ANALYSIS: How did the UK fastener market perform in 2017?

New research into the financial performance of the UK fasteners and fixings sector has revealed how the industry’s top companies have performed throughout 2017.

Market analysts Plimsoll Publishing Ltd has assessed the UK’s leading 960 industries, ranging from abattoirs to yarn suppliers, and ranked each
sector on its sales and profit performance, productivity and risk factor. Plimsoll has also compared the fasteners and fixings market against 21 other metals industries across the UK.

And it seems the results in the fasteners and fixings market are mixed. The fasteners and fixings market is currently sitting in the top 10 fastest growing metals industries, but average profit margins are under pressure.

The information for this comparative research has been taken from Plimsoll’s December 2017 study into the financial health of the UK’s top 734 fasteners and fixings companies.

Speaking of the results, Plimsoll’s senior analyst, David Pattison, said: “My feeling is that the industry is going through quite a change. On the surface it looks like the fasteners and fixings market is doing well – in fact, we’ve ranked it as the fifth fastest growing industry in the metal sector. However, profits seem to be under pressure. Looking ahead to 2018, fasteners and fixings firms face a challenge to protect their margins.”


Sales Growth performance:
• The UK fasteners and fixings industry is the 499th fastest growing industry in the UK – up 82 places over the last 12 months.
• It is the fifth fastest growing metals industry.
• On average each of the 734 fasteners and fixings companies analysed in the December 2017 study improved sales by 3% throughout the last year.

Profit Performance:
• Despite the sales increases, it appears margins are still under pressure.
• Each fasteners and fixings firm is averaging pre-tax margins of 3% and it is the UK’s 436th most profitable industry – down 31 places from last year.

• Productivity in the UK fasteners and fixings market has dropped marginally over the last 12 months.
• In 2016, the UK fasteners and fixings market was the 399th most productive in the UK but it has fallen to 404th.
• As a result of this, average sales per employee for companies in the market is £172,100 – down from £174,100 in the previous year.

Risk Rating:
• One in five companies in the industry have been given a financial rating of ‘Danger’.
• The UK fasteners and fixings industry is also the 867th riskiest industry in the UK – 12 months ago it was 854th.

How the fasteners and fixings market compares to the best in the metals sector

Delving further into the metals sector, Plimsoll has also ranked the performance of the UK’s leading 21 metals industries on the same metrics and the results can be seen below.

Plimsoll has created an industry analysis on each of the sectors listed in the table above, as well as the largest 960 sectors in the UK.

For over 30 years, the Plimsoll Analysis has been used by senior decision makers to help monitor competitors, analyse key market trends and identifying acquisition prospects.

To find out more information about each individual sector please visit or contact Chris Glancey via +44 (0) 16426 26400 or

This article originally appeared in the February edition of Torque Magazine. Read it online on our archive and/or subscribe to Torque Magazine for free online.