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The latest Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) report, published in August, puts Q2 total value sales for specialist Plumbing & Heating merchants up 93.5% on the same period in 2020 and 4.0% higher than the same three months in 2019.

The second quarter finished with June sales up 1.8% on May 2021, helped by three more trading days this month. Compared to June 2020, total sales for June 2021 were 35.2% higher with no difference in trading time, and 7.9% higher than June 2019 – a more normal pre-pandemic year, which provides a more accurate comparison.

The PHMI report data also shows a solid year-to-date performance, with sales in the first six months of 2021 36.3% higher than January to June 2020, with one less trading day. Against the same period in 2019, merchant sales are 3.8% up, with no difference in trading days.

The PHMI Index for Q2 2021 was 99.5, with one less trading day, while the average sales a day index just nudged over the 100 mark at 101.1.

Mike Rigby, CEO of MRA Research, which produces the report comments: “Second quarter figures confirm that the recovery in specialist plumbing and heating merchants is beginning to motor, as restrictions lift and inside trades get back inside to work.

“With the ‘improve don’t move’ trend gathering momentum and the heating season coming up in Q3, we expect to see those numbers increase further as we head into the second half of 2021, with total value sales also getting a bump-up from rising material costs.”

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.

The PHMI data is from GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchant Panel, which represents over 80% of Britain’s specialist plumbing & heating merchants’ sales. The PHMI is a brand of the Builders Merchants Federation, and reports are produced by MRA Research. There is no overlap or double counting between PHMI and Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) sales data.

To download the latest report visit www.phmi.co.uk.