A new survey from AMA Research has found that the annual market growth in the UK suspended ceilings and partitioning systems market reached 5% during 2015 and 2016. Growth was driven by rising construction activity in key end user sectors, as well as a steady recovery in refurbishment and RMI work. Market growth depends heavily upon the performance of the economy, the construction sector and the government’s approach to Brexit will be a key influence.

Suspended ceilings has generally performed better than the partitions sector of the market in recent years. Growth in the ceilings sector has largely resulted from a growing customer preference for higher quality premium products offering additional benefits, as well as the fact that suspended ceilings are supplied to a wide range of end user applications.

The ceiling market is segmented by key materials, with mineral fibre accounting for the largest share of the market, having remained fairly stable in recent years. Metal ceilings are also popular and account for a significant share of the market, ahead of gypsum products.

The partitioning systems market has experienced more modest growth of late, rising by 4% in value terms in 2016, however, demand has started to increase over the last few years, due to a greater desire to create individual rooms and spaces within larger open plan working environments. In recent years, the performance of the partitions sector has been boosted by the growing popularity of glazed partitioning. The largest sector within the partitioning systems market, in value terms, is demountable/relocatable products, followed by the operable wall sector.

The outlook remains reasonably positive for 2017, assuming the UK’s economic performance is sustained. The market is likely to remain heavily dependent upon refurbishment work in existing facilities, such as office redesigns, rather than larger-scale newbuild developments; the exception being a number of major projects in London. Market prospects in the short term are for reasonable levels of growth, with the majority of opportunities expected to arise within the private sector.

Hayley Thornley, Market Research Manager at AMA Research, said: “Areas of opportunity are expected to include private offices and warehousing, as well as certain sectors of the retail, such as convenience stores, and leisure and entertainment with a focus on budget hotels, restaurants and gyms.

“It should be noted, however, that market growth depends heavily upon the performance of the economy and the construction sector and the government’s approach to Brexit will be a key influence.”

The ‘Suspended Ceilings and Partitioning Systems Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research.