The challenge posed by Brexit was discussed during the first morning of LuxLive, which was held at London’s ExCel centre last week.
Paul Beale, founding director of Electrolight, advised the industry, during a talk, to make the most of the pound’s weakness by concentrating on exports.
The weakness of sterling appears to be here to stay as the currency has failed to return to pre-Brexit levels, despite the best efforts of Prime Minister Theresa May and the Bank of England to steady jangling nerves.
Beale also advised the industry to focus on infrastructure, as it appears that the Government is all set to decide that the best way to prop up the economy is though nation building.
In last week’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, committed more than £1 billion to road building, the first plank of an infrastructure programme that the Government hopes will pep up the UK’s stagnating economic productivity figures. An investment that will, ultimately, trickle down to the lighting industry.
‘In the wake of Brexit, where might the new opportunities lie and how do we move forward from here?’ Paul Beale told Lux Magazine.
‘I’m looking to essentially discuss how to make sense of Brexit and consider what the implications are for the lighting manufacturing and design sectors.’
Market analysts Plimsoll Publishing recently carried out a financial health check on all of the UK’s 925 top lighting firms and found that 92 companies were showing signs of weakness and were in need of early prevention measures. A further 191 firms were rated as being in danger and were showing a serious weakening in financial health, requiring aid.
Economic insecurity has clouded around the British economy since the June EU vote, a state of affairs that is only likely to worsen after the victory of President-elect Trump in the United States, however the majority of lighting firms do seem to be forging a steady course.
451 firms were rated as ‘strong’ in the survey and were found to be showing strong financial health, while 78 firms were rated as ‘good’ showing improving financial health and an aspiration to be rated as ‘strong’ in the future.
92 firms were rated as ‘mediocre’ and could face an uncertain future if the worst case scenarios about Brexit come true and a recession materialises.