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Builders merchants see Q2 sales rise

The latest sales figures from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel, released by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), show sales in the second quarter of 2015 through general builders merchants were at their highest since tracking began last July.

Sales were up by 12.8% on the first quarter of the year, with total sales out of £1.36bn compared with £1.2bn.

Quarter-on-quarter growth was driven by sales of landscaping products, up 62.4%, and heavy building materials, up 13.5%.

The latest data shows a dip in sales in April and May and a bounce back in June, with sales values up 12% on the previous month. 

Although June was the largest trading month by total sales value since the panel was set up last year, May 2015 recorded the highest revenue average per trading day (£22.6m) of the last 12 months. 

April was the next highest at £22.4m, with June at £21.85m.  All three months in Q2 2015 outperformed the previous nine months on this measure.

The figures for Q2 2015 complete the first full year’s data from the Builders Merchants Panel.  While there is no comparable data for the second quarter of 2014, Q2 2015 was 1% up on last year’s third-quarter performance, previously the highest in terms of sales output.

BMF managing director John Newcomb said: “Shining a light on [the second quarter’s] statistics instantly reveals some interesting trends aiding our understanding of the market.

“Unlike data from other sources, which tends to be based on estimates, or sales from the supplier into the supply chain, this valuable up-to-date data reflects actual sales to builders and other trades and comes from the BMF as the authoritative voice of the industry.

“Looking forward, the outlook is promising for builders merchants’ sales, with consumer confidence at its highest since 2000, property transactions returning to pre-recession levels and the government’s pledge to build more homes and speed up the application process to do so.”

Looking across the full year’s data, heavy building materials (46.7%), timber and joinery products (20.9%) and landscaping products (7.9%) make up over 75% of total sales value for generalist builders merchants.

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