Sales at builders merchant group Travis Perkins were 5.9% for the four months to the end of April, despite featuring two fewer trading days that the same period in 2010.
Revenue was boosted by the acquisition in December of rival group BSS, however taking this out of the equation showed that revenue gains were driven by relatively high product inflation and Travis Perkins’ market outperformance.
Whilst the market continues to deliver little or no growth, our organic development strategy continues to progress with further gains in like-for-like market share in both our merchanting and retail divisions. In addition, we added an additional 14 net branches in the first four months of this year, bringing the total number trading up to 1,827.
Total turnover in the merchanting division was up 11.1%, – an increase in like-for-like turnover per trading day of 12.8%. General merchanting total turnover was up 10.5% for the four months, with like-for-like turnover per trading day up 12.5%, whilst the specialist merchanting business saw total turnover increase 12.0% with like-for-like turnover per trading day up by 13.4%.
Following the enforced disposal of 12 PTS branches during the period, total turnover for BSS for the first four months of 2011 was up by 0.4%; like-for-like turnover per trading day was up 2.3%. Like-for-like turnover per trading day for the two months to 30 April increased by 0.2%, reflecting the anniversary of the one-off benefit of the boiler scrapage scheme experienced in early 2010.
The group’s Wickes DIY chain, increased turnover by 3.1% with core product like-for-like sales, which account for around 80% of turnover, grew 5.9%. Kitchen and bathroom delivered sales were down 12.0%.
Geoff Cooper , Chief Executive , said: “After strong early progress against weak weather related comparatives, we are pleased with the overall progress the Group has made in the first four months of this year. Current trading is in line with management expectations with the benefit of strong sales performance balancing a slightly lower gross margin in merchanting.
“We continue to take market share against a tough market backdrop, confirming the sustainable strength of our organic growth strategy. Our more positive merchanting and BSS performance is more than balancing the effect of a challenging consumer environment for our retail business.”
Cooper told Reuters that the group would not buy many stores from rival Focus DIY, which has gone into administration, due to the current overcapacity in the UK DIY market.
“Any DIY retailer that’s going to be acquiring space needs to really cherry pick the very top performing branches, so I wouldn’t expect us to go and buy a whole load of Focus stores,” he said. “There might be one or two that we’re interested in.”