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News | Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps

German-owned Aldi has overtaken the Co-operative to become Britain's fifth biggest supermarket group, highlighting the rapid growth of the discount chain.

Industry data from Kantar Worldpanel showed sales at the discount retailer rose 12.4% to £1.72bn in the 12 weeks to 29 January.

That took its share of the UK grocery market to 6.2% - above the Co-op's 6%, or £1.66bn, and only beaten by the more established big four - Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.

Aldi and budget rival Lidl have in recent years won share from Britain's traditional "big four" grocers, putting increased pressure on them to lower prices and raise their game.

"Underpinned by an extensive programme of store openings, the past quarter has seen Aldi attract 826,000 more shoppers than during the same period last year," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel. "Just a decade ago Aldi was the UK's tenth largest food retailer, accounting for less than 2% of the grocery market. Since then the grocer has grown rapidly, climbing the rankings by an impressive five places to hold a 6.2% market share."

Sales at Lidl rose 9.4 percent, taking its market share to 4.5 percent. Morrisons was the fastest growing retailer within the big four, increasing its market share for the first time since June 2015 with a sales uplift of 1.9% year on year. Despite being overtaken by Aldi, Co-op's 2% sales increase was still well ahead of the market, continuing a run of growth stretching back to July 2015. Growing for the fifth period in a row, albeit at a slower rate, Tesco's sales were up 0.3% year on year as its market share fell to 28.1%. Sainsbury's sales remained flat, whiles its share fell by 0.3% to stand at 16.5%.

The market as a whole continues to grow faster than it did in 2016, with supermarket sales up 1.7% on last year.

Meanwhile, the Kantar figures also showed supermarket prices rose by 0.7%, accelerating the return to inflation seen in December following more than two years of prices falling. "If prices continue to rise at the same rate for the rest of 2017, shoppers will find themselves around 27 pounds worse off," McKevitt said.

The data also revealed that supply issues caused by bad weather in southern Europe meant 759,000 fewer shoppers bought courgettes in January - a fall of 31% - and saw spinach sales slip by 12%.

The latest improvement in Aldi's fortunes appears to confound widely-reported recent criticism that customers were being put off by long queues, untidy stores and crowded car parks. The supermarket's rapid expansion has seen its number of stores grow to around 700.

CHILE: Beijer Ref’s Italian manufacturing subsidiary SCM Frigo has supplied the equipment for Chile’s first ever transcritical CO2 supermarket refrigeration system.

The 5,300m² Jumbo store in Chile’s southern city of Valdivia, which opened its doors on January 12, has become a showcase for sustainability. In addition to the incorporation of Chile’s first transcritical CO2 system, the store uses LED lighting throughout and includes a BMS systems for the intelligent control of all building system.

The project was implemented by the Ministry of Environment’s Ozone Unit and was funded by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The two SCM Frigo units, are designed for a total capacity of almost 400kW for medium temperature refrigeration and 100kW for the low-temperature requirement. They serve a total of 115 MT/LT cabinets and 30 cold rooms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hailing the installation as an opportunity to promote the technology in the country, Claudia Paratori, coordinator of the Ozone Unit said: “This project will connect the different actors in the cold chain supermarket sector and promote the adoption of this technology and help minimise the introduction of HFC-based systems in Chile.”

The project aims to highlight ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and introduce environmentally friendly technology. It also has economic benefits with approximately 20% in energy savings.

“After the adoption of the Kigali Amendment and the entry into force of the Paris agreement, nations and the industry must move quickly to seize the immediate opportunities at hand to avoid the growth of HFCs and realise energy efficiency gains of technology change in the refrigeration sector,” added Jacques Van Engel, director of the Montreal Protocol/Chemicals Unit, UNDP.

“Since sustainability is our challenge, we are proud to be part of this team contributing to the goal,” said SCM Frigo managing director Nicola Pignatelli.

Established in 1979, SCM Frigo became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijer Ref in 2014.

At the recent National ACR & Heat Pump Awards, held in Birmingham last week, RW won the award for the Wholesaler/Distributor of the year. For RW this was the third time they won in this category against stiff competition. The judges said "RW is a national wholesaler of high quality, multi brand products. They strive to achieve the highest level of service by putting the customer at the heart of all they do. Positioned strategically around the UK, the 12 RW branches are fully stocked one stop shops that ensure customer demand is fulfilled

Integral’s on-going development of its UK Industrial Refrigeration and Specialist HVAC capability continues with the opening of a new office in Herefordshire. This further enhances the existing regional centres in Bristol, Cardiff, Leicester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newmarket and Faversham.

