In the context of 2016 as a year, July will be known as the month that we as an industry and a country sat down and took stock of the huge decision taken at the end of June to leave the European Union. As we head into August, it is time to take a look back and review a July that the industry will perhaps never forget.
Deals, deals deals!
Before the EU referendum, I was reliably told that there were a number of fairly major deals on ice until the outcome of the vote was known. The thinking at the time was if we were to vote to leave, then potentially these deals were never going to be done.
This turned out not to be the case. This was the busiest M&A month in our industry for a very long time. Here is a quick recap as to the deals announced throughout July:
And just as we entered a new month, Swedish-based Inwido acquired CWG Choices for £11.6m to round off a very busy M&A period. I suspect that there are more industry deals to be done in the coming months.
So it turns out that even a Brexit vote wasn’t enough to put these deals on perma-ice. Although I do suspect that the currency moves on Sterling may have saved a couple of buyers a few quid, which is a bonus to them!
Acquisitions and takeovers weren’t the only stories to make headlines in July.
Out of the blue, the newly appointed President of the GGF, Andrew Glover, announced that he was to resign from the role and that the process of finding a new President was to begin.
In a statement, it was said that the like of time forced his hand. If you click the link above you can read my full thoughts on the resignation. But in short I understand why he had to resign. Running a window and door company, and a network of them, in 2016 is a tough enough job alone. The new GGF President needs to be someone who has served time in the industry, but has the time to spare at this present time. I’d also like to see a woman in the role as well.
Away from the industry, England did as poorly as I thought they would in the Euros, which meant there was no knock-on effect to business activity in our industry. Silver linings and all that.
The Labour Party continued to tear itself apart further after the shambolic running of the party post-referendum.
And the world proved once again in various instances in various hotspots that it’s a fairly crappy place to be right now.
Business activity still strong
Despite the gloom and doom predictions, I sensed that business activity in our industry remained strong. During July I published a set of results from a poll where I asked readers to vote to tell me how their business had performed since the Brexit vote.
The general feeling from those results was that it was very much business as usual, with a few voters saying that this year was actually going to be their best ever.
At our place, we over-achieved on our monthly sales targets, and for the year overall we’re a nose ahead of where we ought to be. Of course it probably isn’t all roses everywhere, and business will be tough for some. But there certainly isn’t a rapid collapse of business as some predicted would happen pre-vote.
On the DGB front, things picked back up a little. In my last review I talked about the usual summer dip, along with my vacation and referendum all taking it’s toll on traffic levels on this site. I also said that July should see some sort of recovery as we move away from summer dip territory and get back on track.
On the most part, this is exactly what happened. Take a look: