The value of sales through specialist plumbing and heating merchants rose in the final quarter of 2022, according to figures released by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) in its latest Plumbing and Heating Merchants Index (PHMI). This was, however, largely driven by higher prices rather than increased volumes.
Quarter 4 2022 v Quarter 3 2022
Despite their being five fewer trading days in the final quarter of the year, in value terms absolute sales in Q4 2022 were +6.9% higher than in the third quarter of the year. Volume sales were lower at -2.6%, but prices increased by +9.7%. Comparing like-for-like sales, adjusted for the difference in trading days between the two quarters, shows an increase of +15.9% in value sales in Q4.
Quarter 4 2022 v Quarter 4 2021
A comparison of the final quarter of 2022 with the same period in 2021 also highlights the effect of price increases over the past 12 months. Value sales in Q4 2022 were up by +10.3% over Q3 2021. Volume sales were 0.7% lower, while price was up by +11.0%. There was one less trading day in 2022, adjusted for this like-for-like sales increased by +12.2%.
2022 v 2021 Full Year
A review of the year shows sales from January to December 2022 rose by +8.2% over the previous year. Once again this was driven by price, up by +9.3% with volume sales -1.0% lower. With three less trading days in 2022, like-for-like sales were up by +9.5%.
The data for the PHMI is taken solely from P&H specialists, including City Plumbing Supplies, James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot, Plumbfix, PTS, Williams & Co, and Wolseley, who form part of GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchants Panel, and there is no overlap or double counting between the PHMI and the BMF’s established Builders Merchants Building Index which analyses sales at generalist merchants.