Travis Perkins Group has reported a strong improvement in its financial performance in the first half of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020.
Behind this improvement, it said, was a broad-based recovery in the RMI (Renovation, Maintenance, Improvement) sector and “decisive actions taken over the preceding two years to strengthen the business and focus on the trade”.
The group, which also owns Toolstation, Benchmarx, Keyline, CCF and BSS, reported revenue of £2.29 billion for H1 2021 (to June 30), up 44.1% like-for-like on H1 2020. Operating profits hit £168 million, compared with a loss in 2020 of £79m.
Said chief executive Nick Roberts commented: “I am delighted with our performance during the first half of 2021. To have executed our planned strategic portfolio actions while delivering an excellent trading performance in ever changing market conditions is testament to the hard work and capability of our colleagues across the Group.
“This has been particularly noticeable in the Travis Perkins General Merchant, where decisive actions taken during the previous two years have enabled us to respond rapidly to customer needs at a local level. Toolstation UK, meanwhile, is on course to deliver another excellent year of growth and our European rollout continues to gather pace.”
He added: “As a result, I am cautiously optimistic around the outlook for the business and confident in our ability to make further progress in the second half of the year. We look forward to updating shareholders on our future plans in September.”
The Group said it had continued to invest in its branch network, with Merchanting up from 846 to 853 and Toolstation up from 83 to 98. It also disclosed that the European rollout of Toolstation was continuing to gather pace.
Broken down by category, its Merchanting division saw like-for-like revenue growth of 47.3% to £1.9bn and an operating profit up from £36m to £156m for H1 2021. Toolstation revenues were up by 29.8% to £394m, and profits up from just £1m in H1 2020 to £10m). Its UK adjusted operating profit was £20m (up 100% over 2020), while in Europe as a whole it made a loss of £10m, due primarily to the early-stage investment in the French market.
The Group also successfully completed the demerger of Wickes on April 28 this year, followed by the sale of the Plumbing and Heating business to an affiliate of HIG Capital for £325 million, with completion expected in Q3.
The Group said it remained optimistic for the future and said: “While some uncertainty remains due to the ongoing pandemic, coupled with inflationary pressures and product availability issues, the Group expects the RMI market to remain strong for some time to come and for new housing to continue on its recovery path.”