Wickes Group first quarter Trading Update

Wickes has announced a trading update for the first quarter with performance in line with expectations and the previous year’s figures.

For the first 16 weeks of the year, Group LFL sales were down 0.6%. Delivered DIFM sales were ahead by 9.3%, with Core LFL sales down 3.6%. Core sales have been affected by adverse weather in 2023 to date, affecting outdoor and weather-related categories. Storms in the prior year also drove significant sales uplifts in fencing in the comparative period. Sales trends have improved towards the end of the period as the weather has started to normalise.

Trade sales continue to perform well, reflecting healthy trade order book pipelines, and our strategically important TradePro customer base continues to grow strongly. DIY sales remain lower year-on-year. Inflation remains mixed across categories but is slowing overall.

DIFM delivered sales growth reflected the improved order position during the fourth quarter of 2022, a good 2023 Winter Sale, and continued normalisation of the order book as a result of our increased installation capacity. Orders in the first 16 weeks were up marginally year-on-year, with a reduction in leads more than offset by an increase in conversion.

David Wood, CEO of Wickes, commented: "This has been an encouraging start to the year where we have again seen the benefits of our uniquely balanced business model delivering well in a challenging economic environment. Our performance has been underpinned by further momentum in Trade, as local traders continue to turn to Wickes to save them time and money, and a strong performance in Do-it-for-me. As we continue to make progress across our strategic growth drivers, we are confident in the Group’s prospects for both the remainder of this year and the long term."