Travis Perkins’ consumer division, largely comprising Wickes, delivered “strong” sales in the first quarter.
Like-for-likes sales for the DIY retailer jumped 6.9% in the first quarter against a 7.3% fall in the same period last year. Total sales in the three months to March 31 increased 9%.
Travis Perkins group like-for-likes in the period surged 12.7%.
The group said sales were “strong” across Toolstation and Wickes but the kitchen and bathroom categories at Wickes were impacted by “significant promotional activity in this market”.
In the quarter Travis Perkins launched a new web platform for Wickes, improving functionality and supporting the rollout of its click-and-collect capabilities.
The group also opened 39 new stores, including 34 Toolstation and Benchmarx shop-in-shops which were installed in existing Wickes and Travis Perkins branches. It is also continuing to roll-out its ‘Endeavour’ bathroom showroom, with 60 branches to be refitted this year.
Travis Perkins added that it is continuing to invest in better value for customers across its Wickes offer.
Travis Perkins chief executive John Carter said: “All of our businesses recorded strong sales growth in the first quarter of 2014 and lead indicators for our different markets are encouraging and performing and we remain on course to meet our targets set out in February.
“We are confident that the plans we have in place will support our drive to outperform our markets, improve earnings and ultimately increase return on capital. Our priorities remain to accelerate innovation of our customer propositions, expand and optimise our property network, exploit our scale advantage and prioritise investments throughout the portfolio.”