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Like-for-likes slip 7.6% at Wickes during Q1

Published: 20 February 2013
The first seven weeks of 2013 saw a LfL revenue drop of 7.6% at Wickes, a 2% reduction on last year's drop.
Like-for-likes slip 7.6% at Wickes during Q1
It came as parent group Travis Perkins announced its yearly results, showing a more optimistic 1.4% increase in group revenue at £4,845m, though like-for-likes were down 1.4%. The increase was driven by the Toolstation acquisition, as well as the transformation of 13 ex-Focus DIY stores to Wickes in the autumn of 2011.

Revenue was up 13.2% for the company's consumer branch, which included Wickes, Tile Giant and Toolstation on a proforma basis, during the year to December 31, 2012. The group said: "Our consumer division has significantly outperformed in 2012, with the Wickes, Tile Giant and Toolstation businesses all producing excellent results. The consumer division markets were the hardest hit of any that our divisions operate in, so that makes the result achieved in 2012 even more encouraging.

"A combination of careful margin management, strong overhead control and targeted investment resulted in profits rising by 40.7% whilst turnover on a reported basis was up only 13.2%. If Toolstation is excluded from the 2012 result, divisional turnover was flat year-on-year, whilst profits increased by 26.5%."

Looking at the first few weeks of trading in 2013, bosses admitted comparatives with last January had proven tough, as poor weather is already driving sales down this year. A glimpse at February's figures reveals like-for-likes as "broadly flat", but the group is optimistic for the year ahead. "Overall we believe that market volumes for 2013 are likely to be lower than 2012, but the rate of decrease will be smaller than last year at around 1% to 2%.

"We think the performance of our markets in 2013 may begin to turn, but it will be mainly through our own endeavours to outperform our competition and manage our operating margin that the group will be driven forward."

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