Despite uncertain market conditions, Travis Perkins reported strong merchanting like-for-like sales growth of 10.6%.

The Group reported:

• Like-for-like sales growth of 7.3% and total sales growth of 5.4%.

• Continued acceleration of Toolstation growth, with 25% total sales growth

• Good recovery in Wickes with 10.5% like-for-like sales growth

• Travis Perkins generated like-for-like sales growth of 8%,

• Plumbing & Heating experienced a slowdown in like-for-like and total sales as the weather conditions were notably milder in Q1 2019 compared to 2018

• Given current uncertain market conditions and the early stage of the year, overall expectations for 2019 remain unchanged.

John Carter, Chief Executive, said: “We have delivered strong sales growth in the first quarter of the year, which reflects both our focus on excellent customer service and the weak comparator in 2018. This performance is all the more encouraging given the impact of the on-going political uncertainty on our end markets.

“The Merchanting businesses have maintained the strong growth trend from the end of 2018, and Toolstation continues to grow extremely well, driven by network expansion and existing stores maturing. Wickes posted encouraging sales growth figures in both core DIY and showroom categories, demonstrating a strong turnaround in Kitchen and Bathroom performance. In Plumbing & Heating the milder winter has impacted sales compared to 2018, but our branches and specialist online channels have continued to perform well. The work to operationally separate Plumbing and Heating is progressing to plan and is expected to be completed in Q2.

“The actions set out at our capital markets day in December 2018 to deliver best in class service to trade customers and to simplify the Group are well underway. We are making good progress on cost reduction activities and expect to meet our cost reduction targets this year. Overall expectations for the Group in 2019 remain unchanged.”

The statement also announced that the operational separation of the Plumbing & Heating business from the Group is progressing to plan and is expected to be completed within the second quarter.

The Group reportedly remains on target to achieve its planned cost reductions in 2019, with significant progress made towards removing the divisional structure above the Merchanting businesses which it says will reduce complexity, lower the above-branch cost base and speed up decision making.