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Contract cleaning 'hit' in 2009 but growth in 2010 foreseen

07 January 2010

The UK contract cleaning market has responded quickly and positively to the recession according to a new report from MTW Research.

Based on sales from the industry, the latest report from MTW Research indicates that the contract cleaning market is estimated to have returned to values previously experienced in 2004, reflecting the severity of the recent downturn. Price competition, rising labour costs, additional burden from legislation relating to immigration, declining volume demand and a number of additional micro market issues negatively impacted on the market in 2009. However, rising business confidence and a more stable economy should result in a return to value growth for the contract cleaning market during 2010, according to the report.
A rapid reaction by the contract cleaning industry to recessionary pressures resulted in a greater focus on developing more efficient internal systems in 2009, drastically reducing resource wastage throughout the industry and thereby preventing profitability from declining further. One key benefit for cleaning material and equipment suppliers of this streamlining has been much faster decision making processes involved in procurement, with contract cleaners making purchase decisions faster than at any other time.
Whilst many contract cleaners scaled back on capital equipment purchase in 2009, MTW point to the likelihood of a growing‘pent-up demand’ in early 2010, with capital expenditure likely to rise in the next year as contract cleaners seek to ‘replace and replenish’ following more positive trading conditions in late 2009 and early 2010. With shortened procurement processes and rising demand for cleaning equipment and materials, short term prospects appear increasingly positive for cleaning equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
More optimism for the cleaning industry comes from MTW’s SWOT and PEST analysis of the contract cleaning market, which identified a large number of growth opportunities for contract cleaners in 2010. These include the scope for contract cleaners to develop niche sectors, extend existing contracts and capitalise on current issues such as viruses and hygiene within the workplace. Further opportunities identified by MTW include enhancing added value services such as live audit data, mobile response units, and more specialist service provision amongst others.
One area of concern for the contract cleaning industry is that whilst public expenditure is now set until 2012 for key areas of health and education, it appears increasingly likely that cuts in public sector budgets may dampen growth opportunities in the longer term. However, private spending on contract cleaning is forecast to return to stronger growth and government initiatives such as the additional pot of £270m for virus and infection control should more than offset any decline in public spending.
The report provides a comprehensive review of the UK contract cleaning market and forecasts sales to 2013, with product and end use sector shares, alongside sales leads for key contract cleaners. The report is available to purchase from £565 from MTW Research’s website  where a free sample is available to download or by calling 08456 524324.

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