News

Plumbing & heating sales up on September but down year-on-year

The latest figures for October from the Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) report show total year-on-year value sales through specialist plumbing and heating merchants down 3.5% on October 2020, with one less trading day this year. However, like-for-like sales a day were 1.0% up against the same month in 2020.

Compared to October 2019, a pre-pandemic year, total value sales for October 2021 were also down 4.9% with two less trading days this year. Like-for-like sales were 4.1% up.

Month-on-month sales were more positive, with October up 6.0% compared to September on one less trading day. Like-for-like sales, which take the number of trading days into account, were up 11.1%.

Value sales in the three months August to October 2021 were 1.6% higher than the same three months in 2020, with no difference in trading days.

Compared to the same three months in 2019, August to October 2021 sales were flat (-0.1%), with one less trading day this year. Like-for-like sales increased marginally (+1.4%).

Total quarterly sales August to October 2021 were up 4.3% on the previous three months (May to July), with two more trading days in the most recent period. Like-for-like sales were up 1.0%.

In the ten months January to October 2021, total value sales through specialist plumbing and heating merchants were 21.4% higher than the same period last year, with three less trading days this year. Values sales were also up 2.1% on the same ten months in 2019, again with three less trading days. Like-for-like sales were 23.1% higher than 2020, and 3.6% up on 2019.

Over the last 12 months (November 2020 to October 2021), specialist plumbing and heating merchant sales were 17.4% ahead of the same period a year before, with one less trading day in the most recent period. Like-for-like sales increased by 17.9%.

October’s PHMI Index, which contrasts sales with the base period of January to December 2019, was 111.1.

John Newcomb CEO of the BMF (Builders Merchants Federation) comments: “It’s been a year of change for the specialist plumbing & heating merchants with the announcement of acquisitions and mergers among many of the leading brands. Those importing bathroom products from the Far East have endured severe supply chain issues leading to steep price increases, but despite these challenges, it’s a positive picture with quarterly and year-to-date sales up on last year. A drop in monthly year-on-year sales reflects a general slowdown in the market as the industry stabilises after good growth in the Spring and Summer.

“Winter is traditionally a strong period for plumbing & heating sales, although if tighter Covid restrictions are imposed again they may impact indoor trades.”

The Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) is the first to analyse point of sales data collated from 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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You can also download the reports, or learn more about becoming an Expert, speaking on behalf of your market, at www.phmi.co.uk.

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