Chris Evans

12th October 2021


Is the fire about to go out on the UK’s glass production facilities?

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Leading figures in the glass market are warning that high energy prices could see many UK manufacturers shut down. David Dalton of the British Glass Manufacturers Association said some companies were days away from halting production.

While UK consumers are, temporarily at least, insulated from soaring energy prices, glass businesses are not, and the energy-intensive nature of making glass leaves the UK market ill-equipped to absorb rocketing energy costs. A job crisis could be looming for regions of the UK with sizeable glass-making industries as new research from Plimsoll shows how little scope there is to continue profitable production in the face of cost inflation on such an unprecedented scale.

The new Plimsoll Analysis has vetted the financial health and outlook of the UK’s 256 leading glass companies. Based on the latest data, this interactive analysis of the UK market shows:

  • 105 companies were rated as Danger or Caution – almost half of the market
  • Profit margins are down to just 1.8% in the latest year from 5.4% the year before
  • Sales per employee is down to just £92,000 – there is little room for wage growth
  • Growth in the market is recovering from the pandemic but is still down 3.5%
  • 88 companies have seen their debt position deteriorate in the latest year

The Plimsoll Analysis provides an instant assessment of the health and sustainability of the UK’s leading glass making companies. It provides advanced warning of who is most likely to survive the supply crisis and who could fail.

For glass making companies it provides an instant benchmark of your performance against the rest of the UK market and the insight you need to develop your strategy. For observers and suppliers in the market, it will show you which companies are in a weakened position and most at risk of failure.

If costs outweigh revenue generated the UK’s glass-making companies are right to be drawing up plans to cease production. The economic case for the production of glass in the UK is being sorely tested by a perfect storm of shortages and cost increases. The Plimsoll Analysis reveals the companies most likely to be standing at the end of what could be a very difficult winter.

More information about the Plimsoll Analysis on the UK glass market is available here.


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