Sales have grown for UK Builders Merchants in Q2, continuing a positive trend for the sector.
The latest BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) saw sales rise 5.3%, when adjusted for there being two fewer trading days in the period, compared to Q2 2016 (actual Q2 y-o-y sales were still positive at 1.9%).
Year to date sales figures to June are 3.8% higher than for 2016, the report said.
Most product areas performed well in Q2, including ironmongery (sales up 8.4% y-o-y, adjusted) and the three largest product groups also performed well with sales of Timber & Joinery up 6.0%, Landscaping at 5.9% and Heavy Building Materials up 5.6%.
John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “The majority of trade indicators are finding that order books are being sustained by private housing and RMI work – the mainstay of many a merchant’s business – while commercial sectors are falling behind. Even the ONS reported a year on year increase in housing of +9.4% for the quarter.
“I have visited over 20 BMF members in recent weeks and every one reported sales growth in the first half. While they have seen little evidence of a slow down in overall sales, they are reporting more price increases, an inevitable result of the falling exchange rate, and shortages in certain product areas. 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.”