According to figures released by the Builders Merchants Federation in its latest Plumbing and Heating Merchants Index, sales through specialist plumbers and heating merchants continued their upward trend in Q4 2021.
Despite the fewer trading days in Q4 2021, absolute sales increased by +6.4% against Q3 2021. Comparing like-for-like sales, adjusted for the difference in trading days between the two quarters, shows an increase of +13.5% in Q4.
Year on year comparisons also show a slight upward trend, with sales in Q4 2021 up by +2.0% on Q4 2020, when there was no difference in trading days, and by +1.6% against Q4 2019, pre-Covid, with one more trading day in 2021, although like-for-like sales were flat at -0.1%.
A review of the year shows sales from January to December 2021 rose by +18.3% over 2020, with two less trading days in the most recent period. Adjusting for that difference, like-for-like sales increased by +19.3% in 2021 vs 2020. Annual sales were also higher than in 2019, with 2021 recording an absolute increase of +2.7%.
The data for the PHMI is taken solely from P&H specialists, including City Plumbing Supplies, Graham, James Hargreaves Plumbing Deport, PTS and Wolseley, who form part of GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchants Panel. 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.