5 August 2015 - Janet Bird
Builders merchant Travis Perkins has reported a 7.8 percent rise in sales during the first six months of the year.
The company, which also owns the Wickes chain and Tool Station, saw sales climb to £2.9 billion. When new store openings are discounted, the sales increase was 5.7 percent. Pre-tax profits rose to £158.6 million, an increase of 3.2 percent.
The largest division of the company, general merchanting, which supplies builders, saw sales rise 7.8 percent to £979 million at the start of the year, although this slowed somewhat in the second quarter.
While its plumbing and heating arm continued to struggle, with sales down to £667 million - a drop of 0.7 percent - the contracts division, which supplies larger building companies, saw sales soar to £605 million, a rise of 18 percent. The consumer side of the business, which includes Wickes, saw revenues increase to £693 million, up 8.6 percent.
Travis Perkins demonstrated its confidence in the resurgent construction market by raising its interim dividend by more than 20 percent, to 14.75p.