IKO PLC Comment: Q4 2019

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

October brought an early plunge into freezing winter conditions, November a deluge of rain and floods, and December saw a return to freezing conditions, then more rain and gales, before the construction industry finished for Christmas. So, did we get any roofing done in quarter four? Well, we are a resilient bunch in the roofing sector. In between sitting in steamed-up trucks reading up on the latest changes to building regulations, it seems we actually got quite a lot of roofing done.

Overall reports indicate that Q4 2019 was slightly up on Q4 2018, with all sectors reporting steady demand, until the early break for Christmas resulted in a sharp tail off in December.

Merchants who did very well were those stocking a range of liquid and membrane solutions, supporting the increasing demand for maintenance and emergency repair products after a spell of severe weather.

Torch-on roofing felt sales were particularly strong during this period. Pitched roofing products were also in high demand in the rush to get units watertight ahead of the Christmas break. This was also true of the hot-melt flat roofing sector which services low-rise residential development.

Elsewhere, in built up roofing (BUR) major projects experienced a seasonal slowing as projects finish and new starts are not scheduled until after the holiday period. Contractors specialising in multi-discipline major flat roofing projects also reported enquiry levels tailing off a little as client confidence weakened.

As the ink dries on the Brexit paperwork, we wait in anticipation as civil servants and politicians thrash out the trade deals that will keep our clients investing, developers developing and our construction industry buoyant in the years ahead. Either way, long-established British businesses that continue to invest in manufacturing in the UK are here to support your roofing needs.

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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.