Builders' merchant Travis Perkins said that it expected more tough times ahead as trading in the consumer DIY market remained fragile.
Travis Perkins said that the parts of its market related to Government spending remained robust, but a weakness in consumer spending after the Christmas sales period hit the home improvement market.
The firm bought rival retailer Wickes in February but said that those parts of the business serving retail customers had not achieved expected sales volumes. In July and August retail like for like sales were down 7.4 per cent on last year.
Chief executive Geoff Miller said that the firm had taken early action to cost costs and reduce headcount before better market conditions arrived in 2006.
Pre-tax profit in the six months to June was £110 million, up from £100.6 million a year ago. Turnover was up 41 per cent to £1.29 billion, boosted by the Wickes acquisition.
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