Snow disturbs sales jump at Travis Perkins

Marion Dakers
BUILDERS merchant Travis Perkins said yesterday that turnover for the year had risen 6.5 per cent, though the wintry weather has hit recent sales, as it completed its £558m takeover of BSS Group.

The firm saw a jump in sales in the last two months to 30 November, although it said the snow and freezing conditions will have “some impact on our sales trends and financial performance” during December.

Its Wickes DIY chain saw turnover for the year to 27 November rise 2.7 per cent, with like-for-like turnover per trading day up 0.6 per cent.

Sales accelerated by 4.2 per cent in the last eight weeks. Travis Perkins said this was due to shoppers splashing out ahead of the VAT rise in January, although the pre-Christmas jump has been less marked than in 2009, when sales in the nine weeks to December rose 10.2 per cent.

Turnover in the firm’s merchanting business rose 7.6 per cent in the first 11 months of the year, with like-for-like turnover rising 7.2 per cent.

Travis Perkins also completed its acquisition of BSS Group yesterday, creating the country’s biggest plumbing and heating trade and retail distribution.

Travis Perkins announced the deal in July, although it was forced by the Office of Fair Trading to sell off 20 plumbing branches before it could take over its rival.

Its shares closed 2.62 per cent up at 997.5p yesterday.