Builders merchant group Travis Perkins has this morning (August 2) reported a good first half performance which saw sales rise 10.3% to £2.53bn, driven by operational and strategic delivery.
The merchanting division, with a rise in revenue of 13.3% to £2.15bn, and adjusted operating profit growth of 9.0% , was ahead of the general market, although a slow-down in sales at Toolstation was attributed to reduced DIY sales post-pandemic.
Nick Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Group has delivered a good performance during the first half of the year, once again demonstrating the capability to navigate challenging market conditions. Our Merchant businesses continue to perform well, taking market share and extending their market leading positions by developing the customer proposition to meet changing requirements within their respective markets.
“Toolstation’s customer base returned to its core trade customer in the period following exceptional trading during the pandemic. We have made great progress in enhancing the trade offer in Toolstation and customers have responded positively. We remain as confident as ever in the long term growth potential of the business and in our UK investment programme, whilst also increasing investment in Toolstation Europe to take advantage of the opportunities we see in those markets.
“The strong performance of our Merchant businesses is set to continue into the second half, driven by our agility in managing inflation and by our leading service propositions. This will be offset by a combination of the normalisation of Toolstation’s customer base and the increased investment in the Toolstation growth opportunity in the UK and Europe. As a result, we expect the Group overall to deliver a full year performance broadly in line with market expectations.”
Three new merchanting branches were added in the first half, with six more remodelled or relocated, as well as six Benchmarx showrooms, and the first Managed Services fulfilment centre in Widnes, a purpose-built hub dedicated to serving multiple customers across the north of England.
The specialist businesses, which represent almost 40% of segmental revenue, continue to trade well with total sales growth of 15.1% across the combined businesses.
Keyline continues to make excellent progress in its core civils, groundworks and infrastructure markets. A new branch was opened in Birmingham during the first half to support the growing number of major rail and infrastructure projects in the region over the coming years including HS2 and the Midland Metro extension.
BSS also had a good first half performance. Work continues on the development of the “Design to use” service to build digitally led planned maintenance partnerships with customers. Working closely alongside BSS, TF Solutions sales grew by 39% in H1 with a further branch added in Exeter taking the total to 13. Alongside the network expansion, growth has been driven through focus on the refrigeration, spares and heat pump categories.
CCF delivered a strong start to the year, building well following supply chain challenges in 2021. High levels of inflation, notably on plasterboard and insulation, were managed adeptly, supported by healthy demand across the commercial and housebuilding sectors. The business continues to extend its network with the recent relocation and expansion of the Edinburgh branch, and to develop its service proposition, most notably through an enhanced technical proposition and focus on carbon usage data to support reduced emissions in both CCF’s and customers’ fleets.