Keylite Roof Windows Comment: Q1 2022

Jim Blanthorne

At the end of 2021, we reported exceptional demand for roof windows. This prompted most suppliers to put their customers on allocation to ensure available capacity was shared fairly across their customer base. To an extent, this may have prompted over ordering and an artificial spike in order intake.

Keylite though was able to ensure all customers received an allocation at least equal to historic sales levels, and above that, for partnering merchants to enable them to grow.

At our manufacturing site, we significantly increased production output to meet the additional demand, resulting in the backlog of orders being completely cleared by the end of Q1. Aside from catching up, underlying sales demand was approximately in line with our forecasts for 2022.

Entering Q2, the good news is that customer allocation has ended, lead times have returned to normal and stocks for the UK & Ireland market are in a healthy position. Raw material and labour availability has returned to normal levels. What could possibly go wrong?

Looking forward, there is an understandable level of concern from the trade and merchants at what the rest of 2022 holds. Inflation is taking hold and industry analysts are busy revising down their growth forecasts, with RMI in particular being reduced. There are positives however: housebuilders remain buoyant, demand for quality housing remains strong and the cost of borrowing is extremely low compared to the long term average.

As a nation we remain aspirational, while as an industry we have shown ourselves to be resilient, time and time again. Most of us have improved the robustness of our supply chains and are focused on reversing as much material inflation as possible. There will need to be further price increases though. The Ukrainian conflict has had an immediate impact on input costs, largely driven by the energy crisis. However, we will be cautious not to dampen demand and are committed to asking only for what we need.

It is simpler to comment on what has happened than predict what will happen but, whatever 2022 brings, we will continue to work hard to support our merchant partners to ensure we prosper together.

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