The weak pound is driving price increases in the supply of fans to manufacturers in the UK.
Most fans used in the UK are imported from large European manufacturers such as Ziehl Abegg, Ebm-papst and Soler & Palau. With manufacturing facilities based in Europe, UK-based subsidiaries find the fans they bring in less competitive due to the vagaries of the exchange rate system.
Sterling has fallen dramatically in value against other top global currencies in the last six months. On July 1 2008, £1 was worth $2 and €1.26. By January 1, £1 was worth $1.45 and €1.05. Sterling has rallied since but is well down on its summer valuation.
Les Fish, UK managing director of Ziehl Abegg acknowledged the weak pound had given him a lot to think about recently.
“Our products are imported from Germany and are paid for in euros. This presents us with some challenges. It doesn’t have an effect when our customers also deal in euros, but for those who deal in sterling we have had to introduce some price increases.”
Mr Fish added its main rivals were in the same boat and have also introduced price increases.
“There is no fan manufacturer in the UK on the scale of the biggest European manufacturers. If there was, it would benefit them if they were in a position to source materials domestically and export products into the Eurozone.”