Wickes has hailed a “robust” full-year performance, with profit before tax landing ahead of expectations. It also announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Solar Fast.

Wickes Milton Keynes

Wickes saw “record highs” for customer satisfaction across all channels. Three store openings created 90 new jobs 

The home & DIY retailer posted adjusted profit before tax of £52m “after SaaS impact” (software as a service), down 31% year on year, while statutory profit before tax was up 2% from £40.3m to reach £41.1m.

Wickes reported total revenue of £1.55bn for the 52 weeks to December 30, 2023, down 0.3% on a like-for-like basis.

The retailer said its TradePro membership scheme saw sales growth of 11%, while its Lifestyle Kitchens range sales soared 24%.

Wickes said it saw “record highs” for customer satisfaction across all channels during the year and also noted its three store openings that created 90 new jobs.

In terms of outlook, Wickes said for the first 11 weeks of the year retail sales are currently “in line with last year”, despite the consumer environment for larger purchases continuing to be “challenging”.

Wickes said it has good cost control and productivity plans in the works this year, but added that this won’t fully offset the headwinds from the “scale of increases” in both national minimum wage and business rates.

The retailer added it remains “comfortable” with adjusted profit before tax expectations for the full year.

Solar power

Speaking of the Solar Fast acquisition, chief executive David Wood said it enables Wickes to bolster its expertise in major home improvement projects and support Solar Fast’s energy saving work.

Wood said: “This has been another year of strong progress for Wickes. Our robust trading performance, targeted investment programme and disciplined cost control have delivered profits ahead of expectations.

“In the current economic environment, our unrivalled focus on providing great value and service has underpinned this performance. With this, I would like to thank each of my colleagues for their continued dedication and support, enabling us to achieve record customer satisfaction.”

He added: “I am also delighted to announce our acquisition of Solar Fast, which gives Wickes a majority stake in a leading operator in the emerging and exciting market for energy saving solutions.

“This acquisition enables us to rapidly accelerate our Design & Installation growth lever, capitalising on our expertise in installing major home improvement projects.”