The tougher economic environment appears to be beginning to bite as documents on Companies House show that Fineline Aluminium, part of the original Customade Group, has fallen into administration.

See Companies House documents here:

Since the collapse of the original Customade Group at the start of the pandemic, it appears that there has been an attempt to put some space between the new Fineline Aluminium, which was incorporated in June 2020, and the reformed Customade Group.

There do appear to remain some links between the two, with their Linkedin link at the bottom of the Fineline Aluminium website connecting to the Customade Group Linkedin page. A search on Companies House also shows mutual persons of interest in recent history between Fineline and Customade Group.

It is not yet clear whether Fineline Aluminium will be reformed again. The current trading outlook is certainly not what it was in 2020 and 2021. With inflation, a cost of living crisis, an energy crisis and a predicted two-year recession, forming a new manufacturing company against that backdrop would appear to be a very challenging task.

Looking at this from a wider perspective, signs are pointing to a probable rise in the number of fenestration companies likely to go bust in the coming year. With margins thinner than would be preferred at the fabrication level, even a moderate drop in demand could see a number of suppliers fall over.

In the connected construction sector, it is being reported that the number of building firms going bust is rising at its fastest rate since the 2008 financial crisis. You can see the Sky News report on that story here. Continuing price inflation is hitting margins within construction companies. Demand remains fairly solid according to reports, which makes the news of rising business closures worrying as this trend would only accelerate when demand begins to predictably slow when the recession really digs in.

Fenestration will not be immune from the same problems. Indeed, I have noticed growing commentary about the number of companies that have been going under in recent weeks. Demand in our sector certainly has slowed, and raw material costs remain high. 2023 looks set to be a tough environment to trade in.

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