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Wickes helps boost Travis Perkins Q3 sales by 3.8%

DIY retailer Travis Perkins has reported a 3.8% increase in Q3 sales boosted in part by a “strong performance” from its Wickes brand.

For the three month period ending 30 September 2019, Travis Perkins saw like-for-like sales increase by 3.4%, with its Toolstation brand recording total sales growth of 21.3% and 15.4% in like-for-like.

It added that despite the wider building materials distribution market “softening” since mid-year, the group’s merchanting businesses also delivered like-for-like growth of 1.6%.

The company said that the process to demerge Wickes from the Travis Perkins Group is “on track”, both in terms of the separation of the business from the group to increase its autonomy and the regulatory process required. The group said it aims for the demerger to be completed in Q2 2020.

Given the current “unprecedented level of uncertainty”, Travis Perkins revealed it has decided to pause the sale process of its plumbing and heating business for the “time being”.

The group also remains on target to achieve its planned cost reductions in 2019, with actions identified or already underway to achieve £20m to £30m of annualised savings by mid-2020.

Nick Roberts, chief executive, said: “Now in my third month since taking over as CEO of the Group, I have spent a considerable amount of time in our branches, learning about our businesses and our markets from colleagues, customers and suppliers.

“This has confirmed my initial impressions that our businesses are well positioned to compete strongly and win greater share in their markets in the future.”

He added: “The plan to simplify the group’s portfolio of businesses remains the right one, with good progress made through the quarter towards reducing cost and complexity and enabling greater focus and more disciplined capital allocation to our advantaged trade-focused businesses.

“The group delivered a solid performance in Q3, despite trading conditions becoming incrementally more challenging through the course of the summer as a result of the on-going market uncertainty. Though the group maintains a cautious outlook for the near-term, full year performance remains in line with our expectations.”

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