British Builders Merchants report 8.4% growth for 1st quarter 2018
Builders merchants have reported an increase in sales of 8.4% in January (compared to January 2017) lifted by one additional trading day. This buoyant start is supported by growth in all categories, with landscaping performing strongest, up 14.5% from last year.
These strong results buck the trends reported by the Office for National Statistics of continued construction output decline in the three-month on three-month series in January 2018. In contrast, the builders’ merchants, who supply materials to the construction industry, saw average sales a day 3.4% higher this January compared to January 2017.
The BMF figures are contained in the ‘Builders Merchants Building Index’ which tracks builders’ merchants’ actual sales using GfK data. The index shows strong growth over the past year, with the rolling twelve months from February 2017 to January 2018 4.9% above the same period a year earlier, with one less trading day.
The BMF have previously reported that builders’ merchants were cautiously optimistic for 2018 and beyond, and this latest data indicates confidence and a robust performance in the UK building materials supply chain. The BMF states that the healthy results of their members demonstrates that builders merchants are delivering the vital materials required to support construction and housing growth across the UK.
John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF, said: “These figures show that builders merchants are delivering the building blocks for growth across the UK and playing a key role in supporting vital construction projects. Demand for housing and repairing of existing stock relies on merchants, and these figures show our members can be depended on to deliver.
“Of course, there are challenges facing builders merchants such as continued decline in private commercial work, increases in raw material prices and product shortages. However, we are confident our members will continue to see robust growth and they are ready to work with local authorities, developers and consumers to get the right materials in the right place.”