Six in 10 plastics firms believe sales turnover will increase in the next 12 months, according to poll.

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28th April 2021 15:48 - Chemicals

Six in 10 plastics firms believe sales turnover will increase in the next 12 months: A survey of plastics industry companies has revealed optimism for the coming year, with 62% expecting to see an increase in sales turnover in the next 12 months.

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) Business Conditions Survey is conducted every six months to look at business trends and was completed by 76 firms in January 2021. 

Respondents were from plastic industry sub-sectors including plastics processors (55%), recyclers (10%), raw materials producers and distributors (22%) and machinery and equipment (14%). 

While 62% of firms predict that their sales turnover will increase in 2021, just over a quarter (28%) said they expect sales turnover to stay the same, while 11% are expecting a decrease. 

When asked about their reasons for expecting a decrease in sales turnover, Covid-19 was the top answer given (75%), followed by Brexit (50%) and for a quarter of companies polled, a ’shortage of polymer’ (25%). 

Amongst the companies who are expecting to see an increase in sales turnover or for it to remain the same, reasons given included an increased demand from sectors affected by Coronavirus including packaging, medical devices and PPE. 

Export sales

Looking at predicted export sales turnover over the next 12 months, almost three in 10 companies said they were expecting to see an increase (29%), while a third said they expected their sales would ‘stay the same’ (33%). Almost two-fifths of the companies polled (38%), however, said  they were expecting to see a decrease in export sales; the highest level ever recorded in the BPF survey to date.

Most companies (94%) cited Brexit as a reason for the expected fall in export sales due to issues such as ‘red tape’, ‘paperwork’, ‘bureaucracy’ and 'additional charges’.

The survey also asked respondents about their expected profit margins for the coming year, with 34% expecting to see an increase in 2021, while the same percentage believe it will stay the same (34%) and slightly fewer expecting a decrease. 

Reasons given for the decrease again point to Brexit (54%), followed by the rising costs of raw materials/polymers (50%). Covid-19 was cited by just 13% of companies. 



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