search.noResults

search.searching

saml.title
dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
Trailblazers is published as a supplement to Builders Merchants Journal


Builders Merchants Journal Datateam Business Media, London Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 8LY Tel: 01622 687031 www.buildersmerchantsjournal.net


EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Fiona Russell Horne 07721 841382 frussell-horne@datateam.co.uk


Assistant Editor: Catrin Jones 01622 699186


cjones@datateam.co.uk


Designer: India Marks


ADVERTISEMENTS Advertising Manager: Dawn Tucker 01622 699148


mobile 07934 731232 dtucker@datateam.co.uk


North & midlands sales: David Harman 01772 462596


david.harman@talktalk.net


Publisher: Paul Ryder


01622 699105


pryder@datateam.co.uk CIRCULATION


ABC audited average circulation July 2018-June 2019: 7801


SUBSCRIPTIONS


UK one year: £97 UK, two years: £164 Outside UK: one year £113/$204; two years: £196/$353


© Datateam Business Media Ltd 2021. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photo-copying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The title Builders Merchants Journal is registered at Stationers’ Hall.


TRAILBLAZERS A word from the Editor...


CONTENTS 5 14


THE LAST ISSUE OF TRAILBLAZERS WENT to press just after the Prime Minister announced the UK lockdown. Or, as we now know it, the first UK lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, we all knew we were facing unprecedented times, but we had no way of knowing how long the lockdown would last, how many there would be, nor how deeply they would affect the industry. Had we’d known then what we know now, would we have done anything differently? Could we have


done anything differently? As this issue of our annual supplement shows, merchants just got on with doing what they do best, which is serving their customers in the best way they can. The merchant industry has changed enormously over the past 12 months, not all of it attributable to the pandemic. Many of the changes were always going to happen; the nature of this industry is for companies to buy and sell goods - including businesses where it makes sense to so do - and for shareholders to realise their investments. When I joined BMJ, it was said that the acquisitive march of the national merchants would change the landscape forever. Well, it did, and it didn’t. Today, it’s the influx of private equity that is having the biggest effect. Whether that’s Bain, Inflexion or the multi-armed Cairngorm Capital, the independent merchant sector remains appealing as an investment proposition. I’d say that’s probably a good thing. I’d rather be in an industry that attracts investment than one that doesn’t. Gratifyingly, it seems to be the things that the rest of us love about the industry - the commitment to quality people, service and products - that investors also seem to like. Which leads me onto the labour of love that is the Trailblazers benchmarking supplement. As usual, there are caveats. Different companies file their results at different times of year, so not everything is a direct comparison. The information supplied to Companies House, written in accountancy-speak, is often structured in a way that varies from the information used to run the day-to-day business. Different companies also have slightly different accounting practices, especially where big finance is involved, which means that even public domain information can vary slightly between final accounts. Because of all this, the true effects of both the pandemic and the acquisitions of the past 12 months will only be truly measurable in next year’s edition. A note on the figures. The formulae used to calculate the financial tables sometimes can’t cope with wide variances or massive fluctuations, which is why some figures are marked as n/a.


All that being said, the Trailblazers BMJ Index, which is calculated by multiplying sales growth, operating margin, and stockturn shows that, much of the merchant industry remains in good shape, ready, willing and able to deal with the slings and arrows of ever-more outrageous fortune. The pandemic tried to do its worst and the industry stood up and did its best in return. What the long terms effects of all that will be, we will have to wait and see.


Fiona Russell Horne Group Managing Editor


April 2021 A supplement to builders merchants journal 17


18 20


22 League Tables


Alsford Timber AW Champion AW Lumb


Boys & Boden


Beesley & Fildes Beggs & Partners Bradford & Sons


Browns Beatsons


Builder Depot


C&W Berry Carvers Covers


Crossling 24


25. 26 28


30 31 32


33


EH Smith Elliott Bros Frank Key Grafton


Grant & Stone


Howarth Timber Haldane Group Huws Gray IMBG


James Burrell


James Hargreaves John Nicholls


John A Stephens Joseph Parr JT Atkinson JT Dove


34 35 36 38 39 40 41


42 43


Kellaway Group Kent Blaxill Lawsons LBS


Lords


Markovitz MKM


MP Moran


Myers Group MGM


National Timber Group Nicholls & Clarke


Robert Price & Sons Saint-Gobain


Sydenhams Turnbull


UK Plumbing Supplies


Walter Tipper Williams


Travis Perkins Wolseley


3


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88