Wickes Group plc Trading Update for 2023

Home improvement retailer, Wickes Group plc, has announced a trading update for the 52 weeks to 30 December 2023.

Full year Group LFL sales of -0.3% were in line with prior year. Cash at the year end was £97.5m after £10.1m of share buybacks, in line with guidance, reflecting strong cost and stock control.

Adjusted PBT for FY23 is expected to be at the upper end of market consensus range of £44.9-£48.3m on a post-IAS38 basis.

Core product sales to Trade and DIY customers had a good performance in 2023 with LFL sales in line with the prior year. The fourth quarter saw positive LFL sales growth of 1.2% representing the third consecutive quarter of growth in Core revenue. This performance was driven by positive volume growth, with slight selling price deflation in the quarter.

Double digit growth in TradePro sales continued in Q4, underpinned by strong growth in the TradePro customer base, which ended the year at 881k (+18% year-on-year). DIY sales remained moderately down year-on-year in Q4, however there was strong volume growth in a number of categories including timber, joinery, decorating and flooring.

Do-It-For-Me (projects led by Design Consultants) LFL delivered sales were slightly down for full year 2023. The Q4 LFL sales decline of -13.7% reflected a more subdued consumer environment for larger projects, as well as delivery delays from the new software implementation (previously noted in our Q3 trading update). This software issue has been addressed and will not impact delivered sales in 2024.

Adjusted PBT for FY23 is expected to be at the upper end of the market consensus range of £44.9-£48.3m on a post-IAS38 basis.

“Our colleagues’ relentless focus on value, availability and service has delivered record customer satisfaction and market share. We have delivered a robust sales performance in the year, against a challenging market backdrop, and with a tight control on costs we expect to achieve a full year profit outturn at the upper end of market expectations. We remain confident in our growth levers and in 2023 we have invested further in new stores, refits and our digital capability. This leaves us well-placed to continue to outperform the market in 2024 and beyond,” said David Wood, Chief Executive of Wickes.