Trade booms for Travis

Published:  17 May, 2010

NORTHAMPTON: Travis Perkins traded ahead of management expectations with sales at stores open over a year up 1.4% in the four months to April 30. That compares with a fall of 2.7% in the seven weeks to 20 February.

Group revenue for the period was up by 2.2% the company said in an interim management statement.

In the merchanting division revenue increased by 3.3% including like-for-like growth of 2.8%, compared to the same period in 2009. The increase in like-for-like sales split 2.2% for general merchanting and 3.9% for specialist merchanting.

Geoff Cooper, chief executive, said: "We continue to take market share in testing conditions, underlining the strength of our organic growth strategy. Our more positive merchanting performance is more than balancing the effect of wary consumers currently holding on to their money."

The company said in the statement: "Over the first four months of the year our merchanting businesses reported an improving sales trend with like-for-like revenue in the months of March and April 2010 increasing by 6.1% over the same period in 2009, reflecting continued gains in market share. This improving sales trend has continued with a strong start to trading in the first two weeks of May."

Gross margins for the first four months are slightly lower than in the comparable period in 2009, it said.

Revenue for the retail division, on a delivered basis, for the 17-week period ended 1 May 2010, increased by 0.3%, with like-for-like sales declining by 1.7% compared to the same period in 2009.

Over this period, Wickes made significant gains in kitchen and bathroom revenue with like-for-like sales on a delivered basis up by 12.6% over the same period in 2009. "This strong performance reflects the impact of a number of new K&B trading initiatives launched throughout 2009," the company said.

"In the last nine weeks the decline in Wickes' core sales has been at a lower average of 3.8% despite the disadvantage of an earlier Easter holiday and, as with our merchanting division, the improving trend has continued into the first two weeks of May," it said.

Wickes gained market share and maintained gross margins over this period.

Travis Perkins has appointed Credit Suisse as its joint corporate broker.

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