With ample parking, on-site catering facilities, meeting rooms for groups of up to 20, and excellent IT connectivity, the new Hereford site has exactly what is required in a modern office site.

Integral’s HVAC division is expanding rapidly and in the past few months have delivered key projects within a very diverse customer base, including but not limited to:

  • Specialised cooling project for a major retailer in Leeds
  • Petrochemical sites in South Wales
  • Commercial projects in London
  • Ministry of Defence establishments in the South West

This clearly demonstrates the diverse nature and capabilities of Integral’s specialised HVAC division.

Ian Hussey, Specialised HVAC Sales Director, said ‘opening a new office in Hereford will allow us to expand our specialist services, design, service and maintenance, and installation projects nationwide, all within one location to enable us to provide a fast and effective service within the specialised HVAC market.’

Despite the outcome of the EU Referendum, the cooling industry will not see any change to regulations covering the use of fluorinated refrigerant gases (F-Gas) or the requirement for refrigerant handling registration, according to experts.

While the original F-Gas Regulation (EC517/2014) emanated from Brussels and was driven by the European Commission, it was transposed directly into UK law. Therefore, it is now part of the British legal system and it would require Westminster to repeal one of its own laws for the industry’s F-Gas measures to be changed. The EU regulation itself has no legal status.

As a result, there will be no impact for the foreseeable future on companies operating in the UK market and no change to the mandatory requirements for certification with industry registration schemes like Refcom.

“Our government, the Environment Agency and regional equivalents are all committed to environmental responsibility so I cannot foresee any circumstance where we would rescind this law,” said Graeme Fox, senior mechanical engineer at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

Competence

“The certification and personnel competence requirements have all been set at UK level. They are all different across the EU; even though we have the mutual recognition status between international schemes.

“So again, despite the Brexit vote, there will be no change to the requirements for legally working with fluorinated greenhouse gases and systems containing them here in the UK,” added Mr Fox, who is a former President of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration European Association (AREA) and a director of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB). 

A-Gas UK issue Statement on the outcome of the EU referendum.

“The outcome of the referendum has ushered in a significant period of uncertainty for the HVAC industry and the broader economy. The exact terms of Britain’s exit from the EU have still to be determined and are likely to take several years to complete. In the interim, it will be business as usual for A-Gas. The result has however, raised a number of questions from customers seeking clarity on some key issues.” said John Ormerod, A-Gas UK Managing Director.

How does this affect the F-Gas regulation?

“The F-Gas regulation has been adopted into UK law and therefore the provisions in it will still apply to the UK even after Brexit.”

What about exchange rates?

“We have already seen significant volatility in both the £/€ and £/$ exchange rates. This is likely to have an effect on the volatility of refrigerant prices as the cost of production is based on these currencies.”

Will Brexit affect refrigerant availability?

“We do not foresee specific problems in the supply chain arising from the referendum outcome. Our supply chain is protected by supply contracts and our own sources of reclaimed refrigerant place us in a good position to continue to meet our clients’ requirements.”

Currently, A-Gas say they are not answering any further questions on this.

Toshiba Air Conditioning launch expanded programme of CPD courses for consultants, designers, installers and end-users wishing to update their knowledge on key technical and legislative issues.

The focus is on improving understanding of system design and application of the latest technology, and ensuring clarity on and compliance with changes in legislation affecting the industry.

David Dunn, director and general manager of Toshiba pictured above, said: “As a leading manufacturer, a key priority for us is to help raise standards across the industry. An important part of this is contributing to the level of knowledge in core topics and areas subject to rapid development, such as new legislation and technical innovation.”

The new courses, which build on and extend Toshiba’s previous CPD programme, will be available from the Toshiba’s training centres in Leatherhead, Manchester and Plymouth, and some distributor’s premises as well as the option of the Toshiba team being able to deliver the material at customers’ premises.

In addition to courses on the fundamentals of air conditioning, there are sessions focussing on the application of air-cooled VRF systems, and the use of mechanical and natural cooling systems.

There is a course on the latest heat pump technology, aimed at those wanting to keep abreast of recent innovations and how to apply them to deliver high performance and optimum efficiency for clients.

There is also a session dedicated to understanding how refrigerant leak detection pump-down systems work, and how to ensure they comply with current legislation regarding refrigerant in occupied spaces, such as in hotels.

It explains how designers and installers can demonstrate compliance in relation to BREEAM credits, as well as conformity with British Standard EN378.

In line with the increasing attention being given to energy performance, there is a course dedicated to the practical aspects of applying SEER and COP calculations to VRF systems (in line with Part L of the Building Regulations, 2nd tier document). It also covers the application of the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM).

