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News Release

October 24, 2002


The AKTRIN Furniture Information Center in collaboration with Market & Business Development Ltd. have issued a new report on THE UK KITCHEN FURNITURE MARKET DEVELOPMENT.

This is an important publication for kitchen furniture manufacturers, their suppliers, installers and others who need to understand or follow the trends of the kitchen furniture industry in the United Kingdom. The report has been segmented into two parts, namely rigid kitchen furniture and self-assembly or flatpack kitchen furniture. Coverage includes retail and contract sectors.

The study includes essential information about the industry, definitions of terminology, kitchen furniture production data by product categories, application types by end-use markets, supply sources, the industry structure, and kitchen furniture distribution. The analysis also provides seasonal and regional data. The report is presented in a clear, readable format with five years of historical data and a five year forecast.

Companies Covered

a.. Enodis
b.. MFI Furniture Group
c.. Hygena
d.. Schrieber Furniture
e.. Bernstein Group
f.. Symphony Group
g.. PJH Group
h.. Gower Furniture

The UK kitchen furniture market declined in 1999. This was offset by 7% nominal growth in 2000. The current market size is about ?41.8 million.

Perceptions about self-assembly furniture are no longer "low quality, low price" as higher quality furniture are being introduced. The popularity of self-assembly furniture is increasing with the market share advancing from 65% in 1999 to more than 70% at the present time. Between 1997 and 2001 sales of self-assembly kitchen furniture grew by almost 30% while sales of rigid kitchen furniture declined by 14%. This trend will likely continue in the years ahead.

Given the weak state of the UK and global economies, short-term developments in the kitchen furniture market are uncertain. The medium term looks more positive. Demand for housing remains strong, reflecting a trend towards single household occupancy. The more important replacement market is expected to remain healthy along with improving consumer affluence. New trends towards "celebrity chefs" may influence the popularity of home cooking amongst the younger generation in contrast to the convenience trend of past years.

Due to interest rate reductions in 2001, the retail market is performing well. Combined growth in 2000 and 2001 amounted to 5%. This was in excess of inflation, reflecting real growth. Historically there has been a six-month time lag between interest rate changes and consumer spending. Retail sales may fall in 2003 in anticipation of rising interest rates.

The contract market for kitchen furniture has fluctuated strongly over the past few years. Growth in 2000 stood at a healthy 18% but the market fell by 4% in 2001, taking sales to ?13.8 million. There have then major hold-ups in new construction which builders blame on delays in planning permissions. In view of the time-gap between housing completions and kitchen installations - which is more strongly allied to the sale of houses - little or no growth is anticipated in the contract market over the next two years. Despite this, the long-term trend is positive as the housing market is likely to expand.

Production will likely grow in the years to come. It will be increasingly dominated by demand from the UK market. Current year exports have improved only marginally, given the economic difficulties in the European trading partners. The healthy UK market for kitchen furniture will continue to attract imports and this is further stimulated by the strength of the pound Sterling.

For more information click: http://furniture-info.com/f_books.htm?1636.htm or call (905) 845 3474 or send an e-mail to: aktrin@aktrin.com.

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AKTRIN is a report writing and international consulting firm fully dedicated to the furniture industry. The company has been in existence since 1985 and maintains offices in the United States and Canada. Representatives and affiliates are located throughout the world.

AKTRIN Group of Information Centers
Stefan Wille
Tel.: (905) 845 3474
E-mail: aktrin@aktrin.com
Web: www.aktrin.com

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