\r\n\r\nWickes has reported its sales increased by 14% in the 13 weeks ending 25 December 2021 (Q4) compared to pre-Covid levels, despite a year-on-year fall by 5%.\r\n\r\nThe group continues to report pre-tax profit expectations of \u00a383m, with full year sales up 13.3% compared to the previous year, and up 18.9% from FY20.\r\n\r\nWickes said its refitted stores have undergone a \u201cstrong\u201d returns profile. The company\u2019s core sales also saw a \u201cstrong\u201d performance in local trade, where home renovations reportedly continue to drive order books for its trade customers.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIn addition, TradePro membership and associated revenues have also reportedly continued to grow.\r\n\r\nMeanwhile, Do It For Me (DIFM) delivered sales rose in October and November, but fell in December due to Covid disruption and self-isolation ahead of the holiday period. Overall, the DIFM year-end order book has more than doubled on a two-year basis.\r\n\r\nAdditionally, the group\u2019s year end cash position has been impacted by the second half weighting of capex and IT separation costs, and dividend payments. Inventory levels have also increased as a result of cost price inflation, and the recovery of stock levels from the prior year.\r\n\r\nDavid Wood, CEO of Wickes, said: "Wickes has performed very well during 2021, a testament to the appeal of our customer offer and our ongoing focus on price leadership. While we are mindful of the external environment, we look to the future with confidence.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe believe that our service-led and digitally-enabled proposition leaves us well placed within a highly attractive home improvement market. I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their hard work and support as we continue to help the nation feel house proud."