Travis Perkins profit up by a quarter



LONDON (ShareCast) - Builders' merchant Travis Perkins (Other OTC: TVPKF.PK - news) said pre-tax profit rose 25 per cent in the last six months despite construction being hampered by the wettest 3 months since records began. Reported pre-tax profit after exceptional items rose to £162m for the six months ended June 30 compared to £129.2m the same time a year earlier. Group revenue climbed 2.7% to £2.41bn and was down 0.7% on a like-for-like basis. Travis Perkins said it was confident that it would meet full year expectations for the 2012 financial performance. Chief executive Geoff Cooper commented: "Whilst weather patterns normally average themselves out over any trading period, it has been difficult to ignore the impact on the results of the first half trading of the wettest 3 months since records began." "This has inhibited construction activity and particularly constrained turnover in our heavy-side related businesses in a market already struggling to recover to more normal levels. Despite this, we have, in balancing sales volumes and gross margin, traded sensibly throughout the period across all four divisions." Looking ahead Travis Perkins said forecasting remains very difficult while public sector capital construction spending declines and the burden of re-starting growth relies on a private sector recovery. Despite this uncertainty, the group underlined its confidence in future trading by recommending an interim dividend of 8p per share, up 23% from last year. "Our strong market positions, track record in managing through the cycle, and overall leading scale in building materials leave us better positioned than competitors to deal with the uncertain outlook. Based on current information, we are happy with consensus expectations for our 2012 financial performance," it said in a company statement. CJ

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