12 Jul 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

Banner bullish on battery growth, UK aftermarket

Lead acid battery giant Banner said the market for its products is set for continued growth over the next decade — with a healthy aftermarket future ahead for the group’s UK operations.

Banner GB country manager Lee Quinney issued the upbeat forecast for the stalwart battery technology on June 14, as the Austria-headquartered group reported a turnover of €302 million (£255m) for the past financial year.

The group said it sold four million starter and on-board batteries in the year up to March 31, 2024, confirming its place as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of batteries and battery accessories.

In relation to the future of lead acid batteries specifically, Banner is predicting market growth of around 2% annually over the next 10 years.

Quinney said: “The future for the UK aftermarket operation certainly looks a healthy one.

“The last financial year saw Banner in the UK continue to achieve record growth in terms of sales and profitability, something we are looking to build on this year and beyond.”

Quinney said overall demand from the automotive sector continues to be buoyant, while sales in the commercial vehicle, leisure and bike sectors are also expected to exceed forecasts, which he attributed to the quality of products and strength of the brand at OE level, plus “unprecedented levels of product availability”.

However, Banner acknowledged that sales were around 1% lower than the record figures achieved in the previous financial year.

Group commercial CEO Andreas Bawart said the outlook for the lead battery market remained positive, despite challenges linked to the ongoing energy crisis, the war in Ukraine and increased competition from Asian manufacturers.

And he said the “initial euphoria for electric cars has subsided and a certain disillusionment has set in”.

Many first-time buyers of EVs are realising that promised ranges are not being achieved and that public charging facilities are still inadequate, Bawart said.

Meanwhile, Banner is looking to invest in training and personal development and will launch a new training workshop by the end of this year to support the group’s ‘Apprenticeships from 15’ programme.