2018/19 Manufacturing & Engineering Report

Our 2018/19 MHA Manufacturing & Engineering Report is now available!

Drawing on national and regional insight from over 200 clients and contacts, the findings of our recent survey identifies opportunities and concerns facing UK manufacturing and engineering businesses. UK SME manufacturers and engineers remain optimistic and confident about future growth, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, rising production costs and skill shortages.

The respondents were from a variety of sub-sectors within manufacturing and engineering including: aerospace, automotive, agriculture, biotechnology, chemical, construction, electrical and electronic, food and drink, healthcare, leisure, metals, minerals and materials, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, renewables and transport, to name but a few.

The report details the national findings, covering England, Wales and Scotland and also highlights interesting regional variations. Sector expert Matt Rooney, Engineering Policy Adviser at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has provided commentary throughout the report.

Key Findings:

  • 71% of manufacturers reported revenue growth in the last year and 70% predict business growth over the next 12 months.
  • 41% have high or above average business expectations over the next 12 months (increasing to 43% over the next three years) and 50% are looking to increase their capital investment spend in the coming year.
  • 58% of respondents export products and all exporters currently do so to the Eurozone.
  • 93% believe their main competitors are based within the UK and 35% agree they’re within their own region.
  • Only 30% cite Brexit uncertainty and trading tariff concerns as their main barrier to future success and just 34% have a strategy in place for post Brexit – 66% feel they cannot plan for the impact until they know the Government’s strategy and EU response.
  • 92% believe rising production costs will impact their business next year, but in a positive move, 67% intend to absorb any price increases, rather than pass them onto customers, and 52% intend to achieve this through improved productivity and efficiency.
  • Staff recruitment is an equally big issue; 81% of respondents report problems in finding people, yet 49% expect to increase payroll numbers next year. Out of these, 63% will opt for apprentices.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in the report in more detail or you would like to speak with a member of our team, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our Manufacturing & Engineering team.