Wickes-owner Travis Perkins to return COVID-19 business rates relief and furlough cash

Lianna Brinded
·Head of Yahoo Finance UK
·2 min read
Wickes Home Improvement Centre at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol. Photo: PA
Wickes Home Improvement Centre at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol. Photo: PA

The UK’s Travis Perkins (TPK.L) said it would return business rates relief and job retention scheme money it acquired from the government for its major home improvement stores Wickes and Toolstation as the DIY market continues to see strong demand.

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that it’ll repay £50m ($67m) after it posted “robust” like-for-like sales growth across the group in October and November.

Sales performance in October and November 2020. Table: Travis Perkins
Sales performance in October and November 2020. Table: Travis Perkins

“Given the status of Wickes as an essential retailer, and Toolstation also benefiting from the surge in DIY trade during 2020, both businesses will return the business rates relief received as a result of the COVID19 crisis and repay monies received under the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme,” said the group.

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“There continues to be strong demand across the DIY market, resulting in particularly strong sales in Wickes and Toolstation, as well as the continued encouraging recovery in domestic RMI across smaller trade customers in Travis Perkins and City Plumbing.

“Volumes with larger customers continue to recover more slowly, impacting the rate of sales recovery in our specialist merchants in BSS, CCF, Keyline and the large contract side of the P&H business. Some larger customers were more impacted by the second national lockdown in November, alongside a negative impact on the kitchen and bathroom businesses as showrooms were forced to close.”

Chart: Yahoo Finance
Chart: Yahoo Finance

Travis Perkins stock has remained buoyant throughout the year, thanks to healthy sales during 2020.

A range of businesses across the nation are starting to give back, or at least pledge to return, business rates relief and money given by the government for job retention during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

During 2020, while many industries have suffered, this crisis has boosted a number of retailers and businesses — such as DIY and food staple retailing, as people have been largely confined to their homes.

The UK’s five biggest supermarkets have all pledged to return business rates relief granted by the government earlier this year.

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