Travis Perkins reports 'solid' Q3 but challenges continue for DIY & Wickes

Total sales grew 3.9% for Travis Perkins' Q3 2018, with like-for-like sales growth of 4.1%.

The combined merchant businesses achieved like-for-like growth of 7%, however the UK DIY market's current challenges continued to hit Wickes.

Travis Perkins said that pricing pressures were beginning to moderate, reducing to 1.9% in Q3. The "successful pass through" of commodity-price inflation in the trade focused businesses was partially offset by Wickes which experienced significant pricing pressure in the UK DIY market.

The trade focused business did have its challenges too, with like-for-like growth rate softening compared to Q2 2018.

Toolstation is still on track for 40 new stores this year and saw like-for-like sales growth thanks to range extensions and expansion of the network.

"The Group delivered a solid Q3 trading performance, in line with expectations," commented John Carter, Chief Executive. "Our trade-focused businesses delivered good sales growth against a challenging market backdrop, including successful recovery of cost price inflation. The UK DIY market continues to be very challenging for Wickes, where significant price pressure and weak consumer confidence is providing a tough trading backdrop.

"Across the Group, we are making good progress with the cost reduction activities that were highlighted in July, and these actions are generating positive results and underpin our confidence that our full-year performance is on track and in line with market expectations."