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Travis Perkins takes momentum from last year into 2021

The building merchant has seen sales balloon in recent months.


Travis Perkins is demerging from Wickes later this month (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Travis Perkins is demerging from Wickes later this month (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Travis Perkins is demerging from Wickes later this month (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A wave of momentum that allowed builders’ merchants Travis Perkins to thrive in the second half of last year has continued into 2021, despite Covid-19 restrictions.

The business saw its like-for-like sales rise by 17.4% in the opening three months of the year, as it was propelled by 42% growth at Toolstation.

Total sales growth for the business was 6.8% compared to the same period last year.

Companies in the space have benefitted from increased house buying in recent months, after the Government paused stamp duty on some deals.

“The group has enjoyed an encouraging start to the year with robust like-for-like sales growth across our businesses, underpinned by strong demand in the RMI (repair, maintenance and improvements) market,” said chief executive Nick Roberts.

“We are encouraged by the robustness of the RMI market and the continued recovery in our other key end markets.

“However, at this early stage in the year, our expectations remain unchanged as we continue to make progress on the delivery of our longer-term strategic plans.”

The results exclude Wickes, a DIY retailer which will no longer be part of Travis Perkins by the end of the month. Wickes total sales rose 18.9% during the period.

The demerger of the two businesses is set to happen on April 28 with separate shares in Wickes being listed on the London market.

Mr Roberts said: “I am also pleased to report that the Wickes demerger process remains on schedule to be completed at the end of April, leaving the business a simplified and trade focused group.

Businesses are currently benefiting from the usual year-on-year comparison. Company results are normally compared to the equivalent months a year ago.

At the moment, those months, between January and March last year, include the initial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

But when comparing Travis’s results to the year before, revenue like-for-like sales are still up, by nearly 12%.

However, Travis warned of significant price increases in timber, copper, steel and other raw materials. For now, it said, cost price inflation “remains manageable”.