Wickes has said it continues to trade in line with expectations after recording a 0.7 per cent uplift in revenues to £827.7m, despite a near 40 per cent slide in profits before tax.
The London-listed DIY and home improvement retailer was bolstered by sales in its Do It For Me (DIFM) offering, with sales up 5.8 per cent.
The group also reported strong growth in its TradePro loyalty scheme, with 65,000 new customers signing up in the first half of the year, as its shares rose more than 2.5 per cent at the open.
During the first six months of the year it also continued its store roll out programme opening three new stores in the second half. It plans to open 20 new stores over the next five years.
However, the retailer reported a 37 per cent slide in profit before tax in the half year to £21m, citing IT separation costs for the dip.
“As we head into the Autumn, we are well-stocked with our extensive range of energy-saving products, as we look to support our customers in insulating their homes,” David Wood, chief executive, said.
“While we remain mindful of the external environment, we are seeing customers turn to Wickes for our great value proposition. We are well on track for the remainder of the year and we have the right strategy in place to make further market share gains within the large home improvement sector.”
Analysts at Investec rated the company a ‘Buy’ following the news of its results.
“FY23E is now in line with the top end of consensus range, having been at the bottom. Our higher forecast is driven by lower interest guidance, partially offset by higher new store opening costs as its openings are more back-end weighted than we had assumed,” they said.