ERJ staff report (PR)
Most UK chemical manufacturers expect to grow sales in 2014, with many also looking to invest in new or existing facilities, the Chemical Industries Association’s latest business survey shows.
Over half of the companies expect sales to increase and there is a renewed appetite for investment, according to the survey was carried out in March.
Some 55 percent of companies surveyed expected sales to increase - a two-year high - with only 6 percent predicting a decline, the industry trade body reported.
This optimism is fueling capital investment plans among chemicals makers: 40 percent intended to increase spending, 45 percent to maintain levels, and only 15% think there will be lower spending. Almost 90 percent of companies intend to maintain or increase spending on R&D.
On planned investment, 39 percent said it was for capacity expansion, 16 percent for improving raw material and energy efficiency, 13 percent to raise environmental standards, and 32 percent for general maintenance and refurbishment.
Despite the general optimism, CIA chief executive Steve Elliott said UK chemical manufacturers were still operating in a very challenging trading environment.
“The cost and security of energy have been a major barrier to our companies,” said Elliot. “While we welcome the latest announcements in the Budget, the UK has to continue working harder to compete in a global playing field.”