Travis Perkins has announced sales growth of 8.6% as the merchant sees positive growth continue for the third quarter of 2013.

Travis Perkins has announces sales growth of 8.6% as the merchant sees positive growth continue for the third quarter of 2013.

In an interim management statement, the company posted total sales growth of 8.6%, at 7.1% on a comparable trading days basis, with like-for-like sales growth reaching 6.3%.

Looking at the whole of 2013 to date, Travis Perkins saw like-for-like sales growth at 5.5% for general merchanting, 9.1% for specialist merchanting and 0.4% in the plumbing and heating sector.

The figures, the company said in its statement, demonstrate the Travis Perkins Group's "strong position in each of its markets and its ability to leverage improving sentiment".

The Plumbing & Heating division saw 5.% sales growth in Q3 2013, an improvement on the flat growth recorded in the two months to 30 June 2013.

The Group said the retail market remained challenging, with flat like-for-like sales growth in Q3 for the business' consumer division showing a significant reduction on the 8.6% growth recorded in May and June 2013. The statement said that Wickes and Tile Giant received little benefit from the warmer summer weather, as they have a limited outdoor product range. Wickes, the Group said, continues to experience "more pronounced deflation", which has been easing in other areas of Travis Perkins' trade business.

Chief executive Geoff Cooper said: "While still early in the recovery of our markets, the stronger trading conditions experienced by our merchanting businesses in particular is a reassuring indicator of improved sentiment in construction. The recovery in activity, signalled by us in early 2013, looks set to continue into 2014 as owners' and occupiers' construction and maintenance activity increases from the very low levels encountered over the last five years. The Group is well positioned, as the leading supplier of building materials in the UK, to take advantage of this recovery."