ITSA reports “bumper year” for UK connector sales in 2021

21 February 2022

ITSA FY 2021 report_Quarterly connector sales by OEM & Distribution 2018-2021
ITSA FY 2021 report_Quarterly connector sales by OEM & Distribution 2018-2021

UK connector sales hit record numbers in 2021, as the sector enjoyed what has been described as “a bumper year,” by John Biggs, Chairman of trade body, the Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association (ITSA), in its full year review of 2021.

On average, ITSA members reported 2021 sales up over 17% on 2020, and revenues back at 5% over pre-pandemic levels.

Outstanding revenue growth of up to 40% was reported by some ITSA members; bookings were also on a roll, with some members pushing up to 60% growth year on year.

2021 orders advanced 37% year on year, and are 18% up on pre-pandemic levels.

Virtually every market sector contributed to this stellar performance. Connector suppliers benefitted from increased sales in automation, driven by investment in warehouses to meet increased online sales. The trend to working from home and remote working during the pandemic buoyed demand from data centre equipment suppliers. Medical electronics has been another stand out for the connector business, alongside traffic management, test & measurement, and mass transportation. Broadcast is also starting to find its feet again, as the government lifts COVID restrictions, paving the way for a revival in the events business.

Biggs adds, “The Mil/Aero market has a lot of activity, but this has not resulted in increased revenues yet. The rail market has seen some recent growth, but this does tend to be project specific.

Coaxial connectors have been making the running among the product sectors, with sales soaring 33%. Fibre optic connectors and circular connectors for harsh environments contributed handily, reporting mid-teens double digit growth.

Overall, our members have enjoyed a bumper year, and most are back at, or slightly above, 2019 pre-pandemic levels,” comments Biggs.

A book to bill ratio of between 1.1:1 up to 1.4:1 and a strong order book suggests 2022 will start at a gallop.

ITSA members indicated that this level of demand is not sustainable throughout 2022 and they expect demand to slow as we move through the year.

Most are budgeting for between 5% and 10% sales growth in 2022.

Supply chain issues
Getting their hands on raw materials is still proving a headache for ITSA members. Specific problem areas in the global supply chain include cables, fasteners and other raw materials. Long lead times and further incoming price increase are also having an impact.

The healthy market for connector products has stimulated investment by ITSA member companies in acquisitions, and a continued investment in design and manufacturing facilities, following on from a positive trend of investment that has happened over the past two years despite the pandemic.

About ITSA
The Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association (ITSA) was formed in 2008 and is committed to representing and supporting the development of its members and the industry as a whole in the UK.

Membership of the ITSA brings a host of positive benefits to its members and it is a unique organisation in the interconnect technology market.

The Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association (ITSA) is a unique UK industry organisation comprised of suppliers and manufacturers of interconnect products and solutions. Many members of the ITSA were previously members of the old trade groups known as IBF and CMA.

The ITSA boasts some of the largest interconnect technology companies among its membership, and its mission is to promote the interests of its members individually and collectively.

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