Wickes has launched a £25m share buyback programme to return “surplus cash” to shareholders after improved second-quarter trading.

Like-for-like sales at the retailer grew 3% in its second quarter, driving a positive first-half performance and leading it to maintain its full-year expectations.

Core like-for-like sales were ahead by 2.3% in the second quarter, with categories such as decorative and construction performing well, and outdoor projects benefiting from a normalisation of weather patterns.

Click-and-collect sales have performed particularly well, growing 5.6%. The retailer said trade sales performed well and DIY sales have been improving over the period although remain lower year on year.

The Do-It-For-Me showroom business also saw good like-for-like sales growth of 5.3%.

Wickes announced a new capital allocation policy – which also includes the £25m share buyback – that the retailer said would “commence as soon as practically possible”.

Wickes chief executive David Wood said: “This has been an encouraging first half where we have again seen the benefits of our uniquely balanced business model delivering well for customers.

“Our performance has been underpinned by further momentum in trade, as local traders continue to turn to Wickes to save them time and money, an improving trend in DIY, and a good performance in Do-It-For-Me.

“As we continue to make progress across our strategic growth drivers, we are confident in the Group’s prospects for both the remainder of this year and the longer term.

“We are also pleased to announce our revised capital allocation policy, which reflects confidence in the company’s strategy and business model. The policy focuses on delivering additional shareholder returns through maintenance of the FY2023 dividend and the launch of a £25m share buyback programme.”