Builders merchants reported a surge in sales in September driven by domestic work.

Sales were up 8.3 per cent in September compared to the same period last year, new data from the Builders Merchants Building Index has revealed. Overall sales for the third quarter were also up 1 per cent on last year.

The surge was driven by domestic works, with sales of kitchen, bathroom and landscaping materials up. Demand for heavy building materials was lagging, however, and remained almost 17 per cent lower in the nine months to the end of September compared to the same period last year.

Brickmaker Michelmersh released a trading update this morning reporting that its output had returned to pre-pandemic levels. Sales for the period between July and October were also 7 per cent higher than in 2019. The board now expects full-year revenue and profit to be ahead of previous expectations. It also intends to repay ?500,000 that was claimed under the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme.

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