Travis Perkins reveals sales boost in first three months of the year but warns of materials price inflation
- Group said increased prices were likely to form a higher proportion of sales growth across the year than previously thought
- Travis Perkins’ total sales for the three months to March 31 were 13.6% ahead of the same period last year
- Total sales in the merchanting division were up 17.9%
Travis Perkins, Britain’s biggest seller of building materials, has revealed its forecast for materials price inflation – which it had expected to ease into the second half of the year – is now more uncertain.
The Northampton-based group, which trades from over 700 branches in Britain, said increased prices were likely to form a higher proportion of sales growth across the year than previously thought.
Travis Perkins’ total sales for the three months to March 31, its fiscal first quarter, were 13.6 per cent ahead of the same period last year when pandemic restrictions were still in place.
Travis Perkins, Britain’s biggest seller of building materials, has revealed its forecast for materials price inflation, which it had expected to ease into the second half of the year, is now more uncertain
Total sales in the merchanting division were up 17.9 per cent.
‘Pricing accounted for approximately two-thirds of the growth with manufacturer increases continuing to be passed through (to customers) in an orderly manner,’ the group said.
Travis Perkins’ expectations for the full year were unchanged.
Nick Roberts, chief executive, who has led the builders’ merchant since 2019, also says the company hopes to cash in on a dash for insulation as Britons seek to plug gaps in their homes ahead of next winter’s painful heating bills.
The energy price cap rose 54 per cent at the start of April and for those not on a fixed tariff, it means bills will head higher.
Most households are likely to reduce gas use over the coming months as increasing outside temperatures means they can turn the heating off.
So the full impact of the price rises, and a likely further increase from October, will not be felt by most until the winter.
Many homes will therefore likely try to improve their insulation in the coming months to reduce their heating bills next winter. Travis Perkins predicts.
The company added that its order books remain robust across UK construction, underpinned by the backlog of infrastructure work.
It said the construction supply chain had largely normalised by the end of 2021 and, although the war in Ukraine and the subsequent impact on the global economy may impact that stability, stock levels were healthy.
Mr Roberts noted: ‘Allied to the significant pipeline of investment in the UK’s social and economic infrastructure, we remain confident in the structural drivers of demand in our end markets.
‘As the UK’s largest building materials supplier and a leading partner to the construction industry, we are uniquely placed to support the country in this drive and are working closely with all key stakeholders, including government, housebuilders, tradespeople and developers, to address these challenges.’
Shares in Travis Perkins, which last year spun out its Wickes home improvement business, have fallen 18 per cent over the last year. In morning trading, they are down nearly 2 per cent.