Travis Perkins started 2018 with 3% like-for-like sales growth of and total sales growth of 2.4% despite ‘challenging market conditions’.
In its consumer division, which includes Wickes, total sales fell by 3.1% (4.6% on a like-for-like basis). Wickes, the group said, suffered from the declining UK DIY sector, but added that kitchen and bathroom showroom orders ‘recovered relative’ to Q4, which was in line with Q1 in 2017.
“Despite a challenging start to 2018, Travis Perkins’ prior investment in its stores and online will help it ride the storm,” said Thomas Brereton, retail analyst at GlobalData. “At Wickes, refreshed kitchen and bathroom areas in store have contributed to improved showroom orders compared with Q4 2017, now similar to those seen in Q1 2017.”
In the plumbing and heating division, total sales grew by 19.7%, contracts grew by 1.7%, but general merchanting saw a fall of 1.9%.
John Carter, chief executive, said: “We delivered solid like-for-like sales growth in the first quarter, with volumes across the group broadly flat and pricing initiatives to recover ongoing commodity driven price inflation.
“Adverse weather conditions have impacted sales across the group in February and March, but our overall expectations for 2018 remain unchanged and are supported by our actions to reduce costs.”