Builders and plumbers merchant group Travis Perkins has released an interim management statement for the quarter ended 30 September 2012 compared with quarter two.
Total sales in general merchanting were 2.3% down, with like-for-like sales per trading day down 1.6%. The plumbing and heating division was 11.6% down and 1.3% on a like-for-like basis. The specialist merchanting division did slightly better, being 0.6% up and 1.3% ahead on a like-for-like basis.
On a proforma basis (including Toolstation in 2011 data) total sales would reduce to a gain of 1.6% and like-for-like sales would improve to a decrease of 4.5%.
The group says that continuing low inflation has impacted opportunities to drive stock investment gains. This, in addition to competitive market conditions in the three merchanting divisions, has seen gross margins come under pressure during the third quarter.
Geoff Cooper, chief executive, said: “Trading improved in September after the uneven and fragile trading conditions experienced so far this year, and our continuing tight management of costs and efficiency gains from self help projects mean we remain on target to meet market expectations.”