Sales leap for Travis Perkins as it warns of looming spending cuts

Builders’ merchant and DIY retailer Travis Perkins yesterday announced higher sales, but pointed to signs that government spending cuts had begun to bite.

Travis, which trades from more than 1,200 branches under Travis Perkins, Keyline, Wickes and other brands, said turnover at branches in its merchanting division open at least a year increased 10.3 per cent in the three months to 30 September.

The group said its outlook for the year as a whole remained unchanged, although growth in merchanting had begun to slow. “This rate has shown signs of moderating in the most recent few weeks of trading,” it said.

Travis warned in July that public sector new construction would face pressure from spending reductions and new house-building was unlikely to continue the very strong growth of the first half.

The firm, which is trying to buy plumbing and heating company BSS Group for about £580m to create the biggest plumbing and heating trade and retail distribution business group, said like-for-like sales at Wickes rose 0.6 per cent with relatively weaker trends in big-ticket purchases. Total group sales in the nine month period rose six per cent.