UK DIY retailer Wickes nudges up profit guidance after strong trading

By Reuters

<div> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> -Wickes Group, the British do-it-yourself retailer recently spun out of Travis Perkins, said its full-year profit would be in the upper half of analyst expectations after sales surged in April.</p> <p>“Trading was notably strong through April, driven by sales volumes in both local trade and <span class="caps">DIY</span> and continued to be underpinned by our digital capability,” it said on Tuesday. </p> <p>“Trading in May has settled back in line with expectations.”</p> <p>The home improvement, or do-it-yourself (<span class="caps">DIY</span>), sector has boomed during <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 as Britons have spent more time at home, have had fewer leisure options and have travelled less.</p> <p>Wickes said its total like-for-like sales in the 21 weeks to 22nd May were 45.7% ahead of the same period a year ago and 23.1% ahead of two years ago.</p> <p>Chief Executive David Wood said: “Availability constraints and inflationary pressures across some raw materials have been well-flagged, but we have strong supplier relationships and are working closely with them to ensure we continue to provide customers with the products they need at the best possible value.”</p> <p>Shares in Wickes, which has a market capitalisation of about 650 million pounds, were trading up 3% in early deals.</p> <p>Wickes said it expected adjusted pretax profit for its first half of about 45 million pounds ($64 million), and the total for the year to be within the top half of the 55 million to 74 million pound range of analyst expectations.</p> <p>($1 = 0.7028 pounds)</p> </div>