General builders’ merchants’ sales on the rise while renewables takes a hit


BMFThe latest sales figures published by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) show that the sales through the UK’s general builders’ merchants in Q3 2015 were up on both the last quarter and the same quarter in 2014.

The figures, collected by GfK Builders Merchants Panel, shows the strongest quarter since the market research institute started tracking builders’ merchants, with sales in Q3 2015 being 2.8% higher than the same period last year, and 1.7% higher than Q2 2015.

The report showed that most sectors performed strongly in Q3 2015 compared to the same quarter last year, with the exception of Renewables & Water Management, which plummeted 16.7% from the previous year following the Government’s announcement that it would not proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme (

John Newcomb, managing director for BMF said: “The Builders Merchants Panel has now returned 15 months of data, enabling us to make year on year quarterly comparisons for the first time. Most sectors have performed strongly in the last quarter. However, Renewables & Water Management stands out from other sectors with a pronounced drop in sales. It appears to have suffered since the Government announced that Zero Carbon Standard for new homes would be discontinued.”

The BMF says that an additional insight from GfK paints a bright future for Builders’ Merchants as, despite the fall in confidence from businesses, consumer confidence is at its highest since 2000.

It suggests that this is owed to recent Government announcements to build 400,000 new homes; property transactions having returned to pre-recession levels, and homeowners having a greater intention to build and improve their homes.

Data from the Builders Merchants Panel is published monthly in the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) and the 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 £3m.

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