Travis Perkins-owned DIY retailer Wickes has revealed a 1.1 per cent decline in like-for-like sales for the six months to June 30.

Travis Perkins’ retail division – including Tile Giant, which Travis Perkins acquired in November – posted EBIT of£31.3 million.

At Wickes, sales of core products fell 1 per cent, with showroom sales down 1.3 per cent. With price inflation at 2.3 per cent, like-for-like volume in core products fell 3.3 per cent.

Like-for-like sales at Travis Perkins’ retail division climbed 2.3 per cent for the last eight weeks of the period, with total turnover up 6.3 per cent for the six-month period. Wickes sales accounted for 4 per cent of this rise, while Tile Giant accounted for 2.3 per cent.

Overall, Travis Perkins’ retail division recorded an operating margin of 6.25 per cent, down 42 basis points.

While Travis Perkins plans to reduce its retail workforce by 6 per cent by the end of the year, it does not anticipate closing any outlets.

Travis Perkins – which includes merchanting as well as retail – posted an operating profit of£156 million for the six-month period, an increase of 0.2 per cent. Group like-for-likes rose 0.8 per cent.

Travis Perkins chief executive Geoff Cooper said: “As we anticipated and observed in our last full-year results statement, 2008 has become a more challenging market and we expect our markets to weaken further as the year progresses. While the outlook is more challenging than we have experienced for some years, we have the management and resources to deal with these difficulties.”

The group trades from 1,206 outlets.

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