Published On: Tue, Oct 17th, 2017

Continued investment points to companies’ positive long-term aspirations

As we enter the last quarter of 2017, the news desk at Windows Active has been inundated with a deluge of business stories that make for interesting reading. They all demonstrate continued investment in the sector and point to companies’ positive long-term aspirations. Many in the sector were shocked to hear the news that Lister Trade Frames had gone into administration, a company regarded by many as an incredibly reliable supplier and operator. Against this backdrop it was with little surprise that a large number of interested parties were keen to purchase the company. Having recently re-entered the sector with his purchase of GJB Fabrications, it was Roy Frost, backed by entrepreneur Alan Rothwell who signed the deal to save Listers. It demonstrates a firm commitment and belief in the sector, at a time when windows and doors are firmly engrained in householders’ home improvement aspirations. It is easy to find further evidence of this buoyant outlook, particularly with the news of GAP’s purchase of SIG and the completed refinancing at Synseal Group as it enters into the next stage of growth. On the subject of Synseal, the company also announced the departure of CEO David Leng. David has been instrumental in delivering the company’s strategy for revenue growth; this has been delivered with a mix of innovation and acquisition that now sees the business with revenue of £160m.

The future is definitely looking rosy and there is no doubt that over the next few months we will be seeing further investment news from many of the industry’s leading players. It is over 40 years since the first PVC-U window was installed in the UK, an amazing milestone and one that does beg the question, what can we expect from the next 40 years? An expert was quoted in the Times newspaper recently when asked this very question. Graham Dodd, global materials leader at Arup, believes: “We are on the threshold of exciting developments in glazing, including dynamic ‘electrochromic’ glass that changes colour as it heats up or cools down.” It may have sounded like space age stuff 40 years ago, but the reality of truly next-generation products is gaining momentum. Mentions of products such as ‘breathable double glazing’ and the ‘marriage of glass with IT’ are wetting the appetite of future-minded householders and we as an industry need to make sure we keep up with the innovation. Who, 40 years ago would have believed that the PVC-U window would revolutionise the fenestration industry?