Profits down at Wickes and Toolstation
In the year to 31 December, the division’s total sales rose by 4.7% driven by a good performance by Wickes in the first half of the year, and the continued acceleration of Toolstation's sales growth in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, Wickes’ like-for-like sales growth slowed throughout the course of 2017 as the retailer was hit by a challenging DIY market.
During the period, the expansion of the Toolstation store network continued at pace, with an additional 40 stores opened in the UK. Initiatives undertaken by the retailer included expanding its online ranges, introducing a "drop-ship" service direct to customers, extending delivery to six days per week and reducing click-and-collect times to ten minutes.
Wickes continued its store refit programme during the year with 27 stores being updated to the new format to bring the total to 94. The retailer said enhancements to its kitchen and bathroom showroom, better laid out trade areas and improved product adjacency has helped to deliver a “significant” sales uplift compared with the old format stores.
John Carter, Travis Perkins chief executive, said: "2017 was a challenging year for the group, with continuing uncertainty in our end-markets, and declining consumer confidence throughout the year. The main focus for our businesses has been to recover the significant cost price inflation encountered and on the whole, this has been achieved successfully.
“In 2018, we anticipate that the mixed market backdrop will continue. As a result, we will be focusing capital investment behind our key priorities, and slowing investments elsewhere. The group will focus heavily on maintaining tight control of the cost base and expects 2018 performance to be similar to 2017.”
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