THE COST of the lockdown on the UK’s lighting sector was spelled out this morning in an industry report which revealed that overall activity is down by 55 per cent.
The number tallies with figures recently reported to WEEE compliance bodies and component manufacturers supplying manufacturers.
The stark calculation was the headline in a Lighting Industry Association survey of its members conducted during April.
It reveals that lighting businesses are running at a capacity of around 45 per cent compared to that before the government’s lockdown to reduce the rate of infection of the coronavirus.
The report also reveals that approximately 44 per cent of staff are currently furloughed under the UK government’s Job Retention Scheme which funds 80 per cent of employees’ salaries.
On a more positive note, a mere 4 per cent of companies reported that they had made any redundancies as a direct result of the coronavirus lockdown.
Currently 89 per cent of members report that their business remains open in some form with the most operative functions being sales (95 per cent), dispatch (90 per cent) and accounts (87 per cent).
Many companies (69 per cent) are reporting difficulties in obtaining raw materials or components with a variety of reasons.
Supply problems are being encountered from Asia, Italy, Spain and to a lesser extent, Germany. Lead times have been extended.
Some UK suppliers are closed creating supply problems while others report a slow improvement in lead times from the Far East.
Immediate problems include late deliveries, a shortage of shipping capacity and slow return to manufacturing capacity in China.
The LIA also asked if members had attempted to access the various Government support schemes and 47 per cent reported positively.
However, many had experienced difficulty owing to the portals not being fully ready or lack of support from banks.
On the subject of credit, 38 per cent reported that their customers had either asked for or had simply taken extended credit with others reporting late payers deducting early payment discounts outside the qualification period.
Over 70 per cent of LIA members reported having a recovery plan in place ready for the removal of lockdown measures.
Manufacturers, including lighting makers, are exempt from the UK coronavirus clampdown on non-essential work, travel and gatherings, the UK government has confirmed.