Chimney company on track for record year

The Northern Echo: Demand for biomass an wood-burning stoves has put Washington-based Schiedel on course for a record year Demand for biomass an wood-burning stoves has put Washington-based Schiedel on course for a record year

A COMPANY that has been helping to keep people warm for half a century is gearing up for a year of record sales as homeowners return to traditional heat sources to combat rocketing gas and electricity bills.

Britain’s leading domestic chimney manufacturer, Schiedel Chimney Systems, has seen its 2013 sales jump by 26 perc cent, even though its full year does not end until December 31.

The Washington, Wearside company, sells more than 600km of system chimneys, connecting flue pipes and chimney liners in the UK each year, manufactured at their Washington plant.

Starting life in 1968 as Rite Vent, the business has been part of the German Schiedel Group for 10 years.

Chief executive, Michael Ball, said: “The last 12 months has been phenomenal for Schiedel in the UK.

“We are increasing both our sales and our market share, thanks to the considerable amount of time we have invested in researching the market and developing the right products for the installers – ultimately saving them time and money.”

A combination of factors has helped Schiedel, which has 110 staff, to reinforce its market leading position this year and ensure it is ready to take advantage of continued growth in 2014.

As the UK construction industry finally turns the corner after the recession, demand for domestic chimneys is rising, and the continued hike in energy prices means more people are exploring alternative heating options, such as stoves and biomass boilers.

Schiedel’s decision to open its HETAS accredited training centre for stove and biomass installation has played an important part in this year’s growth, along with the introduction of products specifically developed for the stove and biomass markets.

Schiedel was the first company in the UK to introduce black painted System Chimneys as a standard product line and growth has been driven in particular by the black painted Eco ICID product range. Manufactured exclusively in Washington, this is the fastest-growing chimney product on the UK market.

In the last 12 months, sales of Eco ICID, have increased by 250% from £950,000 to £2.5m.

40,000 metres of pipe have been sold year to date this year.

Mr Ball said: “As a company we cannot stand still. We have to move forward, predict trends and evolve the range to suit the needs of the industry.

“Our research and development teams work hard to identify in advance what our customers want, and we have launched new products in each of the last three years. Chimneys may be considered a very traditional business but it’s actually a very cutting edge industry, which is constantly evolving. We use laser welding technology in the factory and have also developed installation apps for key product ranges as a further aid to installers.”

 

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