Like all Irish businesses, we continue to face uncertainty on the implications of the UK leaving the EU. Even though Britain formally left the EU in January under the withdrawal agreement, it remains unknown whether the UK will benefit from a trade agreement with the EU looking ahead to January 2021 and beyond.
Despite this ongoing uncertainty, we are well prepared for all possible Brexit scenarios and have been putting in place practical measures to pro-actively mitigate any disruption to the supply to our customers and to protect our workforce. We have remained focused on these topics despite the extensions on the date the UK will leave the EU, and throughout the political discussions.
Further to this, the Hilti Group is global and already manages the supply of goods to many other Hilti operations based in countries outside of the EU. The Group operates through 29,000 employees in over 120 countries and we are assured that our production lines will not be affected by Britain’s exit from the EU.
Throughout 2020 we will continue to monitor our requirements for safety stock to ensure a sustainable supply of goods to our customers, and have been working in close collaboration with our transport carriers to ensure a smooth transition. In case there are ultimately any unacceptable delays or other issues with future supply, we have put in place contingency plans for local warehousing and after-market services for our customers, to address the potential challenges ahead.
At this point, no one really knows precisely what Brexit will bring to us after the transition period, which ends in December 2020. I would encourage you to take heart from the fact that Hilti is committed to delivering for our customers in Ireland, as we have been since 1958, and have the backing of a solid Global organisation.
John R. Greer III
General Manager, Hilti Ireland