Wickes posts strong first half sales but signs of softening

Wickes has announced second quarter like-for-like sales growth of 5.4%, with progression in its core and Do It For Me (DIFM) business.

27 Jul, 22

Home improvement retailer Wickes has announced second quarter like-for-like sales growth of 5.4%, with progression in its core and Do It For Me (DIFM) business.

Wickes employs first women installation apprentices

First half sales were up 0.8% against “strong” prior year comparative results, however the company reports it has seen signs of softening in DIY and DIFM markets in recent weeks.

Core like-for-like sales for the second quarter were down 0.2%, which was an improvement on the first quarter which was down 11%, as Wickes states comparatives start to ease.

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First half core sales were down 5.5% but remained “significantly” ahead on a three-year basis.

Wickes also reported its local trade sales performed “very strongly” with its TradePro customer base increasing by 60,000 to 690.000 during the first half (FY 2021: 80,000).

DIFM like-for-like sales in the first quarter were up 26.4% and first half was 29.7% ahead on a one-year basis, as the company worked through an elevated order book.

However, Wickes reports it has seen some slowing of new orders in recent weeks, as customers take longer to commit to big-ticket projects.

Although, the company states conversion remain good, cancellations remain low, and it has a strong order book.

The retailer reports it suggests customers are reacting to the uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, as we enter the second half of our financial year, and Wickes expect an adjusted full year profit before tax of £72-82million.

CEO of Wickes David Wood commented: “Wickes has delivered another strong performance, as the business continues to provide the best value, choice and availability for consumers.

“Our TradePro scheme is expanding with great momentum as tradespeople turn to Wickes for value during a period in which consumers are becoming more price conscious.

“It is encouraging to see continued outperformance in our Core market share despite recent signs of softening in the DIY market.

“We continue to do a great job engaging DIFM customers as they take a little more time to consider their purchases.”

He continued: “Our investment for growth progressed in the period with five store refits completed in the first half which continue to drive strong returns.

“We remain watchful of the macroeconomic backdrop and are managing the business appropriately to navigate these external pressures.

“We are confident that our uniquely balanced business model and great value offer for customers will enable us to continue to deliver for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”