// Wickes sales improve in fourth quarter
// Wickes said core sales were supported by demand in local trade
Wickes has reiterated its full year profit guidance after a strong sales performance in the fourth quarter.
Sales moderated in the 13 weeks to 25 December to a fall of 6.8% as the retailer annualised tough comparatives from 2020.
Wickes said sales in the category were supported by demand in local trade, where home renovations continue to drive order books for its trade customers.
Meanwhile, sales in the retailer’s Do-it-for-Me category were strong in October and November as it worked through an elevated order book but weakened in December following the emergence of Omicron
This meant that sales in the category were up 1.6% across the quarter.
Wickes said its refitted stores are performing well and it is now planning to accelerate the pace of major store refits from 2022 onwards.
The retailer said it expects its adjusted pre-tax profit to come in at £83 million.
“Wickes has performed very well during 2021, testament to the appeal of our customer offer and our ongoing focus on price leadership,” Wickes chief executive, David Wood said.
“While we are mindful of the external environment, we look to the future with confidence.
“We believe that our service-led and digitally-enabled proposition leaves us well placed within a highly attractive home improvement market. I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their hard work and support as we continue to help the nation feel house proud.”
Wickes has also announced that Mark George will be joining the business as chief financial officer on 20 July.
He will replace Julie Wirth, who has announced her intention to retire from a full-time executive role.
George has been working as chief financial officer at The Gym Group since 2018 and prior to that was deputy chief financial officer at Auto Trader.
Wickes chairman, Christopher Rogers said: “On behalf of the board, I am delighted to welcome Mark to Wickes. His expertise and experience will be crucial as we continue to grow the business.
“I would also like to express the board’s sincere thanks to Julie for her commitment, professionalism and dedication to Wickes during her tenure and wish her all the best for the future.”