The Corrosion Protection Engineering industry is busy managing the corrosion of the aging US infrastructure and protecting new projects from its harmful effects. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Doug Kelly, "through the early part of the past five years, the industry experienced rapid expansion due to record investment levels into industrial capacity and energy infrastructure, along with increased public infrastructure spending." The recession, however, caused demand from key construction, energy and transportation markets to slow as they reduced investments and scaled back production. Revenue declined in 2009 but remained resilient overall due to the industry's long-term contracts, a diversified customer base and stable ongoing demand for corrosion inspection and maintenance services on existing structures and equipment. Over the five years to 2012, IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue grew at a 1.1% average annual rate, including growth of 2.3% to about $85.6 billion. This growth was significantly slower than the previous five-year period, when industry revenue increased at a 6.5% average annual rate.
The recession also had some moderate effects the industry landscape. "Declines in profitability in 2009 and 2010 caused a number of firms, particularly smaller nonemployer firms, to exit the industry," says Kelly. It also lead to a degree of merger and acquisition activity among larger firms as they sought to expand their geographic presence, enter faster-growing market segments and increase their production capacity to meet higher demand. The number of industry firms declined slightly, and employment and establishment growth was meager. Overall, the average industry profit margin increased in line with the expansion in underlying demand.
The Corrosion Protection Engineering Services industry carries a low level of market share concentration. In 2012, the firm with the largest market share is Northern Technologies International Corporation (NTIC). The majority of the industry is made up of small and medium-sized firms that do not dominate one particular region or market. Nonetheless, some of these firms may compete on a global basis while others cater primarily to a local or regional market. Additionally, many of these smaller companies typically specialize in a specific corrosion protection technology or solution. Merger and acquisition activity has been heavy over the past five years, even among smaller firms. For example, Aegion Corporation, which currently holds about a minimal market share, acquired several companies during 2009 and 2010. The company was originally a single corporation but underwent a reorganization strategy, which included acquiring several smaller companies to eventually convert them into subsidiaries. Should merger and acquisition activity continue to escalate over the next five years, IBISWorld expects that the level of market share concentration may increase.
Over the five years to 2017, IBISWorld forecasts industry revenue will grow. A renewed public federal government focus on upgrading America's aging infrastructure and recovering public and private levels of investment into downstream energy, construction and transportation industries will underpin growth. Industry firms will benefit from increasing demand by downstream industries to implement new materials and develop plans to economically reduce corrosion expenses and extend the life of costly new structures and equipment. Profit margins will continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace, because of new market entrants.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
This industry includes companies that are engaged in applying scientific knowledge, natural laws and physical resources in order to design and implement materials, structures, devices, systems and procedures to manage corrosion. These services may involve the provision of advice, preparation of feasibility studies, preparation of plans and designs, provision of technical services during the construction or installation phase, inspection and evaluation of projects and related services.
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Products & Services
Globalization & Trade
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
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