Travis Perkins profits down 11%

Published:  24 February, 2010

NORTHAMPTON: Travis Perkins, Britain's biggest builders' merchant, has posted a drop in profits of 11% and warned of continued "fragile" trading activity.

Travis Perkins reported pre-tax profits for 2009 of £180m, down from £202.5m in the previous year, with revenue down 8% to £2.9bn.

Trading conditions in 2009 were "the most difficult in the group's history" said the company its report. It noted that despite the fall in profits, the company is still performing well compared with its rivals.

Travis reported a 2.7% drop in like-for-like sales for the first seven weeks of the year.

Geoff Cooper, chief executive, said: "Management has taken decisive and resolute action to deal with the impact of the downturn and in doing so has maintained Travis Perkins as one of the strongest operators in the sector. Our profitability, although lower that in pre-recession conditions, compares well with our competitors."

He said that while markets no longer exhibiting the abrupt volume declines that characterised the start of the recession, activity levels remain "fragile".

Travis Perkins shares fell 6% this morning down 43.5p at 707p when the merchant warned there was no clear indication when its markets might return to growth.

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