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Travis Perkins profit held back by rain disruption

Travis Perkins, Britain's largest distributor of building materials, posted a 7.3 percent rise in half year profit, though its performance was held back by record rainfall in April and June which disrupted activity at building sites.

The group, also a home improvement retailer, said on Thursday it made an underlying pretax profit of 137 million pounds ($212 million) in the six months to June 30 on revenue up 2.7 percent to 2.41 billion pounds.

"It has been difficult to ignore the impact on the results of the first half trading of the wettest three months since records began," said Chief Executive Geoff Cooper.

"This has inhibited construction activity and particularly constrained turnover in our heavy-side related businesses in a market already struggling to recover to more normal levels."

But he said the firm continued to grow gross margin and gain like-for-like market share in all of its four divisions -- general merchanting, specialist merchanting, plumbing and heating, and consumer.

Travis Perkins, which also trades as City Plumbing, Keyline, Tile Giant, Wickes and BSS, raised its interim dividend 23 percent to 8 pence and said it was happy with consensus expectations for the full year.

Though both construction and consumer markets have been weak in the economic downturn Travis Perkins has performed relatively well, winning market share from rivals and benefiting from the purchase of plumbing and heating specialist BSS in 2010 and of Toolstation in January this year.

Its shares, up 12 percent over the last six months, closed Wednesday at 971 pence, valuing the business at 2.37 billion pounds.

Source: Reuters

26 July 2012
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