Firm said like-for-like sales up in third quarter

Travis Perkins has said it will return £50m in government support it received during the covid-19 pandemic, adding that it had settled a deferred VAT bill of £100m earlier this month.

The building materials specialist, which earlier this year said it was laying off 2,500 people and closing 165 branches because of the crisis, said its Wickes and Toolstation businesses will return business rates relief as well as money from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.


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Customers has been flocking to the firm’s Wickes DIY chain during the pandemic

In a trading update this morning, the firm said it was able to make the repayments because of the “surge in DIY trade during 2020”.

It added that it had paid a £100m VAT bill, deferred from the first half, earlier this month which it put down to the strength of the “group’s ongoing liquidity”.

The firm said like-for-like sales during the third quarter were 8% up on the same period last year.

But it warned that business with larger customers was recovering more slowly, saying some had been hit by the second national lockdown in November.

Travis Perkins is due to unveil its 2020 results on 2 March next year.