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Travis Perkins remains cautious about next year as says no signs of recovery

BUILDERS&rsquo; merchant and home improvements group Travis Perkins yesterday said group nine-month turnover fell 11 per cent, as volumes showed no sustained improvement and pricing pressure persisted.<br /><br />However, the group, which has branches across the UK under Travis Perkins, Wickes and other brands, said trading for the past three months was ahead of its expectations. Even so, it kept its outlook for 2010 unchanged from its expectations in July, when it saw no significant recovery in its markets until the end of 2010. <br /><br />Travis Perkins said: &ldquo;Volume relative to peak levels in early 2008 has yet to show signs of sustained improvement and pricing pressure remains with the rate of sales price inflation continuing to decline.&rdquo;<br /><br />The company said Robert Walker, currently chairman of WH Smith, had been appointed a non-executive director and would succeed Tim Stevenson as non-executive chairman at the end of the next annual meeting in May 2010.<br /><br />Like-for-like turnover per trading day for the first nine months was down 16.3 per cent.<br /><br />The company said net debt had continued to fall in the third quarter reduce in the third quarter from &pound;527m at 30 June 2009, thanks to cost controls and cash generation.<br /><br />Travis Perkins raised &pound;300m from investors in May.