LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Travis Perkins, Britain's
biggest seller of building materials, upgraded its full-year
earnings guidance and reported improved trading in its latest
quarter as its markets recovered following the impact of the
national coronavirus lockdown.
The group, which trades from more than 20 businesses
including Travis Perkins builders merchants and the Wickes home
improvement chain, said total revenue fell 3.4% in the three
months to Sept. 30, its fiscal third quarter, following a first
half decline of 20.2%.
On a like-for-like basis revenue was up 3.9%.
The group said the outcome was driven by a strong recovery
in demand across domestic repair, maintenance and improvement
(RMI) markets, benefitting the Travis Perkins, City Plumbing,
Wickes and Toolstation businesses which serve them.
It said that while local trade activity had recovered well,
its trade businesses continued to experience a lag in recovery
from larger housebuilding and construction projects.
The group forecast core earnings for 2020 in the upper half
of the current range of analysts' expectations of 222-261
million pounds ($292-$343 million).
That forecast assumes current volume trends continue and
that any further lockdown measures do not have a significant
impact on the groups markets.
The pandemic has forced Travis Perkins to restructure. In
June it said it would cut around 2,500 jobs.
In March the group put the planned demerger of Wickes on
hold until markets become more stable.
Shares in Travis Perkins, down 24% so far in 2020, closed on
Wednesday at 1,219.5 pence, valuing the business at 3 billion
pounds. They were up 2.2% at 0706 GMT.
($1 = 0.7606 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mark Potter)