Builders merchant plans to pay dividend after sustained trading increase

Builders merchant Travis Perkins has said results for the six months to 30 June will be above its own expectations after a rebound in trading in March has continued into the summer.

As a result it will pay a 5p dividend per share barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Geoff Cooper, chief executive, said: “We are pleased with the overall progress the group has made in the first six months of the year. Current trading continues to be ahead of management expectations and we now have the confidence to contemplate recommencing paying dividends.”

Turnover for the six months ended 30 June was up by 4.7%, with like-for-like sales up 3.4%.

Like-for-like turnover in the last two months of the period was 10.3% ahead in its merchanting division and was 1.6% ahead during the last nine weeks in its retail arm, which includes the Wickes DIY chain.

Last month Travis, which has the third largest share (16%) of the £14bn UK builders merchant according to figures from Liberum Capital, made a £553m offer for BSS Group, which has the fourth largest share of 10%.

In an interview with Building last month Cooper said: “We haven’t seen a move towards consolidation yet, but it would be quite normal to see consolidation in an industry as it recovers from recession.”