However, average daily sales, taking trading day differences into account, were down 2.1% on April 2017.
Plumbing heating & electrical was the fastest growing product category, rising 22.5% year on year. Landscaping products, by contrast, were down 4.3%.
Latest data released in the Builders Merchants Federation’s Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) shows that overall sales in April were 3.5% higher than in March, despite April having one less trading day. However March was affected by bad weather and included Good Friday this year, both of which held back turnover. Landscaping, a highly seasonal category, saw the biggest month-on-month increase, rising 26.0%, followed by heavy building materials (+4.7%).
Average sales per day in April were 8.7% higher than March.
The first four months of 2018 were up 2.5% on the same period in 2017, with one additional trading day this year. Plumbing heating & electrical (+11.1%) did best, with kitchens & bathrooms (+5.7%) also performing well. Average sales a day for January to April 2018 were up 1.3% on the same months of 2017.
The rolling 12 months May 2017 to April 2018 were 4.7% above the same period a year earlier, with one more trading day. Plumbing heating & electrical (+8.7%) was strongest.
April’s BMBI index was 116.1, with one less trading day. Landscaping was top (132.1) followed by Plumbing Heating & Electrical (120.4).
The BMBI tracks builders’ merchants’ actual sales to builders and contractors using GfK’s Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data. The BMBI represents more than 80% of the value of the builders' merchants' market.
April’s BMBI index was 116.1, with one less trading day, compared to 112.2 the previous month and 106.7 in April 2017. Landscaping was top at 132.1, but it was 138.1 in April 2017. Plumbing heating & electrical was the second best category with a BMBI of 120.4, up from 98.3 in April 2017.