Thursday 1st December, 2005
Linda Doughty, Marketing Director of Ultraframe UK Limited, looks forward to the prospects for 2006.
After a long sustained period of growth, the UK conservatory market reversed the trend in 2005 and, for the first time since 1992, volumes actually declined. Whenever a highly successful growth market declines, the question arises; is this a long term change of direction or just a temporary blip? In this case, all the signs are that this is a temporary reversal and that growth conditions will be restored. The market is far from saturated and predictions for consumer expenditure, the housing market and interest rates are all positive.
Whilst we predict that growth will be restored, we don’t believe that it will be at the levels enjoyed over the last five years and some market stimulation will be welcome. At Ultraframe, we believe that the time is right for another step change in product technology. Our markets are, quite rightly, subject to increasing regulation and we believe that moving forward there will be a need to make it easier to clearly demonstrate compliance. We need to reassure consumers that the conservatory they have chosen is of the very best quality and technical superiority.
The philosophy here at Ultraframe is a simple one. If we can provide our customers with the most technologically advanced and cost effective products available on the market then profitable sales growth will be the result. And, if our customers are successful, then we will be successful too. Our programme of product innovation will give our customers competitive advantages that can be fully exploited, to ensure that they will receive a greater proportion of the market volume upturn when it arrives.
Much of this innovation will be launched at Glassex in March, putting the tools for growth in the hands of our customers just as the traditional seasonal spring upturn in demand kicks in. These innovations will include our revolutionary new Framelock system, guaranteeing the structural integrity of the conservatory and also speeding up installation.
2006 is looking as though it will be a much brighter year for Ultraframe customers and therefore a brighter one for us as well. We were the first company to predict the downturn that we have all seen in 2005, we are now more positive about the future than we have been for some time. We therefore feel in a much better position to really mean the traditional season’s wish to our customers - a very happy and prosperous New Year!