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Warm weather sees last minute sales surge of 8.6% at Wickes

Published: 25 July 2013
Sales were largely flat during Wickes' first half, with like-for-likes dropping 1.1%, levelling sales at £586.6m for the six months to June 30.
Warm weather sees last minute sales surge of 8.6% at Wickes
Profits leapt 7.3% to £29.5m at the Travis Perkins-owned retailer during the period, which also saw sales increase by 8.6% during the last eight weeks as the weather improved.

Wickes largely blamed the chilly weather seen this spring for the impact on sales, but managed to grow its market share thanks to kitchen and bathroom sales as well as the introduction of trade-requested brands.

Operating margin increased 30 bps, and Wickes continued its price-dropping red pencil marketing programme throughout the period. Downsizing several of its larger stores also helped Wickes reduce its costs, with every indication that this will be an ongoing programme for the retailer.

Elsewhere at Travis Perkins, Toolstation and Tile Giant both performed well over the six months, with the former increasing sales and profits and expanding its store count by 11, bringing the total to 134.

Chief executive Geoff Cooper commented: "We anticipated a poor first quarter, however this was exacerbated by the early and cold weather and Easter. Lead indicators for the remainder of this year, and for 2014, are strengthening, with new housing leading the way.

"All four divisions are making progress with an improving trend in all markets and are flexibly managing volume, gross margin and costs so as to optimise returns.

"With our management teams' proven ability to select and execute trading tactics matched to market conditions, we are confident of further sales growth and improving returns. Our increasing confidence in this is reflected in the 25% increase in the interim dividend payable in November."

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