Expert for Paint

Paul Roughan

Sales Director


Paul Roughan

Paul joined ICI paints in 2001 prior to its acquisition by AkzoNobel. Starting as a Key Account Manager he quickly progressed to Regional Sales Manager and then became the Sales Director for Corporate Accounts. Paul currently holds the position of Sales Director  – Trade Merchants, responsible for contributing sales in excess of £160 million. In 2017, working closely with the BMF, Paul helped setup the ‘BMF Regional Centre of Excellence  – Dulux Academy’ to enable merchants and suppliers training and event facilities. Paul was until last year a board director of the British Coatings Federation (BCF).

Dulux Trade

AkzoNobel, is a global company which creates paints and performance coatings and produces specialty chemicals for industry and consumers worldwide. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company is active in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 46,000 people. Sales in 2016 were EUR 14.2 billion.

Dulux Trade is the home of painting and decorating excellence, falling under the brand umbrella of AkzoNobel, which includes other leading brands including Cuprinol UK, Polycell UK and Hammerite UK. The range of 4,000 colours and encyclopaedia of trade paint, along with expert help makes Dulux Trade the first choice for decorators and specifiers. More than any other brand, Dulux is widely recognised as a market leader by which others are measured.


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Dulux Trade Comment: Q3 2021

It has been another difficult quarter, as the industry grapples with labour and materials supply issues. Job vacancies are at a record high and supply chain problems facing the UK have led to a fall in construction output for four consecutive months. This is likely to have an impact downstream on the trade paint market as these are problematic for our major customers.

Early in Q3, demand stayed strong within the trade as total market volume for August 2021 was only slightly down (-4%) compared to the same month last year. On a moving annual totals (MAT) basis though, volumes were up 14% year-on-year and we were still 4.6% to the good versus the MAT volume for August 2019 – a more normal pre-Covid period.

However, change is in the air. According to figures from the British Coatings Federation, trade paint sales in September were down 15% against September sales last year, following what they called ‘lacklustre’ performances in each of the previous three months.

The downward trend was replicated in the decorative paint market, where September was down 26% year-on-year, following a run of falls since May this year as consumer confidence faltered and the property boom from earlier in the year started to fizzle out.

Despite the gloom, year-to-date trade paint sales for 2021 are still up by more than 8% compared to last year. Is it a big ask to maintain this as we move into Q4? Maybe, maybe not. The CPA expects construction growth to stay strong for the rest of the year, so much will depend on the industry’s ability to overcome the frustrations of supply shortages, bottlenecks at ports and mounting cost pressures.

There is one area of potential growth that merchants should be aware of as we head towards the end of the year, and that is the number of generalist or multiskilled tradespeople who are now applying paint. Their numbers are growing, yet a majority aren’t buying their paint from builders’ merchants. They are buying elsewhere. Why? If you can answer that, there’s a lucrative new revenue stream waiting for merchants to pick up.