Travis Perkins has raised prices to help offset rising costs from the weakened sterling as it posted a 4.5 per cent drop in half-year profits.
For the half-year period ending June 30, the parent company of DIY retailers Wickes and Toolstation reported pre-tax profits of £168 million, compared to £176 million in the same period last year.
Travis Perkins said trading volumes were impacted by price rises that were done to offset soaring costs brought about from the post-Brexit depreciation in the pound and rising commodity prices.
Despite this, the company said raising costs has helped helped protect profit margins.
Travis Perkins’ consumer division, which includes Wickes and Toolstation, was also buoyed by a 2.3 per cent rise in underlying earnings to £45 million and like-for-like sales increasing by 4.7 per cent.
The results were weighed down by the company’s plumbing and heating arm, where earnings crashed by 32 per cent to £13 million.
As a result, Travis Perkins revealed a turnaround plan for the division, including integrating its City Plumbing and CTS branches to be run by one management team.
The turnaround plan also includes changes to the company’s ranges, pricing and online offering, while setting up a dedicated supply chain.
Chief executive John Carter said the company’s overall performance was “solid” against a “challenging market backdrop of pronounced input cost inflation and market volatility”.
“The group made a conscious decision to recover input cost inflation selectively through disciplined pricing activity,” he said.
“Whilst this had some impact on trading volume, it enabled us to maintain group gross margins and positions the business well for the future.”