Wickes’ parent company Travis Perkins is launching a “significant cost reduction programme” at the DIY retailer after recording a slump in interim profits.

Travis Perkins recorded a 4.6% decline in adjusted pre-tax profits to £167m in the six months to June 30, despite revenue rising 4.4% to £3.4bn.

The firm attributed its fall in profitability to a “challenging UK DIY market negatively impacting sales and profitability in Wickes”.

Wickes Crawley store front

Wickes took on 900 staff from B&Q in June

The retailer, which hired 900 staff from B&Q last month after its rival scrapped its kitchen and bathroom fitting services, said its kitchen and bathroom sales were a particular weakness during the period.

The DIY retailer’s parent company said it would kick off a “significant cost reduction plan” to mitigate these factors in the second half of its financial year, but that the retailer’s profits would still “be lower than previously expected”.

Travis Perkins’ chief executive John Carter said: “Our trade-focused businesses in General Merchanting, Contracts, Toolstation and Plumbing & Heating achieved good sales growth despite experiencing a volatile first half.

“Our consumer-focused business, Wickes, has had a far more challenging period as weaker consumer spending trends, combined with a difficult competitive environment, have held back profitability.

“Against a backdrop of changing market conditions which are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, the group has commenced a comprehensive review of its business, with a view to driving stronger performance and enhanced value for shareholders in the medium term.”