Group, D & E Mackay (Contractors), D20, Durman Stearn, Embassy Demolition, Erith, FK Lowry Piling, Foundation Developments, Frankis Solutions (FSL), Fred Champion Group, Gworks, Independent Ground Improvement, JC Balls, John Hellens (Contracts), John Jones (Excavations), John Luffman (Trading), L&W Wilson, Martin Joyce, Matthias Construction Materials (MCM), McGee Group, Mick George, MJ Hickey Plant Hire and Contracts, O’Brien Contractors, P P O’Connor, R & D McBain (Contractors), R&D Construction, Remedx, Renelec Groundworks, RJT Excavations, SEH (Ipswich), SJH Groundworks, Storefield Group, Thompson of Prudhoe, Toureen Mangan, UKD Groundworks & Civil Engineering, Van Elle, WAS Construction, Wordsworth Excavations, X-Cav-8.

Key areas covered in the report include:

KEY END USE SECTORS
Construction output – by value, with historical trends 2006-12 in each of the main sectors, housebuilding, non-domestic, new work & RMI, infrastructure - review of performance in 2012, forecasts 2013-2016.
Key market drivers – influences affecting recent performance, importance for groundworks contractors.
Forecast of sector performance 2013-16 – factors affecting recovery, growth prospects, etc.

GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS

Structure of groundwork contractors industry – number of businesses, size of business, market fragmentation, dominance of smaller players with few nationally operating companies, geographic coverage etc.
Key groundworks contractors – profiles including turnover, main product types installed, end-use sectors served and regions of operation.
Types of work undertaken – domestic/non-domestic and new work/RMI, mix of materials installed depending on end-use sector.

THE MARKET
Groundworks market – analysis by value from 2007-2012, annual rates of change, key characteristics of the market, trends and current forecasts to 2017.
Market trends and major factors influencing market development – impact of economic downturn, fluctuating performances of housebuilding, private and public non-domestic construction and RMI (sector sizes, growth rates, future prospects etc).
Material distribution channel mix – including direct supply, builders merchants, civil engineering suppliers, equipment hire companies and specialists materials suppliers – key players etc.
Future prospects – forecasts to 2017, main positive and negative factors that could impact on the market and potential areas for growth.

MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS REVIEW
Review of market for main products used by groundwork contractors – precast concrete products, DPC/DPMs, plumbing & drainage, cement & aggregates - market size, trends, influencing factors, etc.
Identification of leading suppliers of materials.
Supply routes for main products – direct supply, merchants, specialist suppliers etc.
Equipment Hire market - earth moving, pumping / crushing / screening, road making.The groundworks contractors market was estimated to be worth around £4.22bn in 2012, approximately 35% below the pre-recession peak of £6.48bn achieved in 2008. The market size is open to discussion as definition of ‘groundworks’ includes a wide range of projects and products. Groundworks contractors undertake a wide variety of products and services which can be split into 3 broad categories - groundworks & treatments, substructure and hard landscaping/finishing.

The chart indicates that the groundworks contractors market peaked in 2008 at around £6.5bn, subsequently declining by 38% to around £4.02bn in 2011. Most significant decline was experienced 2008-09 with the impact of the dramatic reversal within the housebuilding market from late 2008 onwards. The sector experienced further decline of around 20% in 2009-11, partially due to a downturn in both domestic and non-domestic construction new orders but also because of increased competition between contractors which led to pressure on tender prices. Initial estimates for 2012 indicate that there has been some element of growth as housing starts have begun to recover and there appears to be an easing of pressure on tender prices.

During the last 2-3 years, the market has experienced a period of rationalisation as larger construction organisations have either closed, divested or restructured specialist groundworks divisions - a reversal of the trend up to 2008 when independent groundwork specialists were being acquired by larger contractors. Material price volatility in 2011-12 has also put further pressure on contractors margins – particularly fluctuations in steel and oil costs. Further rationalisation of the market may occur as larger national general contractors may re-enter the sector through acquisition as work volumes pick up momentum.

Material pricing is likely to remain volatile into the longer-term - pressure on operating margins for the majority of contractors is likely to increase rather than ease into the medium-term.

