Turnover rises 5% to £1.5bn as builders merchant looks to complete BSS purchase

Building merchant Travis Perkins has reported a rise in revenue and profit, as it continues its attempt to buy up rival BSS.

The firm recorded a £1.5bn revenue for the first six months of 2010, which was 5% up on the same period last year. Pre-tax profit was up by 24% to £112m from £90m in 2009.

A trading statement said: “Over the winter our markets continued to show signs of stabilisation and despite a poor, weather-affected, start in January and February the first half-year saw a strong rebound in construction activity, led by a pick up in new housebuilding.

“From March 2010 onwards we saw a strong rebound in activity and a reversal in the divergent fortunes of the trade and retail markets. Although the rebound has continued in July, we expect the rate of recovery to moderate.”

At the beginning of the month, Travis Perkins made an offer of £658m for rival merchant BSS, which released an interim statement on its trading from 1 April 2010 to 28 July 2010. Over the 17 weeks its revenue was £435.3m, up 11.5% like for like from last year and it said the summer maintenance period had got off to a solid start.

The statement concluded that it had recommended the offer from Travis Perkins. Documents are being sent to Travis Perkins shareholders today and a shareholder meeting will take place on 19 August to discuss the deal.