Wickes parent sees like-for-like growth from price increase

Travis Perkins Plc reported a like-for-like sales jump of 4.1% in Q3, up from 2.7% in the first six months. Total sales grew 3.5%, up 5% specifically in the consumer division, which includes retail chains Wickes and Toolstation.

The overall 2.7% like-for-like

increase has been reported as coming from price increases and mix changes. This was “in line with expectations” as the group’s businesses focused on mitigating the impact of cost price inflation. Travis Perkins said: “despite continuing to invest in value to maintain price leadership in

both Wickes and Toolstation, gross margin was unchanged in the period.” “We have delivered a good

like-for-like sales performance across the group in the third quarter against a challenging market backdrop of input cost inflation and market volatility,” chief executive John Carter said. “Trading conditions in our markets continue to be mixed, with consumer discretionary spending under pressure from rising inflation and on-going uncertainty in the UK economy.” The consumer division saw a 7.3% increase in total revenue

since the first half of 2016, with Wickes “outperforming a tough DIY market”. The group also reported the increased investment to expand Toolstation in Europe in the future. Travis Perkins Plc’s general

merchanting division saw like- for-like sales growth of 2.4%. During the trading period the heavyside range centre network was extended to support all Travis Perkins branches in England and Wales, with this proposition now available to a significantly larger customer base.

Akzo misses Q3 earnings due to “strong headwinds”

Benjamin Moore opens its first UK showroom

Two years since the exclusive launch of Benjamin Moore paints into the UK market, Shaw Paints Ltd, has announced the opening of the Benjamin Moore Chelsea Showroom. Situated in the heart of Chelsea at 263 Fulham Road, the 1,300sq ft showroom opened its doors on October 20. The new showroom stocks Benjamin Moore’s range of residential and commercial paint products and will showcase its colour palette of more than 3,500 shades on a seven-metre wall display.

The outlet will serve both

professionals and end users, and has a showroom team on hand for product advice and in-house colour consultations. Shaw Paints director Helen Shaw commented: “We are thrilled to be opening Benjamin Moore’s first UK showroom in such a fantastic location. Set within one of the capital’s most iconic areas, Fulham Road is home to some of London’s best interior design shops and we are delighted to become a part of this community.

Posting its Q3 results this month. Akzo Nobel issued a second profit warning since the failed takeover approach from PPG industries earlier this year. The report showed volumes were 2% higher overall, driven by its Decorative Paints and Performance Coatings divisions. Volumes remained flat for Specialty Chemicals, despite significant global supply chain disruptions. Revenue was up 1%, mainly due to volume growth and acquisitions, partly offset by adverse currency effects. In Decorative Paints, earnings

before interest and taxes (EBIT) was adversely impacted

by higher raw material costs, not yet fully compensated, and geographical/ product mix effects. Akzo has stated that appropriate measures are being taken to address higher raw material costs, including increased selling prices and additional cost control.

In Specialty Chemicals, EBIT was up 1% with favourable price/mix developments and cost savings, partly offset by adverse currencies and global supply chain disruptions. Akzo reported lower-than- expected third-quarter operating earnings of 383 million Euros on last week, citing “headwinds” at its marine coatings business and margin pressures from rising raw

material costs.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected EBIT at €432million, down from €442million Euros in the same period a year ago. Since rejecting a €26billion takeover offer from US rival PPG Industries, Akzo has seen its CEO and CFO resign and issued a profit warning in September. The company also said today that it would hold an extraordinary general meeting on November 30 to vote on the separation of its Specialty Chemicals unit and said a €1 billion special cash dividend as advance proceeds will be paid on December 7, following shareholder approval for the separation.

Ikea raises prices by 3% due to Brexit

Swedish homeware retailer Ikea Group has increased prices by 3% in Britain to compensate for a slump in sterling after the country’s decision to leave the EU, which has pushed up import costs.

The furniture chain imports

around 60% of the products it sells in Britain, meaning a fall in the pound raises costs for its business here.

British inflation rose to its highest level in more than five years in September, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The Consumer Prices Index, including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.8% in

September 2017, up from 2.7% in August. The last time it was last higher was in March 2012. Ikea is reportedly considering making more products in the UK in a bid to fend off Brexit-led price rises. The retailer already manufactur es some sofas and mattresses in Britain but said it was actively examining how it might increase that production, while looking at other products that can be sourced domestically.

Speaking earlier in the year, UK boss Gillian Drakeford, who described currency as the “biggest challenge”, said she

DLF Seeds lands exclusive distribution deal

L-R: Vivagreen’s Russell Walsh with DLF’s Guy Jenkins

DLF Seeds Ltd has announced a new partnership with VivaGreen Group and will act as a distributor of VivaGreen’s products in the UK, representing the range of MossOff Chemical Free products.

The deal will see DLF start selling the products via the independent garden centre channel with immediate effect. Both the Multi-Surface and Lawn versions of MossOff Chemical Free will be sold alongside DLF’s market- leading consumer-facing brand, Johnsons Lawn Seed. All current MossOff Chemical

Free orders will be fulfilled through the new distribution agreement and any queries should be directed to DLF Seeds Ltd.

believes the retailer can double its market share in the UK, adding: “We’ve been here for 30 years and will be here for the future.” Ikea reported sales of around 34billion Euros (£30.1billion) for 2016, with a 6% increase in the UK. Net profit for the group was up nearly 20% to €4.2billion.

DLF Seeds Ltd, consumer manager, Guy Jenkins, said of the partnership: “‘I am absolutely delighted DLF will be working alongside VivaGreen Group … MossOff Chemical Free is a great product and fits well within our existing lawn seed ranges. There is a clear, strong synergy between the two brands through the product offering, service and customer care.

It is exciting to

see two innovative companies getting together.”


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