Sika continues Russian expansion

Sika has expanded its Russian production capacity with the opening of new factories for mortar and admixtures.A mortar factory and a plant to produce concrete admixtures are being opened In Volgograd, in southern Russia. In parallel, a new production facility to manufacture polymers for concrete admixtures is coming on stream at an existing site in Lobnya, 30km north of Moscow.Sika said that the investments are aimed at strengthening its position as a market leader in Russia for concrete admixtures.Over the past three years Sika has increased sales considerably in its target markets in Russia, growing faster than the market as a whole.  Sika is investing in expanding its production capacity in order to cope with demand and further increase its market share. It also has plants in St Petersburg and Rzhev.The existing plants will supply the north-west of the country and central Russia, while the plant in Volgograd will supply product technology to the construction industry in southern Russia.Paul Schuler, Sika regional manager EMEA said: “Despite cautious forecasts for 2015, Sika is confident that there is long-term potential in Russia’s infrastructure and industrial construction sectors. The new production facilities will contribute greatly to improving our cost structure in Russia, as transport costs and import duties will be eliminated. This means that Sika is very well positioned to consolidate its long-term market leadership, in particular for concrete admixtures, and to gain further market share.”Source:

More loaders of Oxford agg firm

The company now has seven of this type of loader, more than any other company in the UK, according to the Caterpillar dealer, Finning.Smiths has 20 Cat machines across it various quarry sites in Oxfordshire, including excavators, backhoe loaders, dozers, and articulated trucks. Of these, nine have been bought new this year.Plant manager John Middleton said: “We’ve worked with Finning for a long time now, and in light of how busy we’ve been over the past three years, our partnership with them has proven invaluable. I’d say we’re at our highest peak of production at the moment, and with our brand new 972M machines, we won’t be slowing down any time soon.”Source: 

Big names want North East suppliers

Major contractors and clients like Kier, McAlpine and Highways England are looking to meet new suppliers in the North East.Suppliers and subcontractors across the region will be able to get the low down on upcoming contracts at a Constructionline Meet the Buyer event in Sedgefield on 10 September.Over 400 North East SMEs and nearly 20 local clients have signed up to attend the event.In addition, the main contractors and Highways England, Newcastle City Council and Gateshead NHS Trust are among the list of exhibitors looking to make connections with the region’s suppliers.The event will also see decision-makers from the organisations give presentations about forthcoming opportunities, as well as providing attendees with advice on how they can bid for tenders.Aaron Good, client relationship manager for the North East at Constructionline, said: “It can be quite costly for contractors to build up supply chains for projects and there’s a growing impetus on large buyers to offer as much opportunity to local suppliers as possible.”The event will run from 8.30am until 2pm at the Best Western Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield. Suppliers do not have to be a Constructionline member to attend.For more information or to register interest, go to:

Sealy wins contract with BP Shipping

Sealy has won a contract to supply its bespoke pocket-sprung Centurion mattresses to BP Shipping’s fleet – between 42 and 46 beds on each tanker.Graham Carberry, Sealy UK’s contracts director, says: “This is such a great opportunity for Sealy to work and partner with one of the UK’s premier companies, especially in its centenary year, and we are all extremely excited to take our Sealy beds into yet another new operating sector.”We already supply a wide variety of British cruise liners with beds and mattresses, so know all about the benefits of sailing off to sleep on a wonderfully comfortable bed!”The fleet of BP ships is crewed by around 1250 seafarers.Source:

July sees consumer confidence decrease

GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index decreased three points to 4 in July. Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, says: “Concerns about the general economic situation in the UK for the next 12 months appear to be weighing heavily on consumers’ minds at present. We’ve seen a five-point drop in expectations into negative sentiment, a full ten points lower than this time in 2014. In part, driven by anxiety over the potential Grexit melt-down and global uncertainty, consumers are feeling less secure about wider economic prospects for the country as a whole this month.”However, on a more personal level, consumers remain resolutely upbeat about their own financial situation for the coming 12 months. With wage inflation outstripping price inflation, and good news about improving growth and employment prospects, our expectations to next summer remain stable and considerably more optimistic than during July last year. Overall, despite this month’s dip, the underlying message is strong.”Source: