The UK Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry 2020-2025

The UK Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry 2020-2025
Product Code: UKEMS1
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2021 witnessed strong underlying demand following the prior year downturn, although growth was constrained by further outbreaks of the pandemic, the shortage of materials and components and disruptions in the supply chain. Some companies have been able to pass on higher component and material costs in the later part of the year providing a boost to EMS revenues.

The UK EMS industry is focused on the aerospace and defence, including security, medical, control & instrumentation, industrial, energy, including renewable, cleantech and transportation industries. For EMS companies these sectors will provide significant opportunities. They are highly fragmented with few large- volume manufactures and a large number of small and medium sized companies often working in niche markets. Their demand is centred on high mix, low to medium volume production that can be supported, certainly in the industrialisation stage but often through the complete product life cycle, by UK manufacturing.

Overall, we estimate that UK EMS increased by 3.8% in 2021, and compared to the prior year’s COVID-led decline of 4.0%. In 2020, UK EMS revenues benefited from strong growth related to the production of medical equipment to fight the pandemic, in particular ventilators which was able to offset in part more substantial declines in other markets including industrial and commercial aviation. Revenues from the medical sector have fallen back and will normalise at pre-COVID levels in 2022. As highlighted, several headwinds will subdue growth in 2022 and which could lead to the current forecast of growth of 3.7% being downgraded over the course of the year. Based on the current outlook UK EMS revenues should benefit from strong underlying demand, this despite a weakening economy, and reach £1,461 million in 2025. 

Within the UK the EMS industry there are around 250 companies with UK manufacturing operations. In 2020, Plexus was the leading EMS provider based on revenues generated from manufacturing operations in the UK and was followed by Sony, Axiom, STI and TT Electronics. The Top 5 companies accounted for 26% of UK EMS revenues in 2020 and the Top 10 39% of revenues.

Taking into recent acquisitions overseas-owned companies would have accounted for 41% of UK generated EMS revenues in 2020, and accounted for seven of the Top 10, including the top 4 and twelve of the Top 20.

Foreign-owned companies pose a significant threat to the leading UK-owned EMS providers by being able to utilise their UK manufacturing operations for prototyping/NPI and then move volume production offshore to take advantage of lower costs or to produce in the market of consumption.


This new report is part of Reed Electronics Research’s series of  studies on the European Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) Industry and provides a strategic assessment of the UK EMS industry for the period 2020-2025 and includes:

- EMS revenue forecasts through to 2025 for the UK and summary data for Europe.

- An overview of the key markets and drivers for the UK EMS  industry.

- A ranking of the Top 30 EMS providers with UK manufacturing facilities.

- Profiles of the leading 45 UK EMS providers.

- A directory of over 240 UK EMS manufacturing facilities. 


Ninth Edition

Publication Date: April 2022

Price: £545 (PDF)

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