Travis Perkins’ market share up as sales rise

DIY retailer Wickes, owned by Travis Perkins, yesterday said its sales and market share were on the rise.

Wickes’ like-for-like sales were up 1.9 per cent over the four months to 30 April, while gross margins improved.

The company has weathered the market better than Focus DIY, which went into administration last Thursday.

Travis Perkins, a builders’ merchant that also sells DIY equipment, said it was on track to cut year-end debt to £650m. It reported a 5.9 per cent increase in revenue as it picked up market share from rivals.

Prior to yesterday’s update, shares in Travis Perkins had risen by a over third in the past year as the market welcomed its £799m purchase of plumbing and heating group BSS Group, a deal completed in December. Its shares dropped 1.2 per cent yesterday.

“The combination of strong core Travis Perkins operations, good management, plus the addition of the BSS business presents good opportunities for the group,” said Panmure Gordon analyst Andy Brown, adding that he expected very low single digit growth in the merchanting market in 2011 and a contraction in the DIY market.