Builders merchants Travis Perkins reported adjusted pre-tax profit up 18.7 per cent to £261 million in its full-year results, but warned that the outlook for 2008 is challenging.

For the year to December 31, the group’s revenue rose 11.9 per cent to£3.19 billion. This increase was driven by an 8.1 per cent lift in like-for-like sales, with network expansion accounting for the remaining 3.8 per cent.

Like-for-like sales for DIY chain Wickes’ core products were up 7.5 per cent but showroom sales fell 4.6 per cent, reflecting continued weakness in consumers’ willingness to spend on big-ticket items.

Total retail selling space at Wickes expanded by 6 per cent, with six new stores and three re-configured stores. The re-configuration programme – including reclaiming storage space for use as selling space and installing mezzanine floors in stores – will continue this year.

In November last year, Travis Perkins also acquired 29-store chain Tile Giant. The retailer is mainly based in the Midlands. Today, Travis Perkins has announced it has also bought Tile Magic, a 17-store business predominantly in London and the Southeast.

Travis Perkins chief executive Geoff Cooper said: “All of our businesses performed well, with both our trade and retail divisions growing their like-for-like sales ahead of market growth rates. This performance underlines the attractiveness to customers of our seven trade and retail brands, and enabled us to simultaneously grow market share and expand our operating margin.

“In addition to the 75 branches we added to our existing brands during the year, we entered a new market via the acquisition of Tile Giant. With like-for-like performance ahead of the market, superior operating margins to any comparable operator and a full pipeline of opportunities to expand further, we are well-placed to continue our progress in what we expect to be a more challenging market in 2008.”