Travis Perkins' chief executive Geoff Cooper.

TP plans to side-step government newbuild cuts

Published:  12 August, 2010

NORTHAMPTON: National merchant Travis Perkins said it would offset any fall in public sector newbuild business with growth in other customer groups.

The merchant, which this week beat forecasters with a 24% rise in first-half profit and resumed dividend payments, currently earns about 7% of its revenue from public sector newbuild work.

Chief executive Geoff Cooper said he did not expect the impact of the coalition government's spending cuts on public sector newbuild work to be felt until the middle of 2011. He forecast modest growth in the overall trade market in 2010 and 2011.

Shares in TP, which have risen 5% since the merchant confirmed its bid for plumbing and heating company BSS Group on 28 May, were up 3.25% percent. The business is valued at 1.79bn.

The group, which trades from over 1200 branches across the UK under Travis Perkins, Keyline, Wickes and other brand names, made an underlying pre-tax profit of 111.8m for the six months to 30 June.

Revenue increased 4.7% to 1.52bn, with sales at branches open for 12 months up 3.4% as demand picked up, particularly from housebuilders.

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