Kitchens and bathrooms and plumbing, heating and electrical products were helping to drive sales in the builders merchants industry in Q1 2016, according to new figures.
A report from the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), which included the latest figures from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel, found that kitchen and bathroom sales increased by 3.9% compared with the same period in 2015.
Year-on-year sales of plumbing, heating and electrical products were up by 7.3%, followed by heavy building materials (5.2%) and timber and joinery products (4%). This was second only to landscaping products, which saw 10.7% growth.
However, renewables and water-saving product sales were down by 26.7%. This was the only category to see a drop in growth.
Heavy building materials and timber and joinery products were the main drivers for growth, with 46.6% and 21% respectively of total sales during the first quarter. Plumbing, heating and electrical products saw a slight 0.1% increase in total sales at 5.7%, while kitchens and bathrooms maintained a 4.7% share.
Total sales in Q1 2016 increased by 5.4% on the same period last year, with sales (excluding VAT) up to £1.27 billion compared with £1.20bn in 2015.
Sales in Q1 also grew by 4.6% compared with the last quarter of 2015.
The first three months of the year saw strong growth, with January and March both growing by 2% year on year, despite one less trading day in each month.
BMF managing director John Newcomb said: “The year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter growth evident in builders merchants sales is clearly encouraging. It is also at odds with the recent ONS figures that reported construction output down by 1.9%, which have already been challenged by the Construction Products Association. Our data is in line with the CPA’s Q1 survey. ONS figures have been revised in the past, so they may yet come back with a more positive picture that reflects what is actually happening in the market.”