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Wickes Delivers Strong Annual Like-For-Like Sales Growth

Travis Perkins PLC has reported on trading for the year ended 31st December 2020.

Learn more about the Group’s performance here and review Toolstation’s performance here.

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2019 figures include £47m of revenue and £0.1m of adjusted operating profit from Tile Giant, which was sold in September 2020. 2020 figures include £31m of revenue and an adjusted operating loss of £0.2m, plus the £1.4m profit on sale of the business.
*Segmental adjusted operating profit figures are presented excluding property profits

Demonstrating the strength of its balanced business model, Wickes delivered a highly credible 5.5%** like for like sales growth for the full year, despite periods of lockdown and disruption to trading operations throughout the year.

This performance was driven by strong Core sales growth of 19.3%** on a like for like basis, leveraging Wickes’ well developed digital and flexible fulfilment capability and increasing market share across the year. Sales also benefited from heightened DIY customer demand across a broad range of categories as customers renewed their interest in home improvement.

Do-It-For-Me sales were significantly impacted by restrictions in trading operations, ending the year down (27.4)%** on a like-for-like basis. In-store kitchen and bathroom showrooms were, at times, completely closed and customers remained cautious throughout the year to progress installation projects in their homes. A fully digitally enabled virtual customer journey was developed and launched in the second half of the year, enabling Wickes to continue to trade despite ongoing showroom closures.

Gross profit margin was marginally higher year-on-year as a reduction in promotional activity outweighed an unfavourable shift in product mix, principally as a result of the loss of showroom driven business. The significant change in fulfilment methods, with delivery to customer order volumes more than doubling across the year and click and collect volumes increasing by over 450%, increased fulfilment costs. Work is underway to drive efficiencies in distribution overhead given the expectation that digital sales participation will continue to grow over time.

Overheads were impacted by £9m of costs directly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure customers and colleagues remained safe. The business also had to carry around £7m of unproductive labour costs during the first lockdown period, principally relating to Kitchen & Bathroom sales, delivery and installation colleagues.

Following the strong sales performance of Wickes, the decision was taken in December 2020 to repay all government support, which is therefore excluded from the Retail segment results.

With the continued strong performance of the Wickes business and more stable market conditions, the Board has re-commenced the demerger process with a view to completion in Q2 2021.

In September 2020, the Group completed the sale of its Tile Giant business.

View the full Travis Perkins PLC 2020 results report here.

** On a calendar year basis. For the 52 weeks to 26th December 2020 Wickes like-for-like sales were +5.0% with Core +18.8% and Kitchens & Bathrooms down (27.8)%

Source : Travis Perkins PLC

02 March 2021

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