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NORTHBROOK, Ill. - The 4Q14 Baird HVAC, Plumbing & PVF Distribution Survey was published in January. Baird’s Industrial Distribution research team presented the quarterly Baird HVAC, Plumbing & PVF Distribution Survey in partnership with The Wholesaler. Baird and The Wholesaler have partnered on the survey since 2010.
The survey’s results are meant to provide a general indication of current market trends, and some individual responses have been edited to protect participant anonymity. Additional information is made available upon request. Baird’s Industrial Distribution research team also publishes research reports on 16 public distributors, including Watsco, HD Supply, MRC Global and DistributionNOW.
In the survey, respondents indicated that average year-over-year revenue growth in the fourth quarter was 4.9 percent in HVAC and 2.8 percent in Plumbing. That was compared to 4.9 percent growth across the broader industrial distribution market.
HVAC revenue growth accelerated versus 3Q14 levels, despite a difficult year-over-year comparison, while Plumbing sales growth moderated slightly quarter-over-quarter, off a similarly strong year-over-year comparison. Overall, we believe residential market momentum remains solid, especially repair and replacement demand.
HVAC respondents reported fairly consistent revenue growth across all geographies, though relative strength was in the South, where year-over-year comparisons were likely less difficult given colder winter weather in northern markets last year.
Turning to Plumbing, the South reported significant relative strength – likely tied in part to higher new construction demand – while the Northeast and Midwest were close to the overall average, with Western markets closer to flattish.
Respondents indicated that average year-over-year pricing in the fourth quarter was plus 1.2 percent in HVAC and plus 1.6 percent in Plumbing. This compares to plus 1.0 percent pricing across the broader industrial distribution market.
Pricing gains inched higher versus 3Q14 levels for both product categories, with Plumbing pricing outpacing HVAC again this quarter, consistent with recent survey trends. HVAC pricing was somewhat weaker (but still solidly higher) in the Midwest and South, while other regions were more in line with the overall average. In contrast, Plumbing pricing was strongest in the Midwest and South, in line in the Northeast, and relatively weaker in the West, mirroring weaker revenue trends in that region.
For full survey results, visit www.tmbpublishing.com/pdf/4Q14_wholesaler.pdf