Evidence of buying ahead of VAT increase as performance at retail arm Wickes also improves

Travis Perkins has announced increased turnover for the first 11 months of the year in an interim statement.

Turnover for the UK building merchant was up 6.5% for the year up to November, compared with the same period in 2009.

Performance at the group’s retail business Wickes also improved, with turnover up 2.7% for the 47 week trading period to 27 November.

Kitchen and bathroom sales boosted the retail arm’s figures – up 12.5% over the period – but core products were down by 2.1%.

There was some evidence of buying ahead of the VAT increase, with turnover at Wickes over the last eight weeks up 4.2% on the equivalent period last year.

Travis Perkins has seen a reduction in net debt in the fourth quarter from the £410m reported in June, although this does not take into account the acquisition of BSS Group, which will be completed later today.