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Wickes sales lift as demand surges for home insulation

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Wickes has said it has been boosted by a surge in demand for home insulation as customers seek to protect themselves from rocketing energy bills.

The DIY firm and builders’ merchants also called for VAT to be scrapped on products being purchased by people to help them cut their bills, such as LED lightbulbs.

Shares in Wickes jumped in early trading on Thursday after it posted the positive update.

Revenues increased by 1.3% to £822.3 million over the six months to July 2, against the same period last year.

David Wood, chief executive of Wickes, said sales of some products leapt as households face mammoth rises in energy bills linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Sales volumes of home insulation products are up 85% against pre-Covid levels as customers are improving energy efficiency in their homes,” he told the PA news agency.

“We have seen strong sales across any products linked to energy efficiency, things like LED lightbulbs and drafts excluders.

“To be honest, I do think the Government should be helping households buying these types of products.”

The group said it remains positive about consumer sentiment despite the pressure from higher household bills.

Wickes held firm on its target of pre-tax profit between £72 million and £82 million for the current financial year.

It came as the company delivered a pre-tax profit of £33.5 million, dipping from £35.7 million over the same six months last year.

Shares in Wickes were 9.1% higher at 126.2p after early trading.