December 3, 2013 / 2:26 PM / 4 years ago

UK's Travis Perkins says will outperform market

LONDON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Travis Perkins, Britain’s No. 1 supplier of building materials, said it would continue to outperform the wider market, targeting “double digit” underlying earnings growth over the medium term under new chief executive John Carter.

Carter, the current deputy chief executive who will succeed Geoff Cooper in the top job in January, on Wednesday detailed Travis Perkins’ strategic ambitions at a capital markets day for investors and equity analysts.

Shares in Travis Perkins, which entered the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s largest companies in June, have risen 64 percent so far this year, helped by an increase in construction activity on the back of government initiatives to stimulate the housing market.

Carter is targeting like-for-like sales growth outperformance of 1-3 percent across the group, with “sector leading” operating margin growth in its general merchandising business and “good growth” in its plumbing and heating, contracts and consumer (Wickes and Tile Giant) divisions.

He also slated capital expenditure of 130-170 million ($213-278 million pounds) in the 2014-15 year and dividend cover of 2.5-3.25 times earnings from the 2014-15 year onwards.

The new CEO wants to accelerate innovation in the firm’s formats and exploit its scale.

“We have worked very hard over the past few years to ensure we have the right portfolio of businesses to continue to outperform the market,” said Carter.

The group currently trades from over 1,800 outlets across the UK.

The stock was down 3 percent at 1,727 pence at 1407 GMT, valuing the business at 4.2 billion pounds.

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