LONDON, July 30 Travis Perkins,
Britain's No. 1 supplier of building materials, posted a 19.4
percent rise in first half profit, helped by improving market
conditions and increased customer confidence.
The firm, which also trades as Wickes, City Plumbing,
Keyline, Tile Giant and BSS, said on Wednesday it made an
underlying pretax profit of 162.5 million pounds ($275.3
million) for the six months to June 30, in line with analysts'
expectations, on revenue up 11.5 percent to 2.73 billion pounds.
Adjusted basic earnings per share rose 21.6 percent to 53.4
pence and the group proposed a dividend per share of 12.25
pence, up 22.5 percent.
"Trading is consistent with our expectation and with lead
indicators in our different markets encouraging, the group is
expected to show continued solid growth for the remainder of the
year," said Chief Executive John Carter.
Travis Perkins has benefited from the upturn in UK building
activity and the strength of housing transactions.
Britain's housing market has had a rapid recovery, with
prices rising by an annual 11 percent nationally by one measure.
However, a survey published by mortgage lender Halifax on
Monday said Britons are feeling much less positive about buying
a house while sentiment toward selling is improving, adding to
other suggestions that the housing market is losing a bit of
Shares in Travis Perkins, which entered the FTSE 100 index
of Britain's largest companies in June last year closed at 1,645
pence on Tuesday, valuing the business at 4.1 billion pounds.
($1 = 0.5902 British Pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Neil Maidment)