The latest data released by the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms a continuing positive trend for UK builders’ merchants with Q2 sales increasing by 5.3% (when adjusted for two fewer trading days in period) compared to Q2 2016. Unadjusted Q2 year on year sales figure is still positive at +1.9%. Year to date sales figures to June are 3.8% higher than for 2016, the same number of trading days.
The BMBI tracks builders’ merchants’ sales to builders and contractors using GfK’s Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data. The BMBI includes actual sales over 80% of the value of the builders' merchants' market.
The Q2 results appear to tell a different story to the trend reported by the Office of National Statistics earlier this month, in which they report actual sales representing overall construction output fell by -1.3% in the three months to June compared with Q1, and rose by just +0.4% on the same period last year. This may reflect the predominance of housebuilding and domestic repair, maintenance and improvement work carried out by builders’ merchants’ customer base.
Commenting on the results, John Newcomb CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) said: “The majority of trade indicators are finding that order books are being sustained by private housing and Repair Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) work while commercial sectors are falling behind. Even the ONS reported a year on year increase in house building of +9.4% for the quarter.
“The merchant sector is showing resilience at the moment, but it would be foolish not to consider the possibility of tougher trading conditions as we move into 2018.”
The BMBI’s full Q2 Report can be found at www.bmbi.co.uk
Note to Editors
The GfK Builders Merchants Panel
GfK’s data sample represents 80% of the country’s Multiple Generalist Builders Merchants, defined as those selling a mix of heavy-side and light-side products through more than three branches or with an annual turnover of more than GBP3m. The panel includes national, multi-regional and regional merchants such as Buildbase, Jewson, Travis Perkins, EH Smith, Gibbs & Dandy, MKM, Bradfords, Covers and Ridgeons.
The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI), a brand of the BMF Published monthly, the BMBI is based on top line data from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel which are compiled every month from sales turnover information from general builders’ merchants. More information can be found at www.bmbi.co.uk
The Builders Merchants Federation Ltd (BMF) is the only trade association representing and protecting the interests of builders’ merchants and suppliers to the merchanting industry in the UK. Total membership at 1 July 2017 stands at 600 merchant and supplier companies who together have combined sales of over GBP27.4bn and employ over 120,000 people in the building materials industry. BMF’s 316 merchant members operate from over 4,900 branches across the UK.
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