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Travis Perkins to restore dividend as sales grow

Source : Howard Mustoe - Bloomberg

Travis Perkins Plc, the owner of Wickes home-improvement stores, said it will resume the payment of dividends after more than a one-year break following better- than-expected sales in the first half.

Revenue climbed 4.7 percent, while comparable sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.4 percent, the Northampton, U.K.-based company said in a statement today. The company plans to pay an interim dividend of 5 pence a share, barring “unforeseen circumstances,” it said.

“Current trading continues to be ahead of management expectations and we now have the confidence to contemplate recommencing paying dividends,” Chief Executive Officer Geoff Cooper said in the statement.

Sales to professional builders drove growth, with merchanting revenue 5.3 percent higher, Travis said. The company said it expects to give an update on takeover talks with BSS Group Plc “shortly.” BSS, the U.K.’s largest plumbing and heating chain, said in May it would be prepared to accept Travis Perkin’s preliminary 553 million-pound ($806 million) offer if formally tabled.

By contrast, Travis Perkin’s sales at retail stores open at least a year were little changed.

02 July 2010
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