Posted 31st Jul 2019

Travis Perkins details future for Wickes as stand-alone business

31st July 2019 - 12:02pm
money matters, travis perkins, wickes, demerger, sale, financial, report, trading, update, kbb, diy, market, kbbdaily

Travis Perkins has laid out the details of its plan to sell Wickes and see the company continue as a stand-alone business next year in the group’s interim statement for the six months ending on 30th June 2019.

In December last year, Travis Perkins said it had begun looking to sell its plumbing and heating – P&H – division to simplify the business and focus its efforts more on “strengthening the performance of Wickes”, as well as reviewing the options for maximising the DIY chain’s value.

The group said the demerger of Wickes is a “key component of the overall Travis Perkins strategy to focus on trade customers”. It added that the brand – under a management team led by David Wood, who was named CEO of Wickes earlier this month – is “well-positioned to thrive as a stand-alone business”.

“Wickes will have the autonomy to execute on its strategy and allocate capital to its customer proposition and growth opportunities with a clearer focus,” Travis Perkins added.

The group – which also owns Primaflow F&P, Benchmarx and Toolstation – said it saw its revenue rise by 8% on a like-for-like basis in the first half of the year, with adjusted operating profit rising by 14.7% to reach £195m.

“I am delighted with the progress the group has made in executing the strategy set out at the capital markets event in December 2018; to focus on our advantaged trade businesses and to simplify the group,” said Travis Perkins CEO John Carter.

“The P&H sales process is well underway, and we are today announcing our intention to demerge Wickes as a separate business. This strategic progress has been underpinned by a strong trading period in the first half of 2019 albeit against softer trading conditions in H1 2018.”

Carter added: “Our trade merchanting businesses have outperformed their markets, through continued focus on delivering excellent customer service, and benefitting from the leaner, lower cost organisation now in place.

“Toolstation continues to deliver excellent growth through proposition improvements and network expansion. Wickes has delivered a strong turnaround in volume and profit performance, with gains in both core DIY and through the kitchen and bathroom showroom.”

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