Builders' merchant vows to invest in DIY brand Wickes
Builders' merchant Travis Perkins returned strong figures for the year to December 31. In its first City filing since its acquisition of Wickes, the retailer reported a turnover of£1.8 billion, an increase of 9 per cent. Pre-tax profit also grew by 17 per cent to£190.4 million, compared with the same period last year.

Travis Perkins chairman Tim Stevenson said the retailer would continue to develop the Wickes brand through new sites. He said: 'We have made a good start to 2005, with our early work confirming our view of the synergies available from the acquisition of Wickes. Despite a slowing of consumer spending in February, as experienced by many retailers, we see enhanced earnings growth from the Wickes acquisition. We will continue to grow our business by investing in a plentiful supply of opportunities for Travis Perkins acquisitions and for new sites for both Wickes and for merchant branches.'

Travis Perkins acquired Wickes on December 16 in a cash deal worth£850 million. At the time, the DIY chain operated 172 stores and had accrued sales of£911 million for the year to October 31 last year.

Read Retail Week's interview with Wickes IT director Keith Riley this Friday in the Technology section.