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Transformation helps boost sales online and offline at Wickes and Toolstation

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Travis Perkins said today that transformation helped its consumer division, which includes Wickes and Toolstation , to outperform the DIY market in 2015, with increased sales both online and offline.

DIY business Wickes is a Top100 retailer in the IRUK Top500 2016 research, while Toolstation is a Top250 company.

Building supplies group Travis Perkins’ consumer division, which also includes the Tile Giant, reported revenue of £1.4bn in the year to December 31 2015, 8% up on the previous year, and like-for-like growth of 5.3%. The group said the DIY market was broadly flat over the same period. Adjusted operating profits, after one-off property profits, in the group came in at £93m, 20.8% up on the £77m reported in the previous year. At the same time its branch network grew by 44 stores to 571.

“This outperformance,” said the Travis Perkins statement, “demonstrates the continued improvement of the Wickes business as it progresses through the transformation programme, the market-leading customer proposition in Toolstation and the growth of the Tile Giant business.”

The figures continue a trend seen last year following the introduction of Wickes’ then-new website.

Wickes’ transformation has seen the DIY retailer introduce one-hour click and collect during its latest full-year, as well as a new store format. The company said online accounted for 8% of Wickes’ sales, with half of the growth in online coming through click and collect in 2015. The new store format has now been introduced in eight stores, and, said Travis Perkins, meant trade and retail customers could shop the stores more efficiently, with a greater breadth of range and availability. Growth was also driven by strong sales of kitchens and bathrooms in the fourth quarter, as the housing market recovered.

Forty new Toolstation branches were opened during the year, and the company enjoyed a boost from the introduction of one-hour click-and-collect as well as from like-for-like sales.

The figures came as Travis Perkins Group reported overall revenues of £5.9bn in the year to December 31, 6.5% up on the previous year, or 3.8% on a like-for-like basis, which strips out the effect of store openings and closures. Pre-tax profits of £224m were almost a third (30.2%) down on £321m reported at the same time last year.

Chief executive John Carter said: “We made very good progress on our key strategic priorities; modernising general merchanting, transforming Wickes and resegmenting the plumbing and heating division, and we continued to improve our customer propositions, delivering access to greater ranges with better availability.”

He added: “We believe that the growth drivers in our markets remain strong and welcome the return to growth of mortgage approvals and secondary housing transactions in the second half of 2015.”

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