The BPF Business Conditions Survey shows continuing optimism with 55% forecasting an increase in UK Sales turnover and 32% an increase in Export Sales in 2013. But a minority of companies since the last survey are forecasting lower profitability and reductions in staff.
Peter Davis, BPF's Director General said "Our survey attracted a record response from 100 companies, drawn from all parts of the industry. The Plastics Industry is confident about sales this year and most plan to make investments in plant and equipment".
This year 55% of companies are forecasting an increase in UK Sales turnover. This is less optimistic than our June 2012 survey (71%) but Peter Davis said "this may have been influenced by London Olympics optimism". 20% expected an increase of 2-5%; 18% forecast +6-10%; 14% forecast +11-20%. 30% of respondents expected no change, 15% a decrease.
The most positive sectors are: Plastic Pipes, Masterbatch producers and Compounders, Additive Suppliers, Polymer Distributors and Recyclers.
32% of companies expected Export Sales to increase in 2013 whilst 34% expected no change. 6% predicted a decrease, the remainder did not export.
Most firms - 45% - were expecting no change to their Profitability in 2013. 36% were expecting their profitability to increase and mentioned manufacturing efficiencies, cost cutting and benefits from capital expenditure.
19% expected their profit margin to decrease. This is substantially up on our June 2012 survey where 7% expected a decrease. These respondents mentioned: Euro/£ exchange rate; Asian competition; raw material and energy costs.
Peter Davis said "This shows the heavy external pressures on companies in a tough trading market".
UK's plastics producers in good spirits