65% of catering equipment companies think the UK economy will improve in the next three months, while a massive 80% say they believe their own company will perform better.
The latest CESA Business Barometer makes hugely positive reading for anyone involved in the catering equipment industry. 80% of respondents said turnover was up compared to the same period last year, with 75% reporting UK orders up and 50% saying exports had increased. Over 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 CESA asked its members during May and June this year. Respondents included manufacturers, importers, distributors and service companies.
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.
What helps businesses to grow? Easily the number one is good digital connectivity, followed by the availability of skilled employees, with improved road and rail networks coming a close third.
As for the issues that are keeping management awake at night, uncertainty over the UK’s role in Europe is a major concern. However, the biggest 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.”
The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 170 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment – from utensils to full kitchen schemes. For more information on CESA visit www.cesa.org.uk