Wickes downgrades profit expectations as DIY market softens
Wickes has downgraded its full year profit expectations after posting a 0.2% drop in core like-for-like sales in its second quarter.
The retailer said this reflected an improving trend on the previous quarter as one-year comparatives start to ease.
This meant that first half core like-for-sales were down 5.5% year-on-year but were significantly ahead on a three-year basis compared to pre-Covid.
Meanwhile, sales in Wickes’ “Do it for me” category were 29.7% up in the retailer’s first half year-on-year as it worked its way through an elevated order book, despite ongoing supply chain issues. However, Wickes said there has been a slowdown of new orders in recent weeks as customers take more time to commit to big ticket home improvement projects.
The retailer said its local trade sales performed well with its TradePro customer base increasing by 60,000 to 690,000 in its first half. However, DIY sales were below last year with signs of the market softening in recent weeks.
David Wood, chief executive of Wickes, said: “Wickes has delivered another strong performance, as the business continues to provide the best value, choice and availability for customers. Our TradePro scheme is expanding with great momentum as tradespeople turn to Wickes for value during a period in which consumers are becoming more price conscious.
“It is encouraging to see continued outperformance in our core market share despite recent signs of softening in the DIY market. We continue to do a great job engaging DIFM customers as they take a little more time to consider their purchases.”
Looking ahead to its second half results, Wickes said DIY trading in recent weeks and a softer outlook for the “Do it for me” category means it currently expects full year adjusted pre-tax profit to be in the range of £72 million to £82 million.
Wood continued: “Our investment for growth progressed in the period with five store refits completed in the first half which continue to drive strong returns. We remain watchful of the macroeconomic backdrop and are managing the business appropriately to navigate these external pressures. We are confident that our uniquely balanced business model and great value offer for customers will enable us to continue to deliver for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
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