Beijer Ref UK and Ireland recently celebrated the tenth annual supplier dinner in Stockport. The dinner is in recognition of the supplier partnerships forged and in celebration of another successful trading year. One of the highlights of the evening was awarding Lawton Tubes as the 2016 ‘Supplier of the Year’. Pictured is Oliver Lawton receiving the award from John Billson, Beijer Ref UK and Ireland Managing Director.
Beijer Ref's net sales have been boosted by 8.5% in Q4 of 2016 due to contributions from the newly acquired UK based wholesaler HRP and by the Australian company Realcold.
The Swedish refrigeration and air conditioning wholesaling group maintains that the key to its rise in sales to SEK2, 199m (€232m) in the forth quarter was certainly influenced by a good performance in Central Europe, which in no small part was the contribution of the integration and turnaround of the previously loss making HRP.
German-owned Aldi has overtaken the Co-operative to become Britain's fifth biggest supermarket group, highlighting the rapid growth of the discount chain.
Industry data from Kantar Worldpanel showed sales at the discount retailer rose 12.4% to £1.72bn in the 12 weeks to 29 January.
That took its share of the UK grocery market to 6.2% - above the Co-op's 6%, or £1.66bn, and only beaten by the more established big four - Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.
Aldi and budget rival Lidl have in recent years won share from Britain's traditional "big four" grocers, putting increased pressure on them to lower prices and raise their game.
"Underpinned by an extensive programme of store openings, the past quarter has seen Aldi attract 826,000 more shoppers than during the same period last year," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel. "Just a decade ago Aldi was the UK's tenth largest food retailer, accounting for less than 2% of the grocery market. Since then the grocer has grown rapidly, climbing the rankings by an impressive five places to hold a 6.2% market share."
Sales at Lidl rose 9.4 percent, taking its market share to 4.5 percent. Morrisons was the fastest growing retailer within the big four, increasing its market share for the first time since June 2015 with a sales uplift of 1.9% year on year. Despite being overtaken by Aldi, Co-op's 2% sales increase was still well ahead of the market, continuing a run of growth stretching back to July 2015. Growing for the fifth period in a row, albeit at a slower rate, Tesco's sales were up 0.3% year on year as its market share fell to 28.1%. Sainsbury's sales remained flat, whiles its share fell by 0.3% to stand at 16.5%.
The market as a whole continues to grow faster than it did in 2016, with supermarket sales up 1.7% on last year.
Meanwhile, the Kantar figures also showed supermarket prices rose by 0.7%, accelerating the return to inflation seen in December following more than two years of prices falling. "If prices continue to rise at the same rate for the rest of 2017, shoppers will find themselves around 27 pounds worse off," McKevitt said.
The data also revealed that supply issues caused by bad weather in southern Europe meant 759,000 fewer shoppers bought courgettes in January - a fall of 31% - and saw spinach sales slip by 12%.
The latest improvement in Aldi's fortunes appears to confound widely-reported recent criticism that customers were being put off by long queues, untidy stores and crowded car parks. The supermarket's rapid expansion has seen its number of stores grow to around 700.
At the recent National ACR & Heat Pump Awards, held in Birmingham last week, RW won the award for the Wholesaler/Distributor of the year. For RW this was the third time they won in this category against stiff competition. The judges said "RW is a national wholesaler of high quality, multi brand products. They strive to achieve the highest level of service by putting the customer at the heart of all they do. Positioned strategically around the UK, the 12 RW branches are fully stocked one stop shops that ensure customer demand is fulfilled”
Despite the outcome of the EU Referendum, the cooling industry will not see any change to regulations covering the use of fluorinated refrigerant gases (F-Gas) or the requirement for refrigerant handling registration, according to experts.
While the original F-Gas Regulation (EC517/2014) emanated from Brussels and was driven by the European Commission, it was transposed directly into UK law. Therefore, it is now part of the British legal system and it would require Westminster to repeal one of its own laws for the industry’s F-Gas measures to be changed. The EU regulation itself has no legal status.
As a result, there will be no impact for the foreseeable future on companies operating in the UK market and no change to the mandatory requirements for certification with industry registration schemes like Refcom.
“Our government, the Environment Agency and regional equivalents are all committed to environmental responsibility so I cannot foresee any circumstance where we would rescind this law,” said Graeme Fox, senior mechanical engineer at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).
“The certification and personnel competence requirements have all been set at UK level. They are all different across the EU; even though we have the mutual recognition status between international schemes.
“So again, despite the Brexit vote, there will be no change to the requirements for legally working with fluorinated greenhouse gases and systems containing them here in the UK,” added Mr Fox, who is a former President of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration European Association (AREA) and a director of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB).
A-Gas UK issue Statement on the outcome of the EU referendum.
