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Travis Perkins cuts 1,300 jobs as profits dip 3.2pc

Profits at builders merchant Travis Perkins has revealed that around 1,300 jobs will go by the end of 2008 as it announces a 3.2 per cent drop in profits in the six months to June 2008.

The firm said that 700 jobs at its builders merchant division had gone by the end of June with that figure to reach 1,000 by the end of the year.

Retail is down 200 jobs with the total to edge up to 300 by December.

Revenue edged up 5 per cent to £1.7 billion from £1.6 billion for the same period last year. Pre-tax profits dipped to £124.5 million from £128.6 million.

The firm said it has shown good progress ‘against a background of weakening markets’ and an increase in market share across its merchanting and retail brands on a like-for-like basis will help compensate lower market activity.

Strong activity levels in the Government and commercial construction sectors have offset the decline in housing activity and held up well for general RMI work.

The firm refinanced its UK bank debt securing a £1 billion five year facility in April.

Chief executive Geoff Cooper said: “As we anticipated and observed in our last full year results statement, 2008 has become a more challenging market and we expect our markets to weaken further as the year progresses.

“The group will also continue to take action to counteract market conditions and accelerate the reduction on net debt through a combination of lowering overheads and by reducing both working capital and constraining capital expenditure.”