Builders merchant Travis Perkins has seen group sales grow by 5.5% during the third quarter (2.6% like-for-like) and 7.0% for the year to date (4.7% like-for-like). On a two-year basis like-for-like sales grew by 8.4% during the third quarter and are up 13.7% year to date. Following a strong performance at the end of the second quarter, like-for-like volumes across all of our businesses were noticeably weaker during July and August, with a gradual improvement towards the end of September. This trend has continued with further improvement during the first half of October.

General Merchanting sales grew by 3.3% in the third quarter, 1.7% on a like-for-like basis. Travis Perkins in particular experienced lower market demand throughout the quarter. Given the weaker than expected volume in the market, pricing also proved to be challenging. Trading performance has gathered momentum through October.

Its contracts’ division, which includes CCF, saw sales grow by 11.1% in the third quarter, 5.5% on a like-for-like basis. Volume growth slowed in all contract businesses during July, with further softening in August and September. Market conditions have returned to more normal levels in October.

The Group is now just over 18 months into the five-year plan outlined in December 2013 and remains focused on investing to create and extend structural advantages. These are expected to underpin continued market outperformance over the long term, driving sustainable growth and improving returns. Investments made to date are generating consistently strong returns and have been central to the Group’s ability to outperform markets in which it operates.

In its statement to the stock exchange last week Travis Perkins said fourth quarter trading had started more encouragingly, with all businesses impacted by the weaker summer demand showing a pick-up in growth. Additionally, the lead indicators monitored by the Group suggest a continued recovery in the fourth quarter with RMI markets growing further through the first half of 2016.