“The outcome of the referendum has ushered in a significant period of uncertainty for the HVAC industry and the broader economy. The exact terms of Britain’s exit from the EU have still to be determined and are likely to take several years to complete. In the interim, it will be business as usual for A-Gas. The result has however, raised a number of questions from customers seeking clarity on some key issues.” said John Ormerod, A-Gas UK Managing Director.
How does this affect the F-Gas regulation?
“The F-Gas regulation has been adopted into UK law and therefore the provisions in it will still apply to the UK even after Brexit.”
What about exchange rates?
“We have already seen significant volatility in both the £/€ and £/$ exchange rates. This is likely to have an effect on the volatility of refrigerant prices as the cost of production is based on these currencies.”
Will Brexit affect refrigerant availability?
“We do not foresee specific problems in the supply chain arising from the referendum outcome. Our supply chain is protected by supply contracts and our own sources of reclaimed refrigerant place us in a good position to continue to meet our clients’ requirements.”
Currently, A-Gas say they are not answering any further questions on this.
Toshiba Air Conditioning launch expanded programme of CPD courses for consultants, designers, installers and end-users wishing to update their knowledge on key technical and legislative issues.
The focus is on improving understanding of system design and application of the latest technology, and ensuring clarity on and compliance with changes in legislation affecting the industry.
David Dunn, director and general manager of Toshiba pictured above, said: “As a leading manufacturer, a key priority for us is to help raise standards across the industry. An important part of this is contributing to the level of knowledge in core topics and areas subject to rapid development, such as new legislation and technical innovation.”
The new courses, which build on and extend Toshiba’s previous CPD programme, will be available from the Toshiba’s training centres in Leatherhead, Manchester and Plymouth, and some distributor’s premises as well as the option of the Toshiba team being able to deliver the material at customers’ premises.
In addition to courses on the fundamentals of air conditioning, there are sessions focussing on the application of air-cooled VRF systems, and the use of mechanical and natural cooling systems.
There is a course on the latest heat pump technology, aimed at those wanting to keep abreast of recent innovations and how to apply them to deliver high performance and optimum efficiency for clients.
There is also a session dedicated to understanding how refrigerant leak detection pump-down systems work, and how to ensure they comply with current legislation regarding refrigerant in occupied spaces, such as in hotels.
It explains how designers and installers can demonstrate compliance in relation to BREEAM credits, as well as conformity with British Standard EN378.
In line with the increasing attention being given to energy performance, there is a course dedicated to the practical aspects of applying SEER and COP calculations to VRF systems (in line with Part L of the Building Regulations, 2nd tier document). It also covers the application of the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM).
The full programme includes the following eight courses:
Toshiba will also be providing an in-depth module on current and alternative refrigerants as well as looking at the impact of the proposed legislation changes during 2016.
For more details on dates and how to book, please contact Neil Hitching on 0870 843 0333, or email email@example.com
Beijer Ref AB (publ) is pleased to announce that the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has today unconditionally approved its acquisition of HRP Holdings Limited (“HRP”). The acquisition of HRP was announced in November 2015 and completed in February 2016. However, the CMA launched an investigation on its own initiative into the merger under United Kingdom merger control laws.
In reaching its decision, the CMA is satisfied that the merger will not substantially lessen competition Beijer Ref can now proceed with its restructuring plans for the HRP business, which has been run separately during the CMA’s investigation.
John Billson, Managing Director of Beijer Ref UK and Ireland, said that "we were highly confident that the acquisition of HRP would not reduce competition and are satisfied that the CMA has recognised this. My team and I can now get on and develop the HRP, 3D and HRP OEM brands". He went on to say "I would like to take this opportunity to thank our suppliers, customers and employees for their understanding and support during this process."
BREAKING NEWS: According to the Government website the CMA has cleared the acquisition by Beijer Ref AB (publ) of HRP Holdings Limited.
25 February 2016: The CMA served an initial enforcement order under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 on Beijer Ref AB (publ) in relation to the completed acquisition by Beijer Ref Ab (Publ) of HRP holdings Limited.
11 April 2016: The CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry by notice to the parties.
11 April 2016: The CMA said it is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.
7 June 2016: The CMA has cleared the acquisition by Beijer Ref AB (publ) of HRP Holdings Limited. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.
Howard Noble a well-known character and respected name in the refrigeration and air conditioning wholesale market has joined Beijer Ref UK as Director of Innovation.
Howard will be an addition to the existing management team and will be taking the business into some new key areas. John Billson Managing Director said “Howard is someone we have been keen to get on board for many years and I am delighted that he has joined us at a time of further expansion”
Howard has had a career spanning more than 30 years, having spent 11 years at refrigeration and air conditioning wholesale NRS, three years at Just One Call and previously six years at refrigeration plant manufacturer Arctic Circle.