The full programme includes the following eight courses:

  • CPD 1: A basic guide to air conditioning;
  • CPD 2: A guide to legislation;
  • CPD 3: A guide to tackling a project using air-cooled VRF air conditioning;
  • CPD 4: Mechanical and natural cooling systems;
  • CPD 5: A guide to heat pump technology;
  • CPD 6: System controls;
  • CPD 7: BREEAM Refrigerant Pump Down Credit & BSEN378 (leakage into occupied space);
  • CPD 8: The Application of SEER and COP for VRF Systems.

Toshiba will also be providing an in-depth module on current and alternative refrigerants as well as looking at the impact of the proposed legislation changes during 2016.

For more details on dates and how to book, please contact Neil Hitching on 0870 843 0333, or email neil.hitching@toshiba-ac.com

Samsung air conditioning from HRP in ready for delivery

Marking the company’s ongoing growth Fujitsu strengthen their market commitment with the double appointments of Katie Ferguson as VRF Business Development Manager, and Joanna Clarke as Distribution Account Manager (North).

Katie’s area will encompass Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England raising awareness of Fujitsu’s portfolio of products predominately focusing on developing VRF with end users, consultants, main contractors, mechanicals and air conditioning installers.

Joanna will be working with the Fujitsu Distribution team covering the M62 corridor, North of England and Scotland.

Fujitsu air conditioners make double appointment of Katie Ferguson as VRF Business Development Manager, and Joanna Clarke as Distribution Account Manager (North). Stuart Eagleton, Fujitsu’s National Account Manager said

“Katie will be a real asset to Fujitsu, bringing a wealth of industry experience and local knowledge enabling Fujitsu to grow its market share and brand recognition in her area.

Nick Wilks, Fujitsu’s National Distribution Sales Manager said,

 “Joanna will be using her extensive industry experience visiting existing Fujitsu Distribution Customers to promote, maintain and develop the Fujitsu market share. It is great to welcome Joanna to the team.”

Both Katie and Joanna expressed their delight at joining Fujitsu.

Katie (inset left) saying,

“I’m excited to be joining Fujitsu General Air Conditioning UK to grow sales in Scotland.  It’s a great time for Fujitsu and for the region, and I’m really looking forward to helping local client’s succeed.

VRF is a huge market place in the UK and I am delighted to be part of developing that market in my region using the Fujitsu Brand. It’s an exciting opportunity to be part of such an important global brand as Fujitsu.”

Joanna (inset rightwas equally thrilled to be joining, saying,

I am delighted to be working for Fujitsu General Air Conditioning UK one of the global market leaders in our industry. It is an exciting time for me coming from a refrigeration and air conditioning service department as I do, and now progressing forward to work with a quality manufacturer in the distribution network.”

Ian Carroll, Fujitsu’s Sales and Marketing Director welcomed the double appointments, saying

“These two appointments strengthen our commitment to supporting our customers. Reliable product and great customer care are at the very heart of everything we do. The quality of these two new members of the team will help us build upon our strengths and core values”

 

Samsung air conditioning from HRP in ready for delivery

Beijer Ref AB (publ) is pleased to announce that the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has today unconditionally approved its acquisition of HRP Holdings Limited (“HRP”). The acquisition of HRP was announced in November 2015 and completed in February 2016. However, the CMA launched an investigation on its own initiative into the merger under United Kingdom merger control laws.

John Billson, Managing Director of Beijer Ref UK and Ireland

In reaching its decision, the CMA is satisfied that the merger will not substantially lessen competition Beijer Ref can now proceed with its restructuring plans for the HRP business, which has been run separately during the CMA’s investigation.

John Billson, Managing Director of Beijer Ref UK and Ireland, said that "we were highly confident that the acquisition of HRP would not reduce competition and are satisfied that the CMA has recognised this. My team and I can now get on and develop the HRP, 3D and HRP OEM brands".  He went on to say "I would like to take this opportunity to thank our suppliers, customers and employees for their understanding and support during this process."

 

Samsung air conditioning from HRP in ready for delivery

BREAKING NEWS: According to the Government website the CMA has cleared the acquisition by Beijer Ref AB (publ) of HRP Holdings Limited.

Background

25 February 2016: The CMA served an initial enforcement order under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 on Beijer Ref AB (publ) in relation to the completed acquisition by Beijer Ref Ab (Publ) of HRP holdings Limited.

11 April 2016: The CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry by notice to the parties.

11 April 2016: The CMA said it is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

7 June 2016: The CMA has cleared the acquisition by Beijer Ref AB (publ) of HRP Holdings Limited. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/beijer-hrp-merger-inquiry

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