600 staff affected by plans to close 30 Travis Perkins branches

The parent company of Wickes and Toolstation has announced plans to close down more than 30 branches, a move that could affect 600 employees.

Travis Perkins, which employs 28,000, revealed the plans as it cautioned over its full-year results, in which they said underlying earnings were “slightly” lower-than-expected amid “uncertain” trading.

The firm said 10 smaller distribution centres will also close down and it was reviewing its plumbing and heating division.

It added that measures would be taken to relocate some of its affected staff to other sites.

Branches are expected to close across its trade brands, such as Travis Perkins, kitchen and joinery arm Benchmarx and plumbing and heating businesses BSS and PTS, due to a “disappointing” performance in the third quarter.

RELATED: Wickes and Toolstation parent company reports sales and like-for-like growth

However, its general merchanting business saw better trading in the quarter, while its retail chains Wickes and Toolstation put in “very strong performances”.

“Given that levels of future demand remain difficult to predict, the group has chosen to implement a number of efficiency programmes and branch closures to further optimise the network,” the firm said.

“This work includes the closure of 10 smaller distribution and fabrication centres, the write-off of certain IT legacy equipment and over 30 branch closures in our trade businesses.”

Overall, like-for-like sales grew two per cent in the third quarter for the firm.

“It is still too early to predict customer demand in 2017 with certainty and we will continue to monitor our lead indicators closely,” Travis Perkins chief executive John Carter said.

The company is mid-way through a five-year overhaul, which is seeing it shut unprofitable stores, expand in better performing areas, and refurbish its Wickes stores.

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