Worldwide, the market for fluid power equipment in 1999 was in excess of 21 billion Euros. Britain is the fifth largest market after the United States, Japan, Germany and Italy with around 4% of the total at an estimated £ 580 million. Of this, hydraulics accounts for two thirds and pneumatics for one third.
The industry employs around ten thousand people in the United Kingdom. There are approximately one hundred and fifty companies selling fluid power equipment, and the industry has a significant manufacturing base in Britain. Some are part of large multinational companies with manufacturing factories scattered worldwide. Most, however are small to medium sized dynamic companies (typically, one hundred to two hundred employees) with a strategic role to supply components to Britain's machinery manufacturers. Each of these companies has a design, development, manufacturing and marketing role to ensure its products are of a high and consistent quality to British and international standards.
Over thirty per cent of the oil hydraulic and pneumatic products are exported directly. However, it is estimated that a further thirty per cent is indirectly exported when fitted to British machinery, equipment and installations.