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A hugely challenging year ahead for the UK connector industry, says interconnects association

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“The UK connector industry has a particularly challenging year ahead,” said John Biggs, Chairman of the Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association (ITSA), following the release of its figures.

ITSA members saw revenues drop by 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, with orders plummeting by 14% with a negative book to bill of 0.87:1, leading to lower revenues later in the year. Members’ distribution revenues dropped by 20%, likely to follow elsewhere in the market through 2020.

Among other things, the shutdown in China has had a significant effect on the supply chain whilst the dramatic changes in commodity prices will have an obvious impact on materials and manufacturing as well as incoming costs and outgoing prices.

“The result of these and other challenges has meant that ITSA members have faced a difficult first quarter,” said Biggs.

However, there are some markets that are still showing buoyancy, including test & measurement, mil/aero and medical. The communications market, being driven by 5G, has a positive effect on ITSA’s members who are seeing 29% growth. The introduction of fibre into networks continues at pace and ITSA members enjoyed a 45% increase in this product area with Q1 being the highest level for eight years.

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