Posted On 14 Dec 2018 by Joseph Ash
End of year message and Season's Greetings from Steven Hopkins, MD at Joseph Ash Galvanizing
As we come to the end of 2018, I think we can agree it has been an unforgettable year, given the tsunami of politics that has broken over us and the sheer amount of energy expended by all parts of society in trying to solve the unsolvable with Europe. It seems to me that there is a hugely wide spectrum of opinions, all passionately held by significant numbers of people and my guess is that, whatever the outcome, we will still be hearing arguments for decades to come.
Remarkably, the economy appears little affected. There has undoubtedly been a slow-down in major construction projects, perhaps deferments due to uncertainty by investors, in part offset by badly needed housebuilding. However, the galvanizing industry’s volumes are only slightly down compared to 2017 levels and I doubt that galvanizing has lost any market share to paint, which probably reflects the activity in our customers’ workshops too.
Similarly, our customers in the main seem positive about the next few months at least, despite the deadlines fast approaching for Brexit decisions and enactment, and concerns over possible border delays. For our own part, we have sought and obtained assurances from our suppliers that our inputs will not be affected by any outcome.
In other news, we’ve also had an unforgettable year in terms of the work we have taken on and the construction projects we’ve been involved in, and we’d like to thank you for sending them our way. Everything from steel barriers for the new Mersey Gateway Bridge to galvanized pressure vessels for the UK’s two new aircraft carriers, Andy Scott’s new ‘Canter’ sculpture to Luke Perry’s Queen Aethelflaed statue, and countless steel products used across the UK’s roads and transport network. We’ve even been involved in a recent project with REIDSteel to help rebuild a school destroyed by 2017 hurricanes on the British Virgin Islands.
We’ve also celebrated some internal achievements, namely long-time service anniversaries for many of our employees, renewed memberships and accreditations with significant industry bodies, attendance at a number of trade shows and exhibitions, and the joy of networking with some of you at various events held by organisations such as the British Constructional Steelwork, the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association and the Galvanizers Association.
As we sprint towards 2019, we look forward to a bright year ahead and to continuing our partnership with you, hopefully hitch-free and at good levels, throughout the year and beyond. Before we get there though, I wish you, your families and your colleagues the happiest of Christmases and a very healthy and prosperous New Year.