Travis Perkins’ consumer arm, which largely comprises Wickes, experienced a 6.1% decline in like-for-like sales for the four months to April 30.

In addition, total sales at Wickes fell 5% in the period covering the first quarter as the DIY retailer was impacted by the early Easter and cold weather.

To reverse the decline Travis Perkins has introduced new branded ranges in Wickes, which have already been “well-received”. It added that it has kept costs tight and lowered overheads.

Travis Perkins, which also operates builders’ merchants and a plumbing and heating division, said group like-for-like sales fell 1.8% in the period. Total sales fell 1.2%.

Travis Perkins said the impact on sales is “unlikely” to be recovered by group performance across the rest of the year. But it said its focus on margin and costs should ensure the group meets market expectations.

Travis Perkins chief executive Geoff Cooper said sales picked up in April and May because of warmer weather. “Leading indicators have strengthened, which continues to suggest there should be an improvement in volumes in the second half of the year as we anticipated. Overall, the group continues to be in good shape and poised to respond to any meaningful signs of market recovery,” he said.