British Gypsum Comment: Q1 2021

Stacey Temprell, Marketing Director British Gypsum is BMBI’s Expert for Drylining Systems

The first quarter sales performance was much stronger than the same period last year, which was impacted by the start of the first national lockdown. Encouragingly, it’s also above that in 2019, which provides a better comparison. Forecasts indicate a faster and stronger recovery for the UK economy due to the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccination programme and the strength of government support for industry and business. However, there is considerable uncertainty as the true impact of the pandemic on consumer and business confidence, economic growth and unemployment becomes clearer.

The speed and strength of the recovery in construction is driving strong demand. This, coupled with challenges for some raw materials in the global supply chain due to the pandemic, and import delays because of changes in procedures post Brexit, has led to lengthening lead times and price inflation for many construction materials. These include timber, plastics, and steel.

These circumstances have combined directly to affect supplies of steel to our metal supplier, consequently depleting the comfortable buffer of stock we typically keep in our supply chain.

However, we should be thankful for the strong recovery in construction. I know all of us are working incredibly hard to meet this demand and fuel the recovery.

While we navigate our short term supply challenges, we are continuing to invest in the future, leading the drive for industry-wide improvements in building standards that in turn create better building outcomes for all.

The events of the last twelve months have changed many aspects of our lives. The quality of the air we breathe inside, and its impact on our health, is now an increasingly common topic of discussion within the building sector. As such, we’re seeing more interest in products that reduce airborne pollutants and improve air quality.

It’s likely the question of indoor air quality will remain at the forefront of consumers’ and contractors’ minds over the coming months and years. Materials and products that reduce or eliminate pollutants, such as VOCs, are therefore likely to see sustained higher demand in the future for both new build and refurb projects.

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