Expert for Roofing Products

Paul Owen

Commercial Director - Distribution Division


Paul Owen

Paul has many years’ experience of working in the home improvement and roofing sectors. He joined roofing in September 2000 as Area Sales Manager for Marley Waterproofing. In his new role he was responsible for roof surveys and generating flat roofing specifications for bituminous membranes and insulation. This later expanded to include specification of liquid applied waterproofing and single ply membrane, before his promotion to Key Account Management.

In 2006 Marley Waterproofing was acquired by the IKO Group. This led to Paul’s role developing into Commercial Management of the Roofing Distribution team, incorporating sales into national and independent roofing distributers. With the builders’ merchant sector progressing strongly in roofing, and following an internal change at Board level, Paul was offered the opportunity to head up the newly created Distribution Division, which includes sales to merchants, roofing distributers, and retail.

IKO Group

The brands in IKO Group have been global leaders in waterproofing and roofing products for over 100 years. The UK division was established 10 years ago after the successful acquisition and integration of the leading roofing and waterproofing brands, Ruberoid, Permanite, Marley Waterproofing, SpectraROOF and Hyload.

The company is growing in a number of very different markets including asphalt road surfacing; mastic asphalt paving; highways bridge expansion joints; car park systems; flood defence systems; PIR insulation; damp proofing and tanking membranes; single ply membranes; flashing, roof shingles and liquid protection – to name just a few.

IKO has three manufacturing plants in the UK, based in Wigan (Bituminous), Chesterfield (Polymeric Single Ply and Structural Waterproofing) and Grangemill (Hot Melt and Mastic Asphalt).

IKO has achieved the following standards for all three of its UK plants: ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management and BES 6001 for responsible sourcing of construction products.

Visit Follow @ikoplc

IKO PLC comment: Q4 2018

Paul Owen, Commercial Director Distribution IKO PLC is BMBI’s Expert for Roofing Products.

Roofing product sales were strong in the last three months of 2018, with sales ahead of Q4 2017. Merchants and independent roofing distributers did particularly well. This overall positive picture however covers a broad range of performances in different areas.

In some regions – particularly in the key regional cities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Belfast – there has been a lot of major construction activity. The Deloitte Real Estate Regional Crane Survey, which monitors construction activity saw a sustained or increased level of development across a range of sectors including offices, residential, hotels, retail, education and student housing.

Housing repair maintenance and improvement (RMI) activity was also up on Q4 2017 and on Q3 2018. Some main contractors have reported difficulties in hiring roofers – an indication of a busy market and the continuing skills shortage. Minimal winter weather disruption also contributed to roofing contractors increased output, compared to the extreme weather in the first three months of 2018, and a difficult last three months of 2017.

Mid-sized roofing contractors report that surveys and enquiry levels are also up on the same period of 2017, giving some reassurance that clients are continuing to plan new projects despite the uncertainty, gloomy economic predictions and confusion emanating from Westminster and the cautious economic forecasts from economic bodies and the Bank of England. We now wait for confirmation of the project funding and the start dates of these projects.

Despite the now widely accepted view that we need to ramp up housebuilding to make good the housing shortfall and keep pace with the needs of a growing population, new build is not contributing as much to the overall positive picture. NHBC starts are 1.2% down on the same time last year with developers seemingly cautious as the Brexit deadline draws closer. Some regions look more positive, with Yorkshire and Humberside showing a 20% reported increase in housebuilding registrations.

Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.