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Market Review

Roy Philips:

“Our order book has doubled in size “

“Our order book has doubled in size as has our customer base. We have seen growth in Defence, Medical, SCADA and general harsh environment sectors as well as strong growth in our UK connector operations. Intelliconnect has also launched a new Cable Assembly operation. Based in Corby and employing a highly skilled and experienced team it offers a broad range of cables and has been remarkably successful in a relatively short time frame and we expect it to grow rapidly in 2014.”

March of the makers The success of the UK’s car manufacturers has been held up by ministers as a sign of rebalancing in the economy. Production has jumped to over 1.2m cars up over 5 per cent in the first ten months of 2013,

Steve Rawlins:

“Growth will definitely return in 2014”

the specialist Motor Sport industry and the Governments attempt to stimulate this sector with its ‘Strategy Boards and ‘Catapult’ approach can only help the UK electronics segment. “Overall the UK Electronics industry is highly fragmented. There is no one organisation that dominates, just many hundreds and thousands of small and medium sized companies that need technical support to stay innovative in a global marketplace, and this is the biggest challenge for semiconductor manufacturers like Linear Technology.” Vince Cable's business department is hoping to strengthen the automotive supply-chain, using Catapult centres to support British firms looking to provide parts or technologies to car-makers. However that will require taxpayers

but looking behind those figures analysis by the Office for National Statistics has shown that without the revival in "transport equipment" manufacturing output in the UK would be no higher than it was in the depths of the 2008-09 recession.

However for Alistair Boyd, Linear

Technology’s Country Manager for the UK, Ireland, the Middle East & Africa while describing the current condition of many of the markets in which the company works as ‘fragile’ the automotive industry has been a ‘good news’ story for the UK Electronics industry. “Good financial results from Jaguar Land Rover and their investment into UK R&D; the eco system of companies that surround the likes of Jaguar Land Rover;

subsidising research and development that would, not that long ago, have been financed and carried out in-house by manufacturers themselves.

Along with poor levels of investment and flagging productivity a weak export performance is hampering a more balanced recovery and that despite a 20 per cent decline in the value of the pound since 2008. Yet despite those obvious weaknesses businesses, including those in the electronics sector, are becoming less risk averse and are sounding more optimistic about the coming twelve months. Is the UK economy set for a sustained

recovery, no-one really knows, but it certainly looks a lot better than it did this time last year. ■

Components in Electronics December 2013/January 2014 11

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