Demand for Belgian machines and engineering businesses is still affected by the difficulties some major buyer industries are facing (e.g. construction).
- Demand for Belgian machines and engineering businesses is still affected by the difficulties some major buyer industries are facing (e.g. construction). In contrast, machinery for manufacturing and agriculture are performing quite well. While competition is strong, high quality producers usually enjoy a competitive edge.
- In general, the profit margins of Belgian machinery/engineering businesses have remained stable over the past 12 months as companies were able to reduce their cost base. In the coming months margins are expected to remain stable or to slightly deteriorate, depending on the level of activity (order books).
- A major issue for the industry is that, in general, banks are still restrictive in granting financing. Businesses that do not have access to financing cannot perform in a sustainable way: gearing has always been high in the machinery sector due to the required investments.
- On average, payments in the Belgian machinery/engineering sector take around 60 days. Payment experience is average, and the level of protracted payments has been low over the past couple of years.
- Although still relatively low compared to other industries, the number of non-payment cases has increased over the past six months, and this negative trend is expected to continue. The number of insolvencies in the industry is at a low level, but slightly deteriorating.