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Travis Perkins' profit falls 27pc but stability returning

Travis Perkins’ profit has fallen 27 per cent in the first six months of the year, but bosses said today there were signs of stability in its markets.

The builders’ merchant said today it made a pre-tax profit of £90.4 million for the six months to 30 June, down 27 per cent compared to the £124.5 million earned in the same period a year earlier.

Travis Perkins’ turnover fell in the period fell 13 per cent to £1.45 billion from £1.67 billion.

The firm closed just three out of 1,223 branches during the period.

Travis Perkins chief executive Geoff Cooper said: “Although some signs of stability in our markets have appeared recently, there remain short term risks on the downside.

“The group has performed ahead of our expectations in these testing markets conditions. We have cut costs, traded well and generated strong free cash flow.

“This has produced good operating margins, and together with the strengthening of the balance sheet has significantly reduced net debt.

“With strong market positions, attractive services and products, and financial security the group is well placed to continue to perform ahead of competitors through this recession and to grow its business as longer term market prospects improve.”

Travis Perkins, which raised £300 million in a rights issue in May to ease concerns about its debts, said it expected overheads to be £60 million lower by the end of this year, up from its original target of £50 million.