Positive April for Plumbing & Heating Merchants

The latest Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) report published in June shows that value sales through specialist plumbing & heating merchants in April remained positive.

Unsurprisingly, sales were up significantly on April 2020 (+192.4%), with merchants selling almost three times as much as the previous year, when many merchant branches were closed. Year-to-date sales were also up 26.1% in January to April 2021 compared to the same four months last year, with one less trading day.

Comparing sales with 2019 and normal trading conditions show that value sales through specialist plumbing & heating merchants in April 2021 were up 4.3% compared to April 2019, with no difference in trading days, confirming the strength of recovery in this sector.

Despite a difficult start to the year with a third national lockdown, sales from February to April were 6.6% up on the same period in 2019, with two more trading days.

Month-on-month, value sales were 13.8% below March 2021, not helped by three fewer trading days in April. Average sales a day were just 0.9% lower.

Total sales in the 12 months May 2020 to April 2021 were almost identical to the same period a year earlier (+0.1%), with no difference in trading days.

April’s PHMI Index was 101.8. The average Index over the last three months (February to April 2021) is 107.5, showing an improvement on the previous three months (98.1).

The Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) is the first to analyse point of sales data collated from a range of specialist plumbing & heating merchants with combined annual sales of £3bn, to chart their performance month-to-month.

Based on data from GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchant Panel, which represents over 80% of the market by value, the report provides reliable data and a platform and voice for the industry, as well as for leading plumbing & heating brands. It is produced by MRA Research for the Builders Merchants Federation. There is no overlap or double counting between PHMI and the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) sales data.

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