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Electrical installation companies in Europe are thriving, both in terms of turnover and orderbook

Electrical installation companies show positive signs in terms of both turnover development and order book size. In all major European countries the share of installation companies, indicating to have an increase in turnover in Q1 2018 compared to the same quarter in 2017, is higher than those stating it was lower. This positive trend in the turnover balance, could already be seen in each quarter of 2017. As for the size of the order books, it becomes increasingly visible that installation companies are reaching full capacity. USP keeps tracking both turnover and orderbook development in their quarterly editions of the European Electrical Installation Monitor for 7 key European countries.

Q1 2018 turnover balance highest for the Netherlands, but positive for all major European countries

Installation companies are thriving in all major European countries, but in Q1 2018 the Netherlands stood out in terms of turnover balance. Over half of the installation companies mentioned a turnover increase compared to Q1 2017, while only 2% experienced a turnover decrease. Looking at the turnover expectations installation companies have for Q2 2018, Dutch and Spanish installation companies are most positive, with turnover balances of respectively 51% and 59%. Looking back several quarters it becomes clear that this positive trend in turnover was even more positive in 2017, especially regarding the share of installation companies indicating to have a turnover increase of over 10%.

Growth in Dutch order books; most other countries show steady volumes

Looking at the number of months installation companies can keep their current staff working, the Netherlands shows an increasing trend since the beginning of 2017. In Q1 2018, installation companies expected to have enough work for almost 8 months in advance. Looking at the other European countries the UK and Poland show relatively steady order books throughout the past quarters, fluctuating between seven and eight months.

Will labour shortage in the Netherlands become a natural growth stabilizer?

The positive market situation is clearly seen due to growing turnover development for all major European countries. This was even more the case mid-2017 than in the past two quarters. It will therefore be interesting to see how the turnover performance of electrical installation companies will develop in the next quarters of 2018. Keeping in mind the labour shortages occurring in many countries, there seems to be a natural limit regarding growth potential of the installation companies.