The latest figures for January from the Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) report show monthly total value sales through specialist plumbing and heating merchants were 4.8% higher than the same month in 2021.
Compared to January 2019, a pre-Covid year, total value sales for January 2022 were flat (-0.1%), not helped by two less trading days this year. Like-for-like sales, which take trading day differences into account, were 9.9% higher.
Month-on-month sales data reveals that January sales were 23.9% higher than December 2021, helped by three extra trading days in January. Like-for-like sales were 5.3% higher.
Value sales in the three months November 2021 to January 2022 were up 5.1% compared to the same three months last year, with one more trading day in the most recent trading period. Like-for-like sales were higher (+3.3%).
Total quarterly sales for November 2021 to January 2022 were 0.2% up on the preceding three months (August to October 2021), with five less trading days in the most recent three-month period. Like-for-like sales were up 8.7%.
Plumbing & Heating merchants’ sales in the last 12 months (February 2021 to January 2022) were 19.4% ahead of the previous 12-month period (February 2020 to January 2021) with no difference in trading days.
Mike Rigby, CEO of MRA Research, said: “January sales have shown a continuation of the steady growth we saw at the end of 2021 and merchants’ value sales are back on par with where the industry was before the pandemic struck. While merchants will be keen to keep the momentum going in 2022, there may be difficult months ahead as rising inflation and rocketing energy costs knock consumer confidence and squeeze household budgets.
“In the short term at least, product sales may favour energy and water savings products which mitigate soaring household bills. While we may not see big increases in sales from month to month in the immediate future, there’s lots of potential for solid, consistent growth.”
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.