Wickes has blamed a softer outlook in some of its key markets and the uncertain macroeconomic outlook after it downgraded its profit expectations for the year

Wickes Crawley store front

Wickes has downgraded its profit expectations

Home improvement retailer Wickes has downgraded its full-year profit expectations to between £72m-£82m having previously forecast they would be no less than £83m. 

Wickes said that while comparatives for its core sales had eased in the first half of the year, trading in DIY and do it for me (DIFM) sales had softened as customers tightened their belts due to the current macroeconomic conditions. 

In a trading update for the 26 weeks to July 2, Wickes reported like-for-like sales on a one-year comparison were up 0.8% and 23.4% on a pre-pandemic, three-year comparison. 

During the period, Wickes said that local trade sales performed very strongly with TradePro customers increasing 60,000 to 690,000 in the first half. 

DIY sales remained below last year and Wickes said there were signs that the market was softening further. DIFM sales in the first half were 29.7% ahead on a one-year basis, although Wickes warned that demand in the second half would soften too. 

Wickes boss David Wood said: “Wickes has delivered another strong performance, as the business continues to provide the best value, choice and availability for customers. Our TradePro scheme is expanding with great momentum as tradespeople turn to Wickes for value during a period in which consumers are becoming more price conscious.

“It is encouraging to see continued outperformance in our core market share despite recent signs of softening in the DIY market. We continue to do a great job engaging DIFM customers as they take a little more time to consider their purchases.

“Our investment for growth progressed in the period with five store refits completed in the first half, which continue to drive strong returns. We remain watchful of the macroeconomic backdrop and are managing the business appropriately to navigate these external pressures.

“We are confident that our uniquely balanced business model and great value offer for customers will enable us to continue to deliver for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”