Travis Perkins prepares plans to offload Wickes

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Travis Perkins Wickes
// Travis Perkins prepares plans to sell Wickes and could offload the retailer by mid-2020
// Travis Perkins finance chief officer Alan Williams is leading the project
// Travis Perkins has begun separating Wickes’ IT systems from those used across the rest of the group

Travis Perkins has said it is preparing to sell its Wickes chain and could offload the DIY retailer by the middle of next year.

The project is being led by Travis Perkins finance chief officer Alan Williams.

The company has already begun separating Wickes’ IT systems from those used across the rest of the group as it prepares to offload it, The Sunday Times reports.

The potential sale could raise around £400 million to £500 million.

Last week, former Tesco executive David Wood replaced Simon King as Wickes chief executive.

Over the past two years, Wickes’ operating profits have fallen by almost a third to £69 million.

Travis Perkins revealed last November that it was reviewing its Wickes fascia in a bid to “maximise the value” from the chain.

In the year to December 31 2018, Wickes’ adjusted operating profit fell by 19 per cent.

However in May, Wickes posted “encouraging” first-quarter sales, boosted by a “strong turnaround” in its kitchen and bathroom division.

Meanwhile, like-for-like sales climbed 10 per cent during the 13 weeks to March 30, which was an improvement compared to the 7.9 per cent decline during the same period in the previous year.

Total sales advanced 9.4 per cent in the quarter.

Wickes said the results followed a “strong turnaround in kitchen and bathroom performance”.

“As the group stated at its capital markets update in December 2018, we continue to prioritise improving the performance of Wickes to create optionality to maximise value over the medium term,” a Travis Perkins spokesperson said in a statement.

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