As with many sub-contracted activities, the industry has become used to more “competitive pricing” - particularly for tenders over the last 2-3 years - and it is unlikely that this pressure will ease significantly in the short-term. Main contractors are now used to driving best value at all levels of the contract and this is unlikely to change in future years. Inevitably, pressure on margins will be maintained even though the market is expected to begin to show good growth from 2013 onwards, which may result in further rationalisation of the sector.

Overall, the groundworks contractors market is likely to be one of the first construction sectors to benefit from the anticipated recovery, with growth for the market likely to be ahead of any growth in construction output.

Outlook into 2013 remains mixed with the market currently forecast to improve by around 4-5% based on steady continued recovery in housebuilding and slight improvement in private sector commercial new orders into H2 2012. The groundworks contractors market is currently forecast to achieve good annual rates of growth 2013-16 of typically around 6-8% with market value forecast to reach around £6.3bn by 2016.

Table Of Contents

Groundworks Contractors Market Report - UK 2013-2017 Analysis 
1. INTRODUCTION 6
1.1 BACKGROUND 6
1.2 SOURCES OF INFORMATION 6
2. SUMMARY AND FUTURE PROSPECTS 8
2.1 SUMMARY 8
2.2 FUTURE PROSPECTS 9
3. ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT 11
3.1 GDP 11
3.2 INFLATION and INTEREST RATES 12
3.3 UNEMPLOYMENT 13
3.4 HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION 14
3.5 HOUSING and CONSTRUCTION 14
3.6 STERLING 16
3.7 POPULATION PROFILE 17
3.8 CONCLUSIONS 17
4. MARKET REVIEW 19
4.1 BACKGROUND 19
4.2 DEFINITION 19
4.3 MARKET SIZE 20
4.3.1 Recent Performance 2007-12 21
4.3.2 Future Prospects 24
4.4 KEY MARKET INFLUENCES 25
4.4.1 Construction Output 25
4.4.2 Housebuilding 27
4.4.3 Non-Domestic Construction 29
4.4.4 Legislation and Standards 31
5. GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS - KEY SECTORS 33
5.1 HOUSEBUILDING AND HOUSEBUILDERS 33
5.1.1 Housing Construction Output 33
5.1.2 Housing and Groundworks Contractors 35
5.2 COMMERCIAL SECTOR 35
5.2.1 Commercial Sector Output 35
5.2.2 Commercial Sector and Groundworks Contractors 38
5.3 HEALTH AND EDUCATION SECTORS 39
5.3.1 Construction Output 39
5.3.2 Health, Education and Groundworks Contractors 41
5.4 ENTERTAINMENT AND LEISURE SECTOR 41
5.4.1 Construction Output 41
5.4.2 Entertainment and Leisure and Groundworks Contractors 43
5.5 INFRASTRUCTURE 43
5.5.1 Construction Output 43
5.6. DEFENCE SECTOR 45
6. GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS 47
6.1 OVERVIEW OF INDUSTRY STRUCTURE 47
6.2 EMPLOYMENT SIZE 48
6.3 INDUSTRY TURNOVER 49
6.4 AGE OF BUSINESSES 52
6.5 LEADING CONTRACTORS AND PROFILES 52
6.5.1 Groundworks Contractors Profiles 53
7. GROUNDWORKS MATERIALS 61
7.1 EARTH MOVING EQUIPMENT 61
7.2 PUMPING, CRUSHING AND SCREENING PLANT 64
7.3 ROAD-MAKING EQUIPMENT 65
7.4 PRECAST CONCRETE PRODUCTS 65
7.5 DAMP PROOF PRODUCTS and GEOMEMBRANES 68
7.6 CEMENT and AGGREGATES 69
7.7 PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE MATERIALS 72
8. DISTRIBUTION OF GROUNDWORKS MATERIALS 74
8.1 DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS 74
8.2 SUPPLY ROUTES FOR GROUNDWORKS MATERIALS 75
8.3 KEY DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS 78
8.3.1 Hire Companies 78
8.3.2 Builders and Plumbers Merchants 79
8.3.3 Specialist Suppliers 83
