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UK DIY retailer Wickes flags slowing sales, backs full-year guidance

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(Reuters) -Wickes Group flagged slowing third-quarter sales after the lifting of lockdowns compared with last year, when the home improvement retailer benefited from a surge in demand for do-it-yourself projects by people stuck at home.

The company, which was spun off from Travis Perkins, on Wednesday backed an outlook it provided last month that its annual earnings would be towards the upper end of an analyst consensus of 55-74 million pounds ($75.64-$101.76 million).

Wickes saw a significant jump in demand since the start of the pandemic as Britons spent more time and money on home renovations. The curbs in the country have since been almost entirely lifted with the majority of its population vaccinated.

Supply shortages had no material impact on sales during the third quarter, the British company said, while adding that it was dealing with higher costs.

"We are well-placed within a large and growing home improvement market," Chief Executive Officer David Wood said, adding that the company has been able to navigate inflationary pressures and raw material constraints.

($1 = 0.7272 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija M and Chris Peters in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Rashmi Aich)

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