Travis Perkins: Growth for Toolstation and Wickes owner
Travis Perkins Q1 2017 saw total sales growth of 4.% and like-for-like sales growth of 2.7%
The combination of our Merchanting divisions (General Merchanting, Plumbing & Heating and Contracts) delivered total sales growth of 5.1% and like-for-like sales growth of 2.6%.
Underlying performance of both Wickes and Toolstation remains strong, with particularly good growth in the Wickes showroom offer, multichannel sales and the continued network expansion of both Wickes and Toolstation, according to Travis Perkins. The group said that it was expecting mixed trading conditions for the remainder of 2017, but was confident in the longer term outlook for the building materials market.
BUFAB: Growth, rising raw material prices noted
Bufab saw healthy growth and improved operating margin in Q1 2017. Net sales rose 13% to SEK 815 million (718), while organic growth was at 10% and operating profit up to SEK 90 million (71)
Growth in home market & prices
Growing in international markets, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Finland performed well, with weaker performance in Southern Europe and Asia. Significantly, market share in Sweden also increased – something BUFAB described as “particularly gratifying, as we had difficulty growing in our domestic market some years ago”. The turnaround came from a major programme of measures to improve the sales organisation and sales work.
Gross margin strengthened significantly compared l-f-l but was weaker than Q4 2016. The group did note “higher prices for important raw materials are creating a price pressure from our suppliers, which is beginning to impact our gross margin. Bufab will need to compensate for the increased costs through higher customer prices, a move that has already begun.”
Bulten ‘best ever’ quarter
There was good news for fellow Sweden-headquartered Bulten (which became separate from Bufab in 2005).
Net sales hit SEK 778 million (715) in Q1 2017, up 8.8% on the same period last year. Earnings after tax were SEK 51 million (40).
Bulten recently entered a partnership with US firm Ramco for automotive fastener distribution.
Bulten CEO Tommy Andersson said: “During the first quarter of 2017 we delivered our best-ever results, with earnings per share increasing by 28%.
“Net sales during the quarter increased by 8.8% on the same period last year, meaning we once again increased our market share. Bulten continued to develop well in terms of profitability, as a result of higher volumes, good loading and optimized production.
“Bulten has started 2017 strongly and our prospects to continue winning market shares are good. Establishing in North America broadens Bulten’s market and creates further opportunities for growth among both new and existing customers.”