Total builders merchants value sales in April 2019 were up 5.3% compared with the same period in 2018. The timber and joinery products category performed particularly well, with sales growth of 5.5% in April. Sales in the seasonal landscaping category continued positively, up 17% in April compared with the same time last year.

This growth was against a muted performance in April for the construction industry as a whole. According to the ONS, overall construction output was 2.4% higher than in April 2018.

Month on month

Total builders’ merchants sales were up 0.6% compared with the previous month (March). However, the adjusted April 2019 figures, which take into account the trading day difference, show that total sales increased 5.6% over March.

Sectors that performed well on a monthby- month adjusted basis included landscaping (+23.3%), heavy building materials (+4.9%) and timber and joinery products (+4.2%). Plumbing, heating and electrical (-5.9%), tools (-4%) and kitchens and bathrooms (-1.5%) were down.

Other periods

Total builders merchants sales over a rolling 12 months May 2018 to April 2019 were 4.8% above the same period a year earlier, with one less trading day. Average sales a day were 5.3% higher. Timber and joinery products was the second best performing category, with sales up 7.4%.

Cumulative sales for January to April were 5.7% ahead of last year overall, while sales of timber and joinery products increased by 6.3% in the period.


April’s total BMBI index was 122.3, with timber and joinery the third highest category also at 122.3. The average sales a day index for April was 126.9.