Travis Perkins predict slower 2008

Travis Perkins have reported strong figures in their trading update ahead of the close of their financial year on December 31, but warn of a slowdown in 2008.
The statement said “Our business has made excellent progress in the second half of 2007, with continued gains in like-for-like market share, an acceleration of network expansion, the acquisition of a seventh brand and improved profitability and returns.”

Group turnover to the end of November was up 12.1% compared with the same period in 2006, and “in line with our expectations” said the company.

The merchant division outperformed this with an increase of 13.2% in the first eleven months of the year compared with 2006. While the retail division performed lower than the company average. Trading at Wickes was up by 9.4%. And, as the company explained, “A strategy of remaining competitive against discounting by some competitors meant that as expected, retail gross margins are slightly below the comparable period in 2006.”

Travis Perkins now trade from 1,119 locations and added 97 new outlets this year, including 60 new merchant branches (including 18 Benchmarx), 31 Tile Giant stores and 6 new Wickes stores, increasing Wickes’ gross selling space by 6.9%.

However, looking forward Travis Perkins are expecting a slightly tougher time, however, they say “We have prepared our business for more difficult markets in the early part of next year, and are confident that our businesses will continue to outperform.”

Group chief executive Geoff Cooper added, “Whilst we anticipate lower growth in the immediate period ahead we have shown we can out-perform the competition and expect to continue to take further market share.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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