British Gypsum Comment: Q3 2020

Stacey Temprell, Marketing Director British Gypsum is BMBI’s Expert for Drylining Systems.

As we enter a second national lockdown, COVID-19 continues to have an impact on construction. However, this time, Government has made it clear that construction and manufacturing are essential to the economy and should stay open, utilising our implemented COVID-19 safe operating procedures. So, we don’t expect significant disruption in Q4.

Compared to Q2, our performance was much stronger between July and September. The improvement was driven by the new-build market continuing in a Covid-safe environment, and the home improvement pound with vast numbers of people spending more time at home keen to improve their living, and their home-working space.

With homeowners now able to take advantage of the Government’s Green Homes Grant, we are likely to see an increased demand for our internal wall insulation solutions over the Winter months. For this incentive to truly generate the green benefits it intends, homeowners will only be able to use installers who have been ‘certified’ and attended an accredited installation course, such as our own Internal Wall Insulation course.

The new build residential market continues to be buoyant and a number of factors are contributing to this, including the Stamp Duty Holiday announced in Q2. Our housebuilder customers are reporting an increase in the need for available, semi-skilled labour on site, and this trend is reflected in the high levels of enrolment numbers we are seeing in courses such as our Site Ready Skimming Course. It’s precisely these sorts of practical, high-intensity upskilling courses that will support today’s skills demand and enable semi-skilled trades people to secure work on site.

The severe economic impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt as we enter 2021. And while Brexit was bumped by the pandemic from the headlines, it’s very much on business agendas, as we all make certain we are as prepared as we can be to ensure continuity of supply for the construction industry. Q4 trading is likely to get a final boost as companies stock build in anticipation of uncertainty about a deal, on the approach to a Brexit agreement deadline.

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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.