The vote to leave the EU has already impacted the catering equipment industry, with Hobart detailing that it has had to increase its prices within all divisions by up to 8% in the wake of Brexit and the resultant net devaluation of Sterling, among other consequences.
At the time of the announcement, Hobart Warewash MD David Riley said: “The decision to re-evaluate our cost base on each product line has not been taken lightly.
“Put simply if we want to maintain the levels of excellence built through years of both boom and bust – the finest machines, the most groundbreaking R&D backed by comprehensive after-sales and service provision – this is the course of action we must take. The current economic climate has left us with little choice.”
Others in the industry reacted to the news, with Bill Downie, UK MD of warewasher manufacturer Meiko posting on the Catering Insight website: “Is this the start of the price increase avalanche I wonder?
“At Meiko UK there are no immediate plans to increase prices, as we obviously do not calculate exchange rates at the rate ruling on any particular month – nor would I imagine do many importers of EU products.
“The months to come could prove to be challenging for distributors.”
The commentator calling himself ‘The Oracle’ responded: “It will prove challenging for all. The hard reality is that with such a large devaluation of sterling coupled with all time low sales margins, the currency exchange cannot be fully absorbed.
“Once forward orders of fixed exchange rate currency have been used then prices will increase; there will be no choice.”