Builders merchants saw 8% sales uptick in 2022

Builders merchants saw the value of their sales increase by 8.2 per cent in 2022, according to the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

The trade body said prices grew 16.2 per cent across the sector last year, compared with 2021, despite an 8 per cent fall in sales volumes.

The publication of BMF data comes as Travis Perkins, one of the country’s largest builders merchants, reported a decrease in profit despite a 8.9 per cent hike in its annual revenue.

Last year all materials categories saw growth in revenue value, according to BMF, apart from timber and joinery, which was down by 2.2 per cent and landscaping, down by 0.6 per cent. Sales volumes in these categories were down by 15.5 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively.

The bestselling materials category was renewables and water management, up by 31.5 per cent each, followed by kitchens and bathrooms (18.9 per cent), and plumbing, heating and electrical (14.8 per cent).

Heavy building materials saw a value increase of 11.6 per cent, with what the BMF termed “a noticeable price growth of 18.6 per cent” – although volumes were down by 5.9 per cent.

BMF chief executive John Newcomb said: “With so much volatility in the UK economy in 2022, it comes as no surprise to see the slowdown in some areas of construction reflected in merchant sales.

“Slowing demand throughout the final quarter, however, has helped to ease pressures on product supply.

“With forecasts for 2023 predicting further slowdown in the first half of the year, general product availability should have an opportunity to recover before the market begins to recover in the second half.”

For the final quarter of 2022, total sales values were 13.9 per cent lower than the third quarter as volume sales dropped by 18.3 per cent, but prices increased by 5.4 per cent.

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