Columbus, OH –Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) recently completed the sixth annual Mid-Season HVAC Distributor Survey in partnership with JP Morgan Equity Research. HARDI presented the findings with a webinar featuring JP Morgan’s HVAC industry analyst Mr. C. Stephen Tusa. The presentation serves as a follow-up to the annual outlook presentation HARDI gave earlier this year.
In the residential sector, the themes from the selling season have confirmed the predictions at the beginning of 2014. Revenue growth is in line with the industry; Q1 was good and Q2 was solid.
14+ SEER mix equipment sales are up, R22 dry ship units are continuing to decline.
Replacement demand offset slightly weaker new construction. At the same time, replacement parts were down indicating less repair activity. Pricing demands were good while inventories were described by distributors as “about the same as sales.”
84% of distributors saw demand improving in 2Q14 with high single-digits growth as opposed to 71% last year.
Weather and economy played their roles as well. Approximately 50% of survey respondents saw negative impact from the weather. 30% of respondents gave a positive response regarding the economy versus a 20% negative response.
Residential construction was positive with almost 50% reporting a positive impact, 36% gave a neutral response while only 16% responded negatively.
The commercial end market should remain stable with low single digit growth, but slightly weaker than last year.
“Commercial markets…certainly have not had the bounceback that residential guys have had in the last couple of years,” remarked Tusa.
Competitively, OEMs had no surprises: Lennox and Goodman are the leaders with Carrier behind them and Trane beginning to come into line. Revenue growth was up approximately 10% year-to-date.
Preview for 2015: replacement demand should offset any lagging from commercial construction.
Tusa predicts a normalized demand of approximately 7 million units by 2016. This is not unreasonable and continues the upswing from 2013’s 5.9 million units.
Tusa stated, “Core fundamentals of the businesses remain pretty solid, so we would expect to see continued growth for the rest of the year.”
The survey goes into detail on Residential End Market Demand, Commercial End Market Demand, Weather/Economy, Construction, Repair/Replace Dynamics, Inventories, Pricing, Ductless/VRF, and Ductless VRF. Questions about the results of this annual joint survey should be directed to HARDI’s Brian Loftus at firstname.lastname@example.org.