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Future ‘bright spots’ give ductworkers fresh hope

Ductwork projects are down by nearly 35 per cent this year but there is light at the end of the tunnel, according to the HVCA.

Speaking at the Building Better Business conference, hosted by the HVCA and the Association of Ductwork Contractors and Allied Services (Adcas), Ductwork Group chairman Peter Rogers said market conditions were “very tough”, but urged contractors not to think all was doom and gloom.

“There are bright spots and sound commercial opportunities out there, he said.

He pointed to cash surpluses held in the UK corporate sector as potential sources of funding for projects currently on hold.

His prediction followed comments made by the CBI’s senior economist, David Muir, who told the conference that many corporations had rebuilt their balance sheets and were now in a position to invest.

Adcas president Malcolm Moss said that general construction workloads were down by about a quarter, but ductwork projects had fallen further to nearly 35 per cent.

“It is hard to see exactly what is going to happen next on account of the uncertain economy,” he said.

Although a double-dip recession was unlikely, the risk could increase if European governments did not move quickly to sort out the Eurozone crisis, he added.

The CBI is predicting a rise in GDP of 2.2 per cent next year, assuming that the euro’s problems are sorted out. “If they are not, it will be closer to 1.7 per cent,” said Mr Muir.

Neil Relph, of the accountancy practice Rouse Partners, advised ductwork firms to focus hard on their cashflow to see themselves through the current market turmoil. He advised firms to renegotiate contract terms to improve the speed of cash flow.