Wickes owner Travis Perkins has posted a fall in total sales across its third quarter, but its performance was boosted by resilient sales across its DIY retail divisions.

Travis Perkins reported a 3.4% fall in total sales in the quarter to September 30, although like-for-like sales increased 3.9% during the period.

The group’s retail division recorded a 17% boost in total sales during the period, up 18% in like-for-like terms driven by “strong sales in DIY categories in Wickes and Toolstation”.

Sales growth was strong in July as people exited lockdown and despite a lull in August regained momentum in September, when growth was up 8% in like-for-like terms and 0.3% overall. 

But this boost in retail demand was offset by stagnant activity in new housebuilding and commercial construction projects, which impacted the group’s broader business.

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 RMI markets, benefiting the Travis Perkins, City Plumbing, Wickes and Toolstation businesses that serve these markets. Currently this domestic RMI trend remains strong.

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

“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.”