Slowdown in builders’ merchants’ sales in Q2: BMBI

  • 28 Aug 2019

Following a strong start to the year, Total Builders’ Merchants’ value sales to builders and contractors were down -1.2% in Q2 2019 against the same period last year, BMBI statistics show.

However, the adjusted figure, which takes into account differences in trading days, was marginally positive at +0.4%.

Value sales of Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, declined by -1.6% year-on-year. Landscaping products was the best performing category, rising by +1.2%.

The negative quarterly figure was massively influenced by poor trading towards the end of the period, with overall sales in June down -8.1% compared with the same month last year. Most product categories recorded a negative performance.

Quarter-on-quarter, however, the picture is more positive. Total Builders’ Merchants’ sales in Q2 2019 increased by +8.9% compared with Q1, and average sales a day (which takes into account the difference in trading days) were up +12.5% over the same period.

June’s BMBI index was 117.2, with Landscaping (146.6) the top performing category.


Simon Taylor, Director of Sales – Builders Merchants at Ibstock (pictured above), joined the BMBI panel this month as the new expert for bricks.

“So far, in the first five months of 2019, an additional 25 million clay bricks have been produced by GB brick-makers compared with the same period last year. This 3% increase is matched by the additional volume despatched to customers,” he commented.

“During the same period, the volume of bricks imported into the UK has increased by 16% or 18 million bricks. Just over 80% of bricks imported into the UK in this period were produced in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany.

“However, the numbers of bricks that are being transported from countries many thousands of miles away, such as India, Pakistan and Turkey, has doubled this year against last.

“A few housebuilders are choosing to use concrete bricks to supplement the perceived shortage of clay products.

“Concrete bricks represent only a small percentage of the total brick market and independent reports suggest they are heavier to transport and handle, slower and more difficult to work with on site (bricklayers can lay around 17% more clay bricks a day than concrete) and there is a limited range of colours and textures to select from.

“Despite the current economic uncertainty, which affects the confidence to decide to make major capital investments, UK clay brick manufacturers are continuing to spend money increasing production, improving yields and maintaining quality to keep UK developers and builders’ merchants readily supplied with their first-choice external cladding material – UK produced clay bricks.”

BMBI Experts speak exclusively for their markets, explaining trends, issues and opportunities.

For the latest reports, Expert comments and Round Table videos, visit

Visit the BMBI website

Follow @TheBMBI

t: 01453 521 621
e: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Latest news

Newton Waterproofing

The lowdown on the Newton Specification Partnership

Newton Waterproofing Systems are pleased to announce the Newton Specification Partnership (NSP), which was formed this year as a result of Newton’s desire to improve the process of designing and specifying waterproofing systems.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry Events, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Continuing Professional Development (CPD's), Damp & Waterproofing, Innovations & New Products, Posts, Retrofit & Renovation

Safeguard Europe

Safeguard Europe’s renovation plasters render buildings drier

Safeguard Europe’s Dryzone high-performance plasters collection is a range of breathable modern plasters designed to stop salt migration and aid drying on damp walls.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Damp & Waterproofing, Render, Retrofit & Renovation, Walls


Keep private rooms secure with ASSA ABLOY Code Handle®

For premises looking to secure rooms in busy public spaces, such as commercial offices, healthcare buildings and retail environments, Code Handle® from ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware provides a stylish, secure and easy-to-fit solution.

Posted in Access Control & Door Entry Systems, Architectural Ironmongery, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Doors, Health & Safety, Retrofit & Renovation, Security and Fire Protection

Crown Paints

Crown provides a new look for Victorian school

Grove Road Community Primary School, one of Harrogate’s oldest schools, has recently refurbished its main reception using a selection of high-performance paint solutions and an attractive heritage colour scheme from Crown Trade.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Case Studies, Interior Design & Construction, Interiors, Paints, Coatings & Finishes, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation