Expert for Paint

Paul Edworthy

Commercial Lead | Builders Merchant Group


Paul Edworthy

Paul joined Cuprinol Ltd in 1997 prior to its acquisition by ICI paints in 1998 and subsequently AkzoNobel in 2008. Starting as a Retail Merchandiser, he quickly progressed to Regional Sales Manager and then was promoted to National Account Manager prior to moving to the Trade side of the business in 2007, managing Regional Builders Merchants and Travis Perkins, with the past eight years responsible for Brewers Decorator Centres. Paul now holds the position of Commercial Lead – Builders Merchant Group, responsible for contributing sales in excess of £60 million. In 2016, we launched the Dulux Academy to provide decorators, merchants and suppliers accredited training and event facilities. It soon became a ‘BMF Regional Centre of Excellence’.

Dulux Trade

AkzoNobel, is a global company which creates paints and performance coatings for industry and consumers worldwide. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company is active in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 33,000 people. Sales in 2021 were EUR 9.6 billion.

Dulux Trade is the home of painting and decorating excellence, falling under the brand umbrella of AkzoNobel, which includes other leading brands including Cuprinol UK, Polycell UK and Hammerite UK. The range of 4,000 colours and encyclopaedia of trade paint, along with expert help makes Dulux Trade the first choice for decorators and specifiers. More than any other brand, Dulux is widely recognised as a market leader by which others are measured.


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Dulux Comment: Q2 2023

June this year included 22 working days compared with just 20 for June 2022 on account of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with the late May 2022 bank holiday moved to June 2022. The extra day for the Jubilee made a total of two bank holidays in June 2022. Because of this, the rolling quarterly figures provide a fairer measure of performance as both Q2 2022 and Q2 2023 have exactly the same number of working days (60 in total).

On this basis, decorative trade paint litreage was 3% higher in the last 3 months with woodcare up 8%. In the case of paint this was the best quarterly outcome since January this year while for woodcare it was easily the best improvement for over two years. For the last month alone, trade paint sales increased 8% in June being the second consecutive monthly improvement. In woodcare, trade woodcare was 67% higher.

Looking at longer term measures, this year-to-date, volume was 1% higher than in the first six months of 2022, while the MAT figure shows that over the last 12 months as a whole, there has been a 0.6% increase compared to the same period a year earlier. All of these metrics are indicating a more positive market as we enter the second half (H2) and with Exterior being supressed in H1 2022 due to poor weather there is still room to grow.

In terms of sales by sector, sales to builders’ merchants were down 9% in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022. There are some signs that raw material prices are coming down which should inspire new work starts and, with that, bring more volume to the builders’ merchant sector.

According to ONS, monthly construction output is estimated to have decreased 0.2% in volume terms in May 2023. This is the third consecutive fall in the month-on-month series, with the monthly value in level terms at £15,360 million. The decline in monthly output came solely from a decrease in new work (0.4% fall), with repair and maintenance being flat (0.0%) on the month.

Anecdotal evidence continued to indicate a slow-down in private housing, referencing customers’ economic worries. However, some businesses across other sectors continued to report an easing in inflation.