MKM's rapid growth continues as boss reveals more expansion plans
MKM is the UK's largest independent builders’ merchant
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 12 Jul 2018
Branches around the country are queuing up to join Hull-based building merchants MKM as it continues its rapid expansion, the company’s founder has revealed.
David Kilburn, who launched MKM in 1995, said there was “a long list” of branches which wanted to become part of the company, and said plans remained in place to hit 100 stores nationally by 2021.
MKM recently announced a record turnover year after opening five new stores as the company which started out with one site in Clough Road, Hull, showed no sign of slowing down.
Speaking to Hull Live, Mr Kilburn said: “The success has been down to the business model which sees directors of branches take a 25 per cent stake in their own business.
“It offers the people who run branches the chance to earn two or three times what they would normally as a branch manager, and it also attracts the right sort of person as well.
“We have more than 50 branches across the country now, and by 2021 the aim is to have 100.”
Mr Kilburn said the addition of Bain Capital – a partnership which started in early 2017 – to MKM had driven branch openings.
He said Bain had been supportive of business growth, and that new store openings had been happening more quickly than previously expected.
MKM Building Supplies saw revenue soar to £332.4m in the year ending September 2017 – up from £284.3m the previous year.
The financial results also revealed the building supplies company recorded an EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of £21.5m.
The slight dip from the 2016 year – down from £22.4m – has been caused by the cost of opening five new branches in the UK, the company said.
“Scotland has always been a strong area for us, but we would like to expand into the Midlands a bit more than we have done so far,” Mr Kilburn said.
“We have branches in the south and south east, but we are relatively minor in that area at the moment, so hopefully that will grow.
“We have got a never-ending list of people wanting to join us. It is time and availability of locations that can affect the speed in which we expand.”
MKM has East Yorkshire branches in Hull, Beverley, Driffield, Goole, Bridlington and Withernsea.
MKM Building Supplies has recorded a record revenue figure
Speaking about the future of MKM and the building merchants industry, Mr Kilburn said: “The market could move in one or two directions.
“A lot of people talk about digital and online, but I don’t foresee in the near future that the industry will go down that route.
“Some product areas have, and Screwfix is an example of that, but they have not damaged our business in any way.”
MKM’s founder admitted VAT levels on home improvements – currently set at 20 per cent – was less than ideal, and said if the level was closer to five per cent, it would come as “a big boost” to the business.
Established in Hull in 1995 by David Kilburn and Peter Murray, MKM today has 53 branches across England and Scotland.
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