The 6th edition of the M&E Contractors Market Report UK 2021-2025 represents an informed and up-to-date review of the UK market for mechanical and electrical (M&E) contracting, focusing on multi-service M&E contracting companies executing work within the non-residential construction sector.
The M&E contracting market declined sharply in 2020 due to the disruption to construction activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This followed a period of robust growth between 2013 and 2017 although the market had flattened in 2018-2019.
The decline was mitigated by a strong return to activity in the latter part of 2020 as contractors adapted working practices to comply with social distancing requirements. The market is continuing to recover into 2021 but the speed of recovery is being hindered by supply shortages, caused by disruption at all levels of the supply chain, which is leading to price rises for a wide range of products and materials.
Profitability among M&E contractors remains fairly low but has been improving over the last two years, particularly for larger contractors, as companies have refocused their business on profitable sectors and avoided low bidding.
Covid-19 is affecting hygiene and safety requirements in building design, leading to increased demand for upgrading and installation of ventilation systems, particularly in schools and hospitals, as well as modifications to ensure a safer working environment in offices, washrooms and catering facilities.
The Marketing to Contractors & Housebuilders feature (which is sponsored by South East Construction Expo) in the Sectors section of our Directory provides an overview of the sector, including
details of its various media channels and events, together with access to our downloadable database of those with responsibility for procurement at key firms.
The move towards zero carbon is another key driver of market growth, leading to increased demand for products such as LED lighting, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, building monitoring and control systems and renewable energy products such as heat pumps.
The immediate prospects for the UK M&E contracting market are positive, as the economy recovers rapidly from the pandemic, with 4– 6% annual growth expected in 2021 and 2022, before returning to more modest growth rates of 2-3% per annum from 2023 5o 2025. However, the pace of recovery is likely to vary considerably across the various sub-sectors of non-residential construction.
Key Issues Covered in the Report:
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