Tuesday, 31 July 2012

CBA Group announce major structural changes to assist members

The Combined Buying Association (CBA), the independent builders’ merchant buying group has announced that it is to divide into two sector specific groups to help improve and focus members’ businesses.

A new Plumbing and Heating Group (PHG) will be established for the specialist plumbing, heating and sanitaryware market and the CBA Group will now solely focus and operate in its key markets of building products, timber, kitchens and bathrooms. These changes will take place from January 2013 with business continuing as normal until the end of this year.

The restructure should bring members enhanced collaboration as well as coordinated purchasing, giving improved market access for suppliers and delivering merchants greater competitive advantage.

Stuart Mason Elliott, chairman of the CBA commented on the news: "The challenges of the building products and timber markets and the plumbing and heating sector are different and, with the new structure of two buying groups, operating independently from each other, the needs of suppliers will be well served."

The new PHG will comprise Beggs, Crosslings, Farr & Harris, Hargreaves Ltd, HPS, Pochins, and Willbonds. Mixed merchants RGB, Ridgeons and Tippers will operate across both groups.

The move will allow both groups to grow and develop with the changing requirements of the market; due to the added focus and specialisation the changes will bring.

For more information on the CBA, please view their website.

If you would like a new job in the builders’ merchant market, please take a look at our latest jobs or call us on 01480 405225 to discuss your career options.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Some building industry fun for you...

In case you have not seen it before, we would like to share with you a fun website on the strangest buildings in the world. Take a look and tell us your favourite. www.strangebuildings.com

Here are a few of our selections.

If you are looking for a change of job in the building industry, why not give us a call on 01480 405225 to discuss how we can help you. We have the best selection of UK wide sales, marketing and management jobs in the building product sector.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Athletes are ready for their challenge – Are YOU ready for a new challenge?

As London 2012 approaches and many athletes prepare for what will be a career defining couple of weeks, it is worth taking the time to reflect on your own career and decide if you are on track to achieving your goals.

Do you require a stint of extra training or even a change of discipline to do so? Perhaps, you're ready to make the next step up now?

If you need guidance on putting together a personal plan that suits your ambitions, then contact us today and we will help you explore your options, evaluate your skills and review suitable opportunities.

Call us on 01480 405255, email us on recruit@pinnacleconsulting.co.uk submit your latest CV or take a look at our latest jobs.

Pinnacle Consulting specialise in helping people build their careers and to carefully construct the best route to achieving their goals.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Grafton announce 4% sales revenue increase

Pinnacle is always pleased to promote good news in the industry and the merchant sector should be encouraged as Grafton plc announce growth figures for the first half of the year despite difficult trading conditions, including the good ol' British weather! 

Full details below.

Group turnover for the half year to 30 June 2012 was €1.05 billion, an increase of 4 per cent on turnover of €1.01 billion in the first half of 2011. The translation of sterling turnover at a more favourable exchange rate against the euro contributed to the increase in turnover.

Average daily like for like turnover in the UK Merchanting business, which accounted for 74 per cent of Group turnover, increased by 1.4 per cent in the half year. The business delivered a good improvement in turnover in the first quarter. Trading conditions in the second quarter were adversely affected by unseasonal weather with record levels of rainfall from April to June in the UK. Self-help measures contributed to an improved performance in Buildbase and Plumbase. Selco continued to develop its market position and Macnaughton Blair experienced a recovery in volumes in its general merchanting business. The specialist indoor construction products business that supplies the residential new build market and the bathroom distribution business performed strongly.

Turnover in the Irish Merchanting business was down by circa 9 per cent due to a further decline in spending on housing RMI. Average daily turnover in the overall business, including the effect of branch consolidations, declined by 13 per cent in January and February and at half that rate over the March to June period in what continues to be a challenging market. The impact on performance of lower turnover was mainly offset by cost reductions.

Turnover in the Irish Retailing business was down by circa 12.5 per cent. Adverse weather conditions in April and June contributed to significantly reduced demand for gardening products and trading was also affected by weak consumer spending due to pressure on disposable incomes.

The Group’s operating performance was satisfactory in demanding market conditions primarily as a result of internal initiatives against the backdrop of cyclically low levels of activity in its markets. Results for the half year (before rationalisation costs) will be in line with expectations.

Interim 2012 Results
The Group will report Interim Results for the six months ending 30 June 2012 on Wednesday, 29 August 2012.

For more information on Grafton's UK operations www.graftongb.co.uk

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

BMF warns that EU Directive may scupper Green Deal

We have been keeping our eye on the Green Deal all year as it gets closer and closer, but new concerns have been raised by the BMF as they warn that enforcing an EU Directive may scupper the Green Deal - and further depress the market for everyday building materials due to higher VAT.

