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: Q4 2019

Paul Roughan, Trade Merchants Sales Director Dulux Trade is BMBI’s Expert for Paint.

Quite a lot has happened since the last report!

The Conservatives won a comprehensive General Election victory leading to the UK leaving the EU in January. Whatever your feelings, are we all confident that at least decisions have been made and there is some certainty? Or does it lead to another 12 months of uncertainty and instability as we negotiate through the transition period?

The overall paint market grew last year with a stronger performance in the consumer channel than in trade. A word of caution on the consumer performance though as there was significant promotional activity, particularly in the last quarter, driven by the DIY sheds. We wait to see if this activity saw the market overheat or signified a real increase in consumer demand.

Trade market volume also grew, by 1.2% in 2019. This growth was driven by interior emulsions while masonry paints and external trim products declined over previous years. Unfortunately, though, the builders’ merchant channel under-performed against the total market with volume down as much as -8%.

Although we have seen market growth, volumes have been impacted by the flattening of house prices and less activity in the new build sector. However, new legislation offers opportunities in the rental sector. Rented accommodation has to be fit for human habitation, and this has been covered by legislation since March 2019. Decorating is a cost-effective way of transforming living spaces, so when landlords are refurbishing to meet legislation, merchants should make sure they sell them the paint too!

Linking to the above, there is significant insight from research on generalist merchant customers who also undertake painting as part of their projects. The insight shows a far higher percentage of these customers who have a consideration, or a need to buy decorative products, than are actually buying in a builders’ merchant.

Many buy elsewhere, believing that merchants don’t have the product ranges or competitive prices to fulfil their needs. It’s a huge opportunity for builders’ merchants to grow their share of the trade paint market by engaging with customers who are walking out their doors and going elsewhere for their decorative products.

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.