Coming out of the shadows

Published 11/3, 2022 at 08:31

On Wednesday 9 February, 2022, Sweden lifted its Covid-19 pandemic restrictions even though the infection rates are still at an extremely high level, but are declining. It is as if the government has decided that the pandemic is over and has ended. The Public Health Agency of Sweden, like many other country’s health agencies in Europe, states that the new Omicron mutation is not as deadly as previous mutations and people aren’t getting as ill as they had been with the other coronavirus variants. It has proved to be a real balancing act for the authorities to decide when we should return to a normal life, and, at this point, the whole Nordic region (as well as the UK) has lifted its restrictions, with the rest of Europe slowly coming out of the shadows.

What we have seen in Sweden, for instance, is that during 2020 companies in general did rather well in terms of results, excepting the hospitality and entertainment industries. Company turnovers’ dropped a bit, but the profits were kept at the same levels or even increased. The reasons for this included lower costs such as less travelling and less exhibiting, with governmental support packages also contributing. But during 2021 things looked very different. The effects of the pandemic caught up with many companies and less market exposure has started to result in less sales and lower profitability. Sweden reached a breaking point and actions were needed in order to avoid a more serious recession. When the pandemic was not considered that dangerous for Swedish society, even though more contagious, the decision was taken to lift all restrictions. Denmark and Norway where precursors and lifted their restrictions a couple of weeks before Sweden. Let’s hope that our authorities are right and that we are actually slowly coming out of this hell that we have experienced for such a long time. And let’s hope that new mutations will not harm us that much.

All over Europe people are coming back to more normal working routines. Customer events and gatherings are planned again, with trade shows set to take place. In this issue we will make a preview of the European Demolition Association’s annual convention that is set to take place live in Paris between 9-11 June. In the US, the National Demolition Association will hold its annual convention ‘live’ in San Diego between the 26 February and 1 March.  The US Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association will hold its annual convention between the 30 March and the1 April. So, life is definitely coming back.

The big occasion this year will of course be the bauma show to be held in Munich, 24-30 October, which you can read about in this issue, with the show being reported to be almost fully booked. Until bauma begins, you will be able to read a lot about new products that will be released at the show in the magazine. Also, the Scandinavian demolition show Demcon will take place ‘live’ on the 24 and 25 November in Stockholm after being postponed on two occasions previously. One meeting that has been forced to cancel this year is the German Demolition Association‘s Fachtagung 2022 that was scheduled for February. The Fachtagung is Europe’s largest annual demolition gathering that every year attracts around 900 delegates.

Looking at the rest of the world in terms of trade shows, the trends are the same, with ‘live’ shows set to happen. The Concrete Show in São Paulo, Brazil, will take place in August; bauma China is set for November in Shanghai and BCIndia is to be held in January next year. In this issue you can also read an interview with IDA, Indian Demolition Association’s president Mohan Ramanathan about the situation in India today and during the last two years. You can also find a full report about World of Concrete 2022 that was held in Las Vegas in January this year. So, there is plenty of interesting stories in this issue, plus a number of special features about new equipment on the market. Enjoy!

Jan Hermansson

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