* Trading in-line with expectations
* Q3 Total LfL sales per trading day down 3.5 pct
* Q3 total sales down 2.4 pct
* Trading improved in Sept, on target to meet market
* FD Paul Hampden Smith to step down in Sept, 2013
LONDON, Oct 12 British builders' merchant and
do-it-yourself retailer Travis Perkins posted a 3.5
percent decline in underlying sales after poor weather and tough
competition crimped trading in its third quarter.
The firm, whose brands include City Plumbing, Keyline, Tile
Giant, BSS and Wickes, on Friday said like-for-like sales in the
period to September 30 were down in all but one of its four
divisions, although sales had improved at the end of the
quarter, with plumbing and heating boosted by colder weather.
Third-quarter turnover at builders merchant depots open more
than a year fell 1.6 percent and was down 4.7 percent at its
plumbing and heating unit. Like-for-like sales were down 7
percent at its home improvement business, while its specialist
merchanting division posted a 1.3 percent rise.
The group said it remained in line to meet market
expectations, although it had increased its cost management to
help ease margin pressure across its merchanting divisions.
Though both construction and consumer markets have been weak
in the economic downturn Travis Perkins has performed relatively
well. In July the group posted a 7.3 percent rise in first half
profit despite taking a 10 million pound hit due to record
rainfall disrupting activity at building sites.
British construction activity, not helped by a spate of
flooding across the country, contracted for a second straight
month in September as business morale held close to its lowest
since entering recession in 2008.
Travis Perkins, which also said on Friday its finance
director, Paul Hampden Smith, would step down next September, is
expected to post a full-year pretax profit of 309.5 million
pounds according to a Reuters poll of 19 analysts.
Shares in the FTSE 250 firm closed at 1135 pence on
Thursday, up 35 percent on a year ago, valuing the business at
around 2.7 billion pounds.