Posted 8th May

Wickes bounces back in Q1 2019 following difficult 2018

8th May 2019 - 10:21am
money matters, travis perkins, wickes, financial, report, trading, update, kbb, diy, market, kbbdaily

Travis Perkins – the owner of Wickes, Primaflow F&P, Benchmarx and Toolstation – has reported group like-for-like sales growth of 7.3% for the first quarter of 2019, marking a “positive start to 2019 despite uncertain market conditions”.

The group noted that Wickes saw “good recovery” in the period with like-for-like sales growth of 10.5%, having reported a 4.4% revenue decrease in the 2018 financial year as well as a 19% drop in adjusted operating profit thanks to an “extremely challenging” UK DIY market last year.

Wickes’ kitchen and bathroom showroom sales also saw growth in the period having been “hard hit” in the first half of 2018 due to a “poor promotional period” and challenging retail environment.

Travis Perkins said that, in Q1 2019, Wickes’ kitchen and bathroom showroom division “benefited from a continued improvement in execution and a strong order book carried over from 2018, partially aided by competitor decisions to exit the design and install service for end-consumers in the second half of 2018”.

Travis Perkins’ plumbing and heating division saw a 4% drop in like-for-like sales in Q1 2019, while Toolstation reported a 19.1% rise and its retail division a 10% increase. The group noted that, given “current uncertain market conditions”, overall expectations for 2019 remain unchanged. It added that the “operational separation” of its plumbing and heating business is expected to complete in the second quarter of the year.

“We have delivered strong sales growth in the first quarter of the year, which reflects both our focus on excellent customer service and the weak comparator in 2018,” said Travis Perkins CEO John Carter. “This performance is all the more encouraging given the impact of the on-going political uncertainty on our end markets.

“Wickes posted encouraging sales growth figures in both core DIY and showroom categories, demonstrating a strong turnaround in kitchen and bathroom performance. In plumbing and heating the milder winter has impacted sales compared to 2018, but our branches and specialist online channels have continued to perform well. The work to operationally separate plumbing and heating is progressing to plan and is expected to be completed in Q2.”

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