Builders merchant and distribution giant Travis Perkins has experienced encouraging sales growth in all divisions during Q1 2016, with total sales growth of 5.0%
John Carter, chief executive, said: “All of our businesses demonstrated good growth in the first quarter of 2016, driven by the recovery in the RMI market and by the investments we have made to improve our customer propositions as part of our five-year plan. Our three priorities remain unchanged; the modernisation of Travis Perkins, the transformation of Wickes, and improving the performance of the restructured Plumbing & Heating division.”
Total Group sales grew by 5.0% in the first quarter and 6.2% on a comparable days basis. Like-for-like sales growth was 4.2%. Price inflation was negligible, with low inflation on heavyside categories broadly offset by continued deflation on lightside categories and commodity driven products. There was a negative impact of (1.2)% on Group sales owing to one fewer trading days in the period for General Merchanting, Plumbing & Heating and Contracts divisions.
In January, 13 Keyline branches were converted to the Travis Perkins brand where the branch location and local customer base is better suited to the product and service of a general builders merchant. This switch negatively impacted total sales in the Contracts division by (2.2)%, with a corresponding 1.4% increase in General Merchanting. The expansion of the branch network continued, with five additional Benchmarx showrooms and nine Toolstation stores opened in the first quarter of 2016.
The eight additional CCF branches opened during 2015 added to total sales in the Contracts division, but also diluted like-for-like sales growth as some existing business migrated to the new depots from existing sites. Like-for-like sales growth in the Contracts division was 2.1%, ahead of the growth in Q4 2015 and against a very strong 2015 comparator, with two-year like-for-like growth of 17.5%. Like-for-like growth was balanced across all businesses in the division.