Home improvement giant Wickes announced a boost in sales ground in the third quarter, as it looks to maintain “rigorous control” of costs ahead of a choppy winter.
The retailer registered like-for-like sales growth of 2.6 per cent in the last three months, down from 5.4 per cent on the second quarter, but recovered from a four per cent loss in the first.
Wickes’ sales strengthened since September following what the company said was the “impact of extreme heat” in July and August, where people did less home improvement work.
The firm said its local trade sales were strong with its TradePro customer base increasing by 10,000 a month, but DIY sales were below last year.
Its ‘Do It For Me’ (DIFM) service had a boost, with sales being 12.2 per cent ahead of last year in Q3 but orders down, because customers are taking longer to commit to big projects.
While announcing an expected profit between £72-82m, Wickes acknowledged there would be “uncertainties remain regarding consumer confidence and operating cost inflation”.
“Our costs will be impacted by rising energy prices once our energy contract ends in March 2023”, a statement said.
If costs were to remain at the current price cap for firms in 2023, then they would be £7.5m higher than 2022.
“While we are watchful of external headwinds, we are continuing to focus on our growth levers and on maintaining rigorous control of our costs. Our uniquely balanced business model leaves us well placed to continue to outperform the market”, said David Wood, CEO of Wickes.