THE UK’s largest independent builders merchant chain is set to expand in Scotland within the next year.

MKM Building Supplies will open five new Scottish branches within 12 months and further expansion is planned for 2020.

The investment follows exceptional financial performance from the company’s Scottish branches, which are growing 5% quicker than MKM’s other UK outlets and averaging a 10% higher turnover per year than other UK-wide counterparts.

To date this year MKM has opened branches in Kilmarnock, Elgin, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Another branch will open in Oban this month, bringing the total number of Scottish branches to 10 – with two more openings already planned for next year.

MKM attributes the steady growth in its Scottish branches to a stable and resilient building industry in Scotland, which is bucking the wider UK-wide trend in the construction SME sector, thought to have been detracting in recent years.

MKM first moved into the

Scottish market with a store in Edinburgh, offering building trade a “one stop shop” for building, timber and plumbing supplies, and stocking a wide range of products from the industry’s leading manufacturers.

MKM’s owner managed business model gives branch managers a stake in the business and an opportunity to share in profits, which the management team believes has helped attract a dynamic team of entrepreneurial branch directors who have become a key driver of company growth.

Since opening the business in 1995, MKM now has more than 67 branches across the UK with plans for more.

MGM’s executive chairman David Kilburn said the Scottish market has “huge potential” for the company.

He added: “Scotland offers huge potential for MKM and we intend to build upon our success here with further expansion.

“There is understandably a degree of economic uncertainty with Brexit and a possible second referendum in Scotland, however the underlying feeling in our industry is one of confidence.

“What works particularly well for us in Scotland is that geographically the regions are fragmented and diverse, and in many cases resilient to change.

“Communities tend to be very loyal and support local business, relationships are strong and people buy from people, which is how our business model has been established.

He continued: “We see a bright future for MKM in Scotland.

“The construction industry accounts for 10% of Scottish workforce and is well supported by the Government who has outlined a long-term vision for infrastructure, public buildings, transport and digital connectivity, as well as ambitious plans for the development of affordable housing.

“This all helps contribute to the prosperity and growth of SMEs, which account for the vast majority of our customers.”