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Wickes boss hails ‘key milestone’ for DIY chain as Travis Perkins demerger plans move forward

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Wickes’ chief executive today hailed a “key milestone” on the DIY chain’s journey to becoming a standalone listed company as demerger plans from Travis Perkins moved forward.

The chain, which saw sales growth of nearly 20% last year as locked-down Britons attempted home improvements, said that “although the economic outlook and trading environment remains uncertain, Wickes expects to deliver sales growth ahead of its markets for the full year”. In 2020 the firm’s digital customer numbers almost doubled, and click-and- collect orders were up 450%.

Building materials group Travis Perkins had put the spin-off plans on hold on March 20 last year as the pandemic hit, but resumed the process earlier this month.

The FTSE 250 firm said today that it has submitted its demerger circular and prospectus to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for approval, and that it expects Wickes shares to be admitted to trading on London’s main market.

Wickes chief executive, David Wood, said: “This is a key milestone on our journey to listing on the London Stock Exchange as a standalone business in what will be a transformational moment for Wickes.”

Earlier this month Travis Perkins posted a £7.7 million loss and said it would not be issuing a dividend. Sales across the group dropped 12% to £6.2 billion last year as the pandemic hit construction, in stark contrast to Wickes’ growth.

Travis Perkins has long said the demerger will allow it to focus on construction trade sales and ensure “faster decision making”.

Group chief executive, Nick Roberts, said the move is “a significant milestone”, adding that “it is testament to the strength of both the Group and Wickes operating models that we are back on track to complete the demerger despite the pandemic”.

He said: “The demerger is an important step towards simplifying the Group and enabling Travis Perkins to focus on its trade customers. The separation will allow both businesses to allocate capital to drive growth and further enhance their market leading positions.”

Shares were up 0.03% in early trading

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