2018 has come and gone, and we can reflect on what has undoubtedly been a memorable year. While the construction industry has thrived in Canada due to many external factors, including general economic growth, increased optimism in the oil sands, and certain government policies, it has also faced challenges, including a declining Canadian dollar, the transportation sector squeeze, and political factors, such as tariffs on steel and uncertain NAFTA negotiations.
Robertson’s year has very closely matched that of the industry. While we experienced significant growth, it did not come without its challenges. We recognize this and strive to improve as we enter 2109. Our Voice of the Customer (VOC) score remained strong, indicating our efforts are adding value to our partnerships. I am looking forward to exploring these efforts at our Builder Meeting this February.
The difficulties we’ve faced have put Robertson and our Builders to the test and we have, for the most part, emerged stronger despite these challenges. While we will always be subject to external forces, Robertson will continue to work hard to persevere and mitigate negative effects with the resilience and hard work we are known for.
As we tackled the challenges put in front of us, 2018 ended on a positive note. In October 2018, the USMCA was established, reducing uncertainty around future trade with the US. Analysts estimate Canadian GDP to grow by 2.0% and 1.8% in 2019 and 2020 respectively, signaling a healthy economy that will promote business growth now and in the future. In addition, our parent company NCI Building Systems, Inc. completed a merger with Ply Gem, LLC, a leading manufacturer of exterior building products in residential construction. What this transaction means for us is increased opportunities for product innovation and cross-selling.
There are many great things on the horizon for Robertson and our Builders in 2019, and we are ready to make this the best year yet. Cheers to a successful 2018 and an even better 2019! Thank you for your continued loyalty and support!