Keylite Roof Windows Comment: Q4 2021

Jim Blanthorne

As 2021 drew to a close, demand for roof windows went up and up!

Finished goods stocks were stretched to the limit and beyond, as exceptionally strong orders from every market were met head-on with ongoing material supply challenges. Global supply chains struggled to deal with the mixture of demand and Covid-related capacity disruption, making it a challenging quarter for all involved.

As a result of the clash of strong demand and weak supply chains, a number of manufacturers were forced to announce product allocations to ensure their available capacity was shared fairly among customers. These allocations were met by a good level of acceptance from both the merchants and their trade customers, who have all become increasingly used to planning their material requirements well ahead of time throughout the pandemic.

As global cost inflation built up, Keylite and industry competitors announced price increases in Q4, which took effect early in 2022. The price increases announced were higher than the long term average, but were not exceptional in the context of the increases implemented by other categories during the past 12 – 18 months. We had taken every possible measure to shelter our customers from price increases during 2021, but exceptional cost inflation made this impossible to keep up long term.

Material and shipping costs show no sign of slowing down, let alone reversing and coming down.  As we enter 2022, the widely reported soaring energy prices are significantly increasing the production costs of commodities such as aluminium and glass, further adding to roof window material cost inflation and putting renewed pressure on margins.

At Keylite we are grateful to our customers for their ongoing support during these difficult times and were delighted to win the Roofing Category Supplier of the Year award at the BMJ awards in London. We will continue to work hard to navigate the challenges for our loyal customers – whatever 2022 throws our way.

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