DIY retailer Travis Perkins has revealed that like-for-like half-year sales declined by 20% across the group due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Overall, Travis Perkins reported group revenue for the first six months of 2020 was £2.78bn, down from £3.48bn in 2019, attributed to the “significant impact” of the pandemic and resulting lockdown.
It also revealed that Q2 was the period most impacted with group sales down 35% with merchanting and plumbing and heating sales down 43% and 48% respectively. Retail sales were down 20% during the period.
Travis Perkins added that since mid-June the merchanting business has continued to “recover well with the improvement in RMI markets and infrastructure spending proving to be more “robust” than the new housebuilding and commercial construction markets.
It said Toolstation and Wickes continue to benefit from strong DIY sales delivered through multi channel capability. Overall, it said Wickes achieved “strong sales growth” in June following the re-opening of its stores to customers in late May, with significant growth in core DIY categories more than offsetting the slower recovery in kitchen and bathroom installations.
It added that despite the closure of 165 branches in June, representing around 8% of the group’s overall estate, it has continued to experience an improving trend on total sales volumes so far in July, with the group’s total sales run rate now close to prior year.
At 30 June 2020, the group had £455m of cash on deposit giving a “strong overall liquidity” headroom position of £855m.
Nick Roberts, CEO, said: “Since the trading update on 15 June, the business has continued to recover well with good demand from RMI and infrastructure markets offsetting ongoing challenges in the new build and commercial construction sectors.
“We remain cautious as to the near-term headwinds facing our business and the wider economy, nevertheless the decisive actions we have taken to manage our cost base mean that we are well placed to continue to service our customers, support our colleagues and generate value for our shareholders.”