// Travis Perkins withholds dividend payments to shareholders again, after first suspending them a year ago
// However, as restrictions begin to lift Travis Perkins expects to pay out a dividend later this year
// Its demerger with Wickes, which was also put on hold amid the pandemic, will also start up again and be complete by Q2
Travis Perkins has once again withheld its dividend to shareholders after it took government support last year, it announced today.
The hardware supplies firm – which owns DIY retailer Wickes – said that it would not pay a final dividend for 2020, after suspending payouts in March as the pandemic hit.
The news prompted shares in Travis Perkins to drop 2.5 per cent this morning.
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However, assuming there is no further deterioration in conditions surrounding the pandemic and restrictions, Travis Perkins said it expected to pay out a dividend this year.
The firm added that its planned split from subsidiary Wickes would start up again sooner.
Travis Perkins said the demerger, which was put on hold amid the pandemic in March, would be complete during the second quarter of this year.
Most of the work for the split had already been performed before it was put on pause, Travis Perkins said.
“In addition, I am pleased today to be able to confirm that the process to demerge Wickes has recommenced,” chief executive Nick Roberts said.
“The Wickes digitally-led model has proved highly effective during the pandemic and the business is in great shape to embark on its journey as a standalone entity.”
Wickes saw its like-for-like sales rise 5.5 per cent last year, with DIY sales booming 19.3 per cent.
Many home improvement retailers have performed well during the pandemic, as people stuck inside took to doing up their flats and houses.
It performed better than Travis Perkins’ business as a whole, which swung to a £7.7 million pre-tax loss, down from a profit of £180.8 million a year earlier. Revenue dropped 11.5 per cent to £6.2 billion.
“2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges and I am full of admiration for the energy and determination of our colleagues to ensure the safety of our customers, suppliers and each other,” Roberts said.
He added: “Whilst uncertainty remains, we have seen a good recovery through the second half which gives us confidence that the fundamental drivers in our markets are robust.
“The continuing progress against our strategic plans leaves the group well placed to outperform in those markets.”
with PA Wires