Almost three quarters of UK fenestration businesses say they managed to grow in the last 18 months – and over a third of those say they added more than a quarter to sales, according to a survey conducted by Insight Data for hardware distributor Window Ware.

The poll also revealed that 41% saw rising costs as their biggest challenge in the last year and 44% predicted it would be the biggest issue in the year to come.

At the same time, nearly a third (31%) said that increasing their own prices would be the key change they would have to make to their businesses in the year to come.

The survey invited fabricators and installers to share their thoughts on how their business has fared over the last 18 months and speculate about what the future holds.

Some 73% of those surveyed said their businesses had grown. Of those, 54% reported growth up to 24% and a further 38% reported they had put on 24-50%

Window Ware MD Sam Nuckey said: “We know the industry has been buoyant over the last 18 months, and this survey reinforces that, and it’s great to see a substantial number of companies have grown.

“It’s no surprise to see that rising costs has been a huge concern for the industry over the last 18 months and this concern is definitely ongoing following the significant increases passed onto homeowners recently compared the projected austerity in future years.

“Given today’s soaring energy and raw material costs, there really is no getting around the fact that the cost of producing goods today is going up and up. These challenging global economic factors are outside our control, so we must endeavour to navigate our businesses through them now as we have before. The balance between margin management and volume retention is always going to be a challenge for the end-to-end fenestration supply chain but it isn’t something we haven’t successfully faced before.”

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