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Travis Perkins to demerge Wickes

WickesMadisonTravis Perkins is to demerge Wickes ahead of a sale as the chain enjoys strong kitchen and bathroom sales.

The group is concentrating on its builders merchant operations and in December 2018 said it was considering the future of the chain. Now it will demerge it in the first half of next year.

‘Wickes is well positioned to thrive as a stand-alone business. Wickes will have the autonomy to execute on its strategy and allocate capital to its customer proposition and growth opportunities with a clearer focus,’ says John Carter, Travis Perkins ceo. 

‘Wickes revenue has recovered strongly in the first half of 2019 after a difficult period in 2018, with like-for-like sales growth of 9.7%. Around 2% of the like-for-like growth is estimated to be attributable to the milder weather in March and April in 2019 compared with the same period in 2018.’

Sales, including Tile Giant, rose 8.9% to £695m with operating profits 48.6% higher at £52m in the six months to 30 June.

‘Kitchen and bathroom showroom deliveries remained strong through the half, benefitting from the order book carried into the year from the improved Q4 2018 order intake, along with continued good order placement so far in 2019. The order book at the end of the half is encouraging, although the wider market for consumer big-ticket purchases remains subdued.’