UK tradespeople suffering significant drop in turnover, study finds

installing a kitchen

Tradespeople in the UK are seeing an average turnover reduction of £12k compared to last year’s financials, with KBB fitters named as one of the affected professions.

This is according to recent research by commercial insurance provider, Simply Business, which has released an analysis of the trade profession quotes it filed in 2022 and 2023. It found that tradespeople have seen an average 17% reduction in their turnover compared to 2022.

According to Simply Business, of the top 20 highest-turnover trade professions in the UK, only 40% had seen an increase in their figures for the year, with the rest being reportedly worse than in 2022.

Kitchen, bedroom and bathroom fitters as a whole are said to be 3% worse off than last year, with their average turnover falling from £73,667 last year, to £71,562 in 2023.

Electricians and landscape gardeners were affected even more significantly, both being down an average of 5%, and tilers and plasterers were also down over last year, seeing a decline of 6%.

Bricklayers were found to be the worst affected group by a wide margin, with a 17% turnover reduction. Average turnover for bricklayers was £80,933 last year, which has plummeted to £67,455 over the last 12 months.

In contrast, several trade professions have seen an increase in their average turnover. Amongst those were painters and decorators (up 3%), flooring contractors (up 8%) and gas fitters (up by 11%). The trade with the highest reported increase in turnover was dryliners, who said they had seen a 17% increase this year.

Interestingly, Simply Business said that builders were the highest earning trade profession, with an average 2023 turnover of £114,353. However, despite this, the trade had seen a reduction over its 2022 turnover, which was reported at £115,550.

Beatriz Montoya, UK chief operating officer at Simply Business, hopes that the research will encourage the public to support their local tradespeople further.

She commented: “Small business owners are the backbone of the UK economy, and few embody this more than the nation’s tradespeople. They’re quite simply vital for our local communities, and together with other small businesses across the UK, collectively contribute trillions of pounds to the economy. 

“Naturally, the impact on consumer purchasing behaviour is trickling through to the books of tradespeople at a time when small businesses need our support the most. Given that the average turnover for tradespeople has dropped by 17% over the past year, we encourage consumers to continue turning to their local tradespeople when in need of work.” 

The data was collected from tradespeople who requested a quote with Simply Business in 2022 and 2023, only taking into account trades with more than 3,000 submitted quotes.

In related news, recent research from the British Institute of KBB Installation (BiKBBI) found that roughly two-thirds of KBB installers said they would be tempted to leave the industry if the circumstances were right.

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