Travis Perkins is buoyed by BSS sales lift

TRAVIS Perkins yesterday reported strong sales at its heating and plumbing business BSS, which offset weakness at its Wickes DIY chain.

Across Travis Perkins’ businesses, like for like sales rose by 5.9 per cent over the nine months to September.

The company said sales growth at its merchanting business and at its plumbing and heating unit BSS offset a particularly challenging period for Wickes.

Travis Perkins said third quarter turnover at builders’ merchant depots open more than a year increased 7.7 per cent, while turnover was up 2.6 per cent at BSS.

Chief executive Geoff Cooper said: “We continue to take market share against a tough market backdrop, confirming the sustainable strength of our organic growth strategy.

“Our positive merchanting and BSS performance is balancing the effect of a challenging consumer environment for our retail business.”

Wickes, the 200-store DIY chain, saw same store sales drop by two per cent in the three months to October.

Kitchen and bathroom sales were down by 12.4 per cent over the last nine months.

Shares in Travis Perkins had lost 22 per cent of their value over the last six months before the latest results were published.

However, they rose eight per cent after the market update yesterday as analysts saw the performance as resilient.