The European Golf Industry Association, representing golf equipment manufacturers and distributors in the UK, says that its members are estimating that the outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease could result in lost turnover amounting to as much as 20-30 % of annual targets. Turnover of EGIA members in the UK amounts to around £400 million per year and approximately 50% of their business is with golf clubs/courses.
A straw poll of the membership has resulted in the following comments:
- All those who replied believe that the foot and mouth outbreak has impacted on their business
- Approximately 10% of their customers are completely closed for business, particularly in SW England, NE England and S Scotland
- Many customers are not accepting deliveries because carriers cannot gain access to the golf courses, others are reluctant to take delivery of product they cannot sell
- Uncertainty has created a loss of confidence in customers who are holding back on placing orders
- Members are estimating the loss of income in the first quarter of this year at anything from £15,000 for a business turning over less than £250,000 per annum to £750,000 pounds for a major brand
- If the outbreak continues into May/June, annual losses could amount to as much as 20 to30 per cent of targeted turnover.
- There is little impact on staffing levels at this point but companies are reviewing planned increases in staffing levels which are traditional at this time of year.
“The general view of our members is that, although they understand the need for caution, both they and their customers would welcome wider use of on-site precautions at golf courses such as disinfectant troughs to be used by visitors rather than total closure,” said Jacqui Baldwin, executive secretary of the EGIA. “It should also be borne in mind that since September 2000 the golf industry has been affected by the fuel crisis, floods in November, snow during the Christmas and New Year holiday period and very cold and wet weather in February and March. If the consequences of the FMD outbreak continue into what should be a busy time of year for golf clubs this will be a further blow to an industry that is already facing difficulties.”
A number of EGIA members commented on the way the FMD outbreak is perceived overseas. A substantial amount of business comes from foreign visitors, particularly from the USA, coming to the UK to play golf. There is concern at rumours of mass cancellations by overseas tour operators due to misconceptions about the disease.
Further information Jacqui Baldwin, European Golf Industry Association Tel: 02476 417141
European Golf Industry Association firstname.lastname@example.org