DIY boom gives Northampton-based Travis Perkins something to build on

Chief executive reports strong sales since lockdown
Northampton-based Travis  Perkins also owns DIY giants Wickes and Toolstation. Photo: Getty ImagesNorthampton-based Travis  Perkins also owns DIY giants Wickes and Toolstation. Photo: Getty Images
Northampton-based Travis Perkins also owns DIY giants Wickes and Toolstation. Photo: Getty Images

Northampton-based builders' merchants Travis Perkins says a DIY boom since lockdown is helping its business bounce back.

The UK's biggest building materials group, whose HQ is at Lodge Farm Industrial Estate, also owns Wickes and Toolstation and reported a 3.9% year-on-year rise is sales in three months to the end of September.

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However, Travis Perkins also revealed that larger building work has been slower to recover with new houses and commercial construction still “some way below 2019.”

Chief executive Nick Roberts said: “We have reported a positive overall like-for-like sales performance in the quarter as our markets have continued to recover following the impact of the national lockdown earlier this year.

"This has been driven by a strong recovery in demand across domestic repair, maintenance and improvement markets, benefitting the Travis Perkins, City Plumbing, Wickes and Toolstation businesses who serve these markets.

"Whilst local trade activity has recovered well, our trade businesses continue to experience a lag in recovery from larger housebuilding and construction projects.

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"However, there are signs of increasing workflow across these sectors as underlying demand strengthens as businesses have adapted to new and safe ways of working that enable them to keep sites open during periods of local lockdown.

Travis Perkins HQ in Lodge FarmTravis Perkins HQ in Lodge Farm
Travis Perkins HQ in Lodge Farm

"Our excellent cash generation this year has built a strong liquidity position, and combined with the decisive actions taken in June to realign our cost base to the new trading environment we are confident in both the Group’s ability to navigate the near-term uncertainty, as well as our position for the long term as we build towards becoming the leading partner for the construction industry.”

The company announced in June that around 2,500 jobs — nine per cent of its workforce — would be axed under plans to shut 165 stores — mainly smaller Travis Perkins sites.

Travis Perkins was founded in 1988 through a merger of Sandell Perkins and Travis & Arnold — a timber merchants founded in London in 1899 which moved to Fish Street, Northampton five years later.

As well as its head office It has 19 branches in Northamptonshire spread across its brands.