This builders’ merchant temporarily closed its 33 branches at the end of March, and followed guidelines to reopen for deliveries and collections in April. Dating back to 1840, it is the UK’s largest privately owned supplier of timber and building materials. Led by descendants of the founder — managing director Nick Howarth, 63, and brother Andrew, 64, who is chairman — it employs 900 people across its branches, its timber import and processing business, and its engineering division. Sales rose to £227.4m last year.
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