8.3.4 Civil Engineering Products Suppliers 85
8.3.5 Others 86CHART 1 UK GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS MARKET SIZE AND FORECASTS 2007 TO 2017 - BY VALUE (£M AT INSTALLED PRICES) 8
TABLE 2 GDP DATA - 2010-2012 - KEY CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS 11
CHART 3 INTEREST RATES AND INFLATION (CPI) FROM 1992-2017 13
CHART 4 PDI and SAVINGS RATIO AT CURRENT PRICES 1995-2017 14
TABLE 5 EXCHANGE RATE FLUCTUATIONS 2008-2014 - STERLING TO THE DOLLAR, AND THE EURO, SPOT RATES 16
TABLE 6 UK GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS MARKET SIZE AND FORECASTS 2007 TO 2017 - BY VALUE (£M AT INSTALLED PRICES) 21
CHART 7 CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT GREAT BRITAIN 2005 - 2012 - BY VALUE (£BN CURRENT PRICES) 26
CHART 8 GB HOUSEBUILDING STARTS AND COMPLETIONS FORECAST 2006 - 2016 28
CHART 9 NON DOMESTIC CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT GROWTH FORECASTS 2006 TO 2016 - BY VALUE (£ BILLION AT CURRENT PRICES) 30
TABLE 10 HOUSING CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT (NEW WORK AND RMI) GREAT BRITAIN 2006 - 2012 - BY VALUE (£BN) 34
CHART 11 OFFICES AND RETAIL CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT AND FORECASTS (GREAT BRITAIN) 2006 - 2016 - BY VALUE (£BN AT CURRENT PRICES) 36
CHART 12 INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT AND FORECASTS (GREAT BRITAIN) 2006 TO 2016 - BY VALUE (£BN AT CURRENT PRICES) 37
CHART 13 HEALTH AND EDUCATION CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT AND FORECASTS (GREAT BRITAIN) 2006 - 2016 - BY VALUE (£BN AT CURRENT PRICES) 39
CHART 14 ENTERTAINMENT AND LEISURE CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT AND FORECASTS (GREAT BRITAIN) 2006 - 2016 - BY VALUE (£BN AT CURRENT PRICES) 42
CHART 15 INFRASTRUCTURE CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT AND FORECASTS (GREAT BRITAIN) 2006 - 2016 - BY VALUE (£BN AT CURRENT PRICES) 44
TABLE 16 GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS BY EMPLOYMENT BAND SIZE 2006 - 2012 - NUMBER OF VAT AND/OR PAYE BASED ENTERPRISES 48
TABLE 17 GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS BY TURNOVER BAND (£ 000'S) 2006 - 2012 - NUMBER OF VAT AND/OR PAYE BASED ENTERPRISES 50
CHART 18 UK GROUNDWORKS/SITE PREPARATION CONTRACTORS BY TURNOVER BAND 2006, 2008, 2010 AND 2012 - % OF ORGANISATIONS 51
CHART 19 UK GROUNDWORKS/SITE PREPARATION CONTRACTORS MARKET BY AGE OF BUSINESS 2008 AND 2012- % OF ORGANISATIONS 52
TABLE 20 HIRE MARKET FOR EARTH MOVING PRODUCTS (EXCAVATORS, LOADING SHOVELS, DUMP TRUCKS, OTHERS) AT HIRE MARKET VALUE 2011 62
TABLE 21 HIRE MARKET FOR PUMPING, CRUSHING AND SCREENING PLANT AT HIRE MARKET VALUE 2011 64
CHART 22 UK MARKET FOR CEMENT AND PLASTER MATERIALS 2006 - 2011 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 69
TABLE 23 CEMENT AND READY MIXED CONCRETE PRODUCTION 2006 - 2012 (‘000 TONNES) 70
TABLE 24 SALES OF AGGREGATES IN GREAT BRITAIN 2006 - 2012 - (‘000 TONNES) 71
CHART 25 UK MARKET FOR PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE MATERIALS 2006 TO 2011 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 72
CHART 26 MAIN DISTRIBUTION ROUTES FOR UK GROUNDWORKS PRODUCTS MARKET 74
TABLE 27 MAIN SUPPLY ROUTES FOR KEY GROUNDWORKS PRODUCTS - % VOLUME MIX BY CHANNEL DIRECT SALES, BUILDERS MERCHANTS, SPECIALIST DISTRIBUTORS 76
TABLE 28 UK GROUNDWORKS CONTRACTORS MARKET - MAIN SPECIFICATION RESPONSIBILITIES AND SUPPLY ROUTES BY PROJECT TYPE 77

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