Turnover rises 5% to £1.5bn as builders merchant and plant machine user looks to complete BSS purchase.

Building merchant Travis Perkins, a huge user of plant machinery in the construction industry, has reported a rise in revenue and profit, as it continues its attempt to buy up rival BSS.

The firm, a leading national distributor of building and plumbing materials to the trade, and owner of the Wickes and Tile Giant DIY retailers, recorded £1.5bn revenue for the first six months of 2010, which was 5% up on the same period last year. Pre-tax profit was up by 24% to £112m from £90m in 2009. A trading statement said: “Over the winter our markets continued to show signs of stabilisation and despite a poor, weather-affected, start in January and February the first half-year saw a strong rebound in construction activity, led by a pickup in new house-building. “From March 2010 onwards we saw a strong rebound in activity and a reversal in the divergent fortunes of the trade and retail markets. Although the rebound has continued in July, we expect the rate of recovery to moderate.”

Market Leader in Construction and Plant Machinery Looking to Actively Expand

At the beginning of the month, Travis Perkins made an offer of £658m for rival merchant BSS, which released an interim statement on its trading from 1 April 2010 to 28 July 2010. Over the 17 weeks its revenue was £435.3m, up 11.5% like for like from last year and it said the summer maintenance period had got off to a solid start. The statement concluded that it had recommended the offer from Travis Perkins. Documents are being sent to Travis Perkins shareholders today and a shareholder meeting will take place on 19 August to discuss the deal.

Revenue for the Company is up

Travis Perkins has also said that its H1 sales were up 5% to £1522 million, which was ahead of expectations. The firm is often seen as a barometer of the state of the building market and plant machinery industry in the UK. The group, made an adjusted underlying pre-tax profit of £111.8 million for the six months to June 30, ahead of analysts forecast of £98 million, 24% up on the £90.4 million in the same period in 2009 and said it was recommencing paying dividends after a two year gap.

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