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Travis Perkins grows but plumbing side hinders

Builders and plumbers merchant Travis Perkins Group saw a strong set of results for 2015 hampered by slower business over the summer and difficulties in the plumbing and heating market.

Travis Perkins grows but plumbing side hinders

Group revenue was 6.5% ahead at £5.942bn, with operating profit down 25.9% at £254m. Pre-tax profits in 2015 were down 30.2pc to £224m, hit by a £141m payment it made for its plumbing business due to “challenging market conditions”.

The General Merchanting division turned over £1.972bn, a rise of 5.3%, with like-for-like sales up 3.9%. Growth was particularly strong in the heavyside materials and the group opened or re-sited 12 new branches under the Travis Perkins brand. Benchmarx, the group’s trade kitchens division, increased its share of the market through a combination of organic growth and network expansion, adding 26 standalone branches and 12 implants within Travis Perkins branches.

Total revenue in the Plumbing and heating division – which includes PTS & City Plumbing – rose marginally by 1.3% to £1.371bn, although like-for-like revenue was 1.4% down. He was due to the reduced funding for the ECO government-backed scheme and the programme to convert PTS branches to City Plumbing branches, which caused increased levels of disruption, but was more-or-less complete by the year end.

The Contracts division saw sales rise 13.2% to £1.214bn; 8.5% like-for-like. The Keyline and CCF businesses performed particularly well, tough BSS, with sales more focussed on public sector RMI and construction, saw a marginal decline. In 2015, the division’s sales included those of Rudridge, whose acquisition added four further civils branches in the south east. CCF added eight new branches, six of them in December.

The Consumer division – Wickes, Tile and Toolstation – saw sales increase by 8% to £1.386bn, on the back of an extra 44 branches.

John Carter, chief executive, said: “The group has delivered a good performance in 2015 despite the weaker than expected RMI market in the second half of the year.”

We made very good progress on our key strategic priorities; modernising General Merchanting, transforming Wickes and re-segmenting the Plumbing & Heating division, and we continued to improve our customer propositions, delivering access to greater ranges with better availability.

“The increased capital and operational investments are enabling us to leverage the scale of the business and exploit structural advantages in sourcing and supply chain, driving our continued outperformance. We believe that the growth drivers in our markets remain strong and welcome the return to growth of mortgage approvals and secondary housing transactions in the second half of 2015. This has supported good growth in RMI sales for the Group in January and February 2016. This gives us further confidence that through our strategy we will successfully deliver against our medium-term targets of sales outperformance, low double-digit profit growth and improving returns.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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