Sales and Marketing Director Matthew Carter is right in the crosshairs when it comes to delivering the numbers, so what does the new year hold?
The only issue with having a good year is that it creates an expectation that the following year will be even better – this could explain why sales directors so often age prematurely.
In our market, H+H has always taken a long-term view. Focused exclusively on aircrete production, we need to support the manufacturing process with continuing improvements in quality and speed.
We have always taken a long-term approach to developing our customer base and we prefer to work in partnership with trusted clients rather than take short-term, opportunistic gains that can evaporate fast. Knee-jerk reaction to potential threats or opportunities has never been our style and we encourage certainty, reliability and confidence rather than over-hyped promises or transient offers.
I can’t say that I’m expecting a bumper year in 2020. My reading of the market mood right now is of caution and steadiness. Overall we are anticipating a small rise in new housebuilding, potentially offset by continued weak demand in the RMI sector.
Personally, I think there is a degree timidity right now and am always alert to the potential for understandable caution to create the sort of hesitation and slow-down that we would all rather avoid.
At H+H we are taking a more positive view of our own prospects. While the private sector housebuilding market may be relatively flat, we are strengthening our position by working to increase the volume of aircrete used in each build. Established and proven technical solutions provide for the use of H+H aircrete Foundations, party walls and spandrels, alongside our standard block offer for internal and external walls.
At the same time, we continue to support our offsite offer. Based on our storey-high Celcon Element panels, this system provides a welcome middle path for housebuilders keen to realise the speed and labour efficiency of offsite construction but with a robust, masonry solution.
No economy can accommodate the kind of turmoil and uncertainty that has characterised UK government over the last eighteen months without showing any strain. I think that is reflected in lower than hoped numbers on planning applications and registrations in Q4. As a result, I anticipate a quiet start to 2020 but expect to see growth in the year as whole, with momentum growing throughout the summer and into Autumn.
With one major caveat: what article would be complete without a reference to Brexit? One major issue with the potential to change everything.