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UK construction sales ‘not as bad as expected’ in 2020…

UK sales in 2020 were ‘not as bad’ as construction equipment manufacturers and dealers feared, according to the latest Construction Equipment Association report.

Telehandler sales in the UK fell by 57.2% last year, and while plant sales also collapsed, the recovery surge in the latter part of 2020 meant that unit sales were down by 24.5% on 2019 – much less than was expected.

December 2020 unit sales were up on December 2019, with numbers being strong enough to put sales in Q4 1% above Q4 2019.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first half of the year saw the sector suffer a 38% decline in sales, putting the actual number of 24.5% into perspective, according to the report.

The most popular category was that of mini/midi excavators which was down just 5.5% year-on-year, again with Q4 sales being up on 2019.

MAF’s Director of Construction Asset Finance, Gary Burns, commented: “While the overall sales for 2020 have gone down, the latter part of the year certainly turned things around and is another positive signal that Construction in the UK is on its way back after the initial impact of the Pandemic.

“As one of the biggest employment sectors in the UK, this is a very encouraging sign and we have already seen this continue into January 2021.

“The Government’s CBILS scheme has undoubtedly been a factor, allowing companies to finance equipment in the knowledge that in lots of cases, the first year’s interest will be covered by the scheme.”

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