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Underfloor heating market set to get hot in 2012

A new report on the electric underfloor heating market from MTW Research suggests that growth will return to the industry in mid 2012, with real term rises from early 2013 as product development and volume demand stimulate sales in the sector, following a relatively lacklustre 2011.

A new report on the electric underfloor heating market from MTW Research suggests that growth will return to the industry in mid 2012

The research for the new report finds that whilst the market recovered somewhat in 2010, sales in 2011 have since suffered as a result of a decline in domestic refurbishment projects, declining consumer confidence and a host of other negative issues dampening market prospects for the underfloor heating industry.

However, the report identifies a number of key strengths and opportunities in the UK electric underfloor heating market in late 2011, with future prospects more positive for the market in the medium term.

MTW forecast modest growth in 2012, followed by above inflationary growth from the first half of 2013 onwards with the market likely to rise by around 4% on annualised terms. Stronger growth from 2014 onwards should characterise the market, according to the report, as inflation eases and more tangible volume demand returns to the market. By 2015, sales of electric underfloor heating are expected to experience buoyant growth with the report also forecasting healthy shares for foil mats, carbon mats, single cable systems, thermostats and cable mat underfloor heating.

The 100 page report which reviews market and product trends, suggests that price competition is likely to remain a key dampener of growth in the low-mid market sectors in the near term. Nevertheless, MTW also identifies a large number of positive factors and opportunities for growth of underfloor heating sales in the medium to longer term, including rising consumer awareness of the many benefits of underfloor heating. The increasing ability for manufacturers to add value to their product portfolio should also offer good opportunities for both volume and value growth and underpin the market in the medium term.

Growing environmental concerns and energy efficiency are also discussed by MTW who state that these issues are becoming increasingly important in the specification process for electric underfloor heating. The report goes on to say that this issue is set to enhance opportunities for manufacturers to develop differentiation and add value to their electric under floor heating products. Another key driver identified in the market at present stems from electric underfloor heating increasingly being employed for primary heating purposes as homes become more thermally efficient as a result of changing building regulations.

In addition, MTW point to ongoing product development providing greater flexibility in terms of a wider range of floor coverings that may now be specified in conjunction with underfloor heating which is also enhancing market opportunities.

MTW suggest that despite difficult trading conditions at present, UFH suppliers who are able to differentiate their products in the relatively crowded marketplace are expected to sustain sales growth in the medium to long term, prompting reasonable optimism for the future of the underfloor heating market.

As of December 2011, according to the report, around 60% of electric underfloor heating suppliers are regarded as having either a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ credit rating, representing a healthy proportion of the market and underlining a key strength in the industry overall.

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