The European Commission has told the Government to amend UK legislation which allows a reduced VAT rate for the supply and installation of energy-saving materials - such as insulation. Brussels says the current 5% rate levied on these materials is illegal - and if the Government does not change British law within 2 months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

BMF policy manager, Brett Amphlett stated "At a time when the BMF has been urging the Coalition Government to extend the 5% VAT rate to all Green Deal projects, the European Commission’s move could be disastrous. Any increase in the cost of materials will affect the Golden Rule calculation. The ruling will have major implications for the Green Deal if the Government is forced to increase VAT on insulation, central heating & hot water system controls, heat pumps, and solar pv & thermal panels to the 20% standard rate."

The BMF has long held the view that it is wrong to apply 5% VAT on energy consumption but 20% VAT for energy conservation. It believes the 5% rate should apply to both.

Mr Amphlett continued: “The BMF wrote to Treasury Ministers back in March outlining the compelling case to review current VAT rules and rates. Existing arrangements are complex, confusing and do not favour green improvements. We reckon most SME builders do not know how these apply at present - and it is unlikely their customers do either. But these are the very same people the Government wants to adopt the Green Deal when it comes into force in 80 days’ time”.

The BMF’s worry is that with Parliament due to break for the Summer Recess next week, the VAT change demanded by Brussels may go through on the nod.

In conclusion Mr. Amphlett mused: "Sadly, it seems that bishops and bakers have the clout to force the Government to concede on its VAT plans for alterations to churches & historic buildings, and sales of static caravans & hot pasties. Yet the building trade faces the prospect of the Chancellor removing a lower rate that already exists for some energy-saving measures just before the introduction of a flagship policy to improve the thermal performance of our homes and workplaces. How crazy is that?"


Monday, 16 July 2012

iPad Winner Announced!

Ifty is presented with his new iPad
We are delighted to announce that we have a winner of our iPad competition. The lucky recipient, Iftakhar Saeed, came to our offices last week to collect his brand new iPad from our Managing Director, Steve Rogan. 

When Ifty signed up for our new e-newsletter, Pin Points, a few weeks ago he was also entered into a draw which gave him a chance to win the new iPad from Apple, luckily for Ifty this is exactly what happened!

You can register for future issues of Pin Points here. Pin Points sends you the latest industry news, recruitment advice and jobs direct to your inbox.

We will be hearing direct from Ifty about his win and his career in the industry very soon.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Building Industry Resource Database

Building Industry Trade Resources
Understanding and researching the market is vital to maximise your chances of success in your job search. Pin Board has put together a list of useful resources to maximise your knowledge of the specific sector in the building product and construction industry that you wish to develop your career.

Our building industry resource database is an essential tool for your application and interview preparation. It is also very useful just to assist in your current job. Our resource puts everything in one easy to locate place so that it can be accessed whenever you need it.

This resource will be updated regularly. Click here.

Pin Board has other useful information to assist in your job search or to help in your everyday job.
Remember to take a look at our current vacancies for jobs in the building product industry.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Latest CPA 'State of Trade Survey' figures issued

The Construction Products Association’s latest State of Trade Survey indicates that, following a relatively good first quarter of the year, product manufacturers suffered from a slowdown in sales in Q2 and are extremely concerned about demand going forward.

Commenting on the figures, Construction Products Association senior economist, Kelly Forrest said: ‘With public sector cutting spending and private sector construction adversely affected by events in the euro zone, it is unfortunately unsurprising to see product sales affected in Q2. Heavy side manufacturers reported that sales fell compared with Q1 and compared with a year ago. Sales of light side products, which tend to be used later in the construction process, continued to rise in Q2, yet the fall in heavy side sales suggests the second half of the year will become increasingly challenging. Nearly all of the firms responding to the survey expressed concern about the strength of demand over the next 12 months. It is their primary concern.

‘Despite recent falls in oil and commodity prices, cost inflation continues to be a serious issue for product manufacturers. 84% of heavy side firms and 62% of light side firms reported that costs continued to rise as long term contracts have ensured that recent price falls have not fed through yet.’

‘Manufacturers continue to be boosted by exports, 11% of heavy side manufacturers and 25% of light side manufacturers stated that exports rose over the past year. Furthermore, a larger number of both heavy and light side firms are turning to exports to offset subdued domestic demand. 40% of heavy side firms exported products in Q2 and 70% of light firms reported that they were now exporting.’

Other key points include:
  • 45% of heavy side firms reported that sales fell between Q1 and Q2. However, 20% of light side firms, on balance, reported that sales rose between the first and second quarters of 2012.
  • 6% of heavy side manufacturers, on balance, reduced head count in the year to Q2. 8% of light side firms, on balance, increased employment over the same period. However, employment remained static for the vast majority of firms.
  • 45% of heavy side manufacturers and 73% of light side manufacturers invested in product improvement.
For more information on the CPA www.constructionproducts.org.uk

For the best UK wide vacancies for sales and marketing in the construction industry, contact us on 01480 405225.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Featured Jobs in the building product industry for July

July 2012 - This month we have some fantastic field sales opportunities in the bathroom, interiors, cladding, lighting, roofing and water management sectors. Take a look to see if any meet your career development plans.

See below for full details of our featured jobs.

Keep informed of ALL our latest jobs when they become available on our Facebook page. Remember to click LIKE!