Travis Perkins plc has announced that overall revenue in 2020 declined by 11.5% to £6,158m and taking into account £140m of business restructuring costs, the Group delivered a statutory operating profit of £77m (2019: £232m).Despite ongoing restrictions, the Group said performance was encouraging, demonstrating the agility and resilience of the Group’s portfolio of businesses.
Nick Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, said: “2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges and I am full of admiration for the energy and determination of our colleagues to ensure the safety of our customers, suppliers and each other.
“Despite these challenges, we have shown great agility and versatility in adapting our working practices, further digitalising our engagement with customers and reshaping our business to suit the changing demands of our markets.”
The high growth in the DIY market, which started during the first lockdown, has been sustained, benefiting Wickes and, to a slightly lesser extent, Toolstation. The Group has, however, seen a slower return to activity in new housebuilding and major commercial projects resulting from fewer new projects starting.
Travis Perkins has accelerated progress on a number of strategic initiatives, in some cases driven by the need to adapt quickly and effectively to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic but also as part of the overall drive for business process simplification.
The Travis Perkins General Merchant website was rebuilt to significantly improve information on product availability and facilitate a notable rise in web-based transactions. Good progress has also been made on the development of customer apps that will enable customers to interact via smartphone;
In June 2020 the Group announced a significant restructuring programme which will result in the closure of around 190 branches. In addition around 2,500 roles, equivalent to 9% of the workforce, have become redundant.
During the year, the Group utilised £74m of government assistance in the Merchanting and Plumbing & Heating businesses. All support initially received in Toolstation and Wickes, amounting to £46m, was repaid due to their strong performance.