Wickes owner Travis Perkins revealed that the group has performed ahead of expectations in the six months to 30 June, despite the brutal downturn in the property market.

Group pre-tax profit fell 27.4 per cent to £90.4 million on sales down 13 per cent to £1.45 billion.

At Wickes like-for-like turnover per trading day was down 2.4%, with core products down 5.0%, although kitchen and bathroom turnover per trading day was up by 16.6 percent. Wickes has seen excellent rates of growth in kitchen sales and in other products which have been backed with a television advertising campaign.

Having troughed in the early part of the year to around 15% below peak levels, the company said it saw signs of improvement in the market, with volumes gradually improving throughout the year, to be running at the end of June at around 5% below the peak levels.

Wickes has continued to grow Tile Giant, despite like-for-like turnover for the last six months being down 15.2 %.