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Wickes Posts Q3 Sales Decline; Reiterates Guidance

WickesPennywellOpening-9

Wickes Group plc has issued a trading update for the 13 weeks to 30 September 2023, advising that its balanced business model continues to deliver and it is on track to meet full year expectations. 

Wickes Group plc ("Wickes") announces third quarter Group LFL sales broadly in line with the prior year and reiterates guidance for full year adjusted PBT. 

LFL sales

Total

Core

DIFM

Quarter 1

(13 weeks to 1 April)

(1.8)%

(4.4)%

6.2%

Quarter 2

(13 weeks to 1 July)

3.0%

2.3%

5.3%

Quarter 3

(13 weeks to 30 Sept)

(0.2)%

1.1%

(4.4)%

Year to date

(39 weeks to 30 Sept)

0.4%

(0.2)%

2.5%

Note: DIFM represents delivered sales

Core LFL sales growth for the third quarter was 1.1%, with growth in volume for the first time since the second quarter of 2021. TradePro sales continue to show double digit growth, with the customer base continuing to grow strongly. DIY sales remain moderately down on the prior year. Core market share[1] improved in Q3, with particularly strong performances in decorative, tiling and insulation. Selling price inflation in the period was broadly flat, a position which we expect to continue for the remainder of the year and into 2024. Our relative price position remains strong.

DIFM LFL delivered sales in Q3 were -4.4%, partially driven by a more normalised order book compared with the first half. We have also experienced some delays to delivered sales as a result of the transition to a new software solution fulfilling customer orders. Actions are being taken to enable this to be resolved, although there will be some impact on Q4 delivered sales which will now fall into FY2024. DIFM orders were down modestly in the third quarter, with some pressure on conversion rates, particularly in September, as customers are taking longer to commit to big ticket purchases.

Investment in growth levers continues across the business. During the third quarter we completed one refit and opened a new store in Chelmsford. For the fourth quarter two new stores have already opened (Widnes in mid-October and Torquay today), and there will be four further refits. We remain confident regarding the pipeline for new stores in 2024.

Based on trading to the end of October, we remain comfortable with current market consensus for FY2023 adjusted PBT of £45.3-49.0m on a post-IAS38 basis. 

David Wood, Chief Executive of Wickes, commented:

“Once again thanks to our amazing colleagues we have delivered a solid performance in a challenging market as we continue to deliver against our strategic growth drivers. In our Core business we have gained further market share and achieved a return to volume growth. We have fulfilled strong demand from our Trade customers and been encouraged by greater stability in DIY. 

“As we continue to rollout our programme of store openings and refits, I am confident that we have the right product offer and the most attractive locations – enabling us to deliver value for customers and shareholders.”

Source : Wickes

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03 November 2023

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