The strength and influence of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) continues to grow with 578 companies now in membership, the highest number since 1995.

While the number of supplier members is growing, merchants remain by far the largest membership category. With 316 merchant businesses trading from over 4,800 branches, the BMF’s merchant members represent around 85% of the builders’ merchants sector by turnover. Combined with the turnover of supplier members, the total turnover of the BMF’s trading members exceeds £24.6bn. The strength of the BMF’s voice is also reflected in the 117,500 people employed by merchant, distributor and supplier members.

John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, said: “Strategically and practically, it is much more effective to address government with a united and cohesive message. Through the BMF our members can speak with a stronger collective voice. We have now achieved a position, as the fourth largest trade association in construction, where the BMF is viewed as the commentator of choice for our supply chain.”

Mr Newcomb added: “The more the sector unites, the more we can achieve. The growth in membership has been on a continuous upward curve for four years, and I am confident that we will reach the 600 member landmark during 2017.”