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.

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IKO PLC Comment: Q3 2019

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

Quarter three has been a strong three months for the roofing sector, with sales up significantly on quarter two. This reflects an expected seasonal uptick for the RMI (Repair Maintenance and Improvement) flat roofing market, but more importantly these sales were also up on the same three months of 2018.

General merchants have gained from this increased seasonal demand, notably those who have invested in their stock proposition and in their skills and expertise. However, specialist independent roofing distributors who have positioned themselves best to benefit from this opportunity have gained even more. Some are reporting double digit growth over the same period last year. Not to be left out, the retail sector has continued to grow in the closing months of the summer season. Retail sales were up on the second and third quarter in 2018 and they’re on track to deliver year-on-year growth. And that’s despite Britain falling out of love with DIY. It seems our desire to keep a roof over a shed that’s full of expensive power tools we no longer use, is just the right type and size of job to get stuck into on a Sunday morning. It’s a job that can be finished in time to relax and enjoy the afternoon.

Looking at major projects, RMI in the education sector remained a key source of work for flat roofing specialists in quarter three, with the school holiday period once again a hive of activity. With such volumes of work for time-critical contracts, effective management of the logistics and supply chain is crucial. Merchants that can add value to this are positioned well to support and benefit from this demand.

Within the new build sector, flat roofing systems are the preferred choice on low-rise urban residential projects. They not only insulate, and keep the building watertight, but create a usable environmentally-friendly space.
Looking forward, contractor order books are full for 2019 and the early months of 2020. There is still, however, an undertone of concern that economic uncertainty may temper investment and stifle what has been a busy and successful period for roofing.

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.