Travis Perkins says CEO to retire, profits rise

LONDON, July 25 Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:33am EDT

LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - Travis Perkins, Britain's biggest supplier of building materials, said on Thursday its long-standing chief executive would retire in the new year, as it posted a 4.1 percent rise in first-half profit.

The firm, which also trades as Wickes, City Plumbing, Keyline, Tile Giant and BSS, said Geoff Cooper, CEO since 2005, would step down as CEO on Jan. 1 and as a director on March 6.

He will be succeeded as CEO by John Carter, the current deputy chief executive.

News of Cooper's departure came as the firm reported an underlying pretax profit of 136.1 million pounds ($209 million) for the six months to June 30, on revenue up 1.6 percent to 2.45 billion pounds.

Cold weather impacted construction industry activity in the first quarter. However, it picked-up in the second quarter.

Travis Perkins raised its interim dividend 25 percent to 10 pence a share and forecast full-year earnings per share in line with analysts' consensus forecast of around 100 pence.

Shares in Travis Perkins, which last month entered the FTSE-100 index of Britain's largest companies, have risen 71 percent over the last year.

The stock closed at 1,675 pence on Wednesday, valuing the business at 4.1 billion pounds.

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