Published: Thu, October 20, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Builders' merchant shuts branches and axes 600 jobs

Builders' merchant shuts branches and axes 600 jobs

The builders' merchant, which owns the Wickes DIY brand, said those affected had already been informed and the job losses were concentrated in its Travis Perkins, Benchmarx, heating and plumbing businesses.

The firm said there was an "uncertainty" in the market and that it would come in "slightly below" its forecast £415 million full-year profit.

Chief executive John Carter said: "General Merchanting delivered a solid result in the third quarter alongside very strong performances in our Consumer and Contracts businesses where we materially outperformed our markets".

Travis Perkins is the country's largest supply of building stock and has more than 2,000 branches but has suffered since the result of the European Union referendum.

The firm is also closing 10 smaller distribution centres and writing off IT equipment.

The firm, which employs 28,000 people across its 2,060 stores, said it feared an "uncertain United Kingdom outlook" over the next 12 month.

Reportedly due to uncertain market conditions, Travis Perkins will be effecting changes to the business driven by a need to prioritise efficiency, and will be making over 30 branch closures.

Another poor performer this morning was Reckitt Benckiser, who shed 3.3 percent after reporting that sales growth had slowed down more than they had expected over the third quarter of the yar.

Shares in the company are still down 22% since the referendum.

Adding: "The operations of the division will be fully reviewed and the outcome of the review and any associated costs will be communicated in 2017".

Travis is just over halfway through a five-year overhaul of the group, which is seeing it shut unprofitable stores and expand in better performing areas.

She said the group's strategy involved "ongoing optimisation" of its network which included openings as well as closures, with 20 new branches having opened during the current financial year and around 4,000 people having been recruited.

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