Trade association asserts that builder's merchants sales are strong

Helen Cahill
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The trade association has stepped in to defend the industry after poor construction data was released (Source: Getty)

The trade association representing builder's merchants has stressed today that sales are in the industry are strong after construction supplier Travis Perkins said that it had been hit by the Brexit vote.

The Builders Merchants Federation said sales in the sector were up were up 3.1 per cent in June as compared to the same period last year, and sales in the second quarter of 2016 were up 7.1 per cent.

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The intervention comes after disappointing construction data was released earlier this week and builders' merchant Travis Perkins said demand for the company's services had been hit in the run-up to the Brexit vote.

John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, said: "Economic and political uncertainty in the run-up to the EU referendum was expected to cause a slow-down in the construction sector.

"However, sales data from our builders' merchant members is telling a very different story. June sales were up across the board, and sales for the second quarter of the year were up by over seven per cent."

Read more: This construction supplier has been hit by the Brexit vote

Newcomb said sales were particularly good outside London, where construction work is less centred on new builds and offices. Regions performing well included Northern England, East Anglia and Yorkshire.

Travis Perkins' chief executive John Carter said this week that the company's sales growth gradually improved during July, but that they were taking a "cautious stance" because secondary housing transactions and consumer confidence were "unlikely to be positive" in the coming months.

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