Digital first Wickes reports third-quarter sales growth but warns of inflation-related uncertainty, including its own energy costs

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Wickes today reports improved sales growth in the third quarter of its fiscal year. But he says uncertainty remains around inflation and consumer confidence – and warns his own energy costs could be £7.5m higher in his 2023 financial year than the year before if they stay at the current corporate price cap. This is currently set to end in April, when costs could increase further.

However, retail price inflation has receded for Wickes, in part due to lower lumber costs.

The leading digital DIY retailer, ranked Top50 in RXUK Top500 research, rolled out its 30-minute Click and Collect service in the third quarter of its financial year. It completed three store redevelopments during the quarter and has since opened a new store in Bolton and expects further openings in 2023.

The update comes as Wickes says in a third-quarter trade update, for the 13 weeks to October 1, that sales were up 2.6% in the quarter. This is an improvement on the 0.8% growth recorded in the first half of the year, when sales fell in the first quarter (-4%) but rose more strongly in the second (+5.4%). ).

Its core DIY sales were flat from a year ago, but sales of do-it-for-me (DIFM) services were up 12.2% from a year ago. Sales were ahead 19.2% over the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, with core sales ahead 27.3% but DIFM sales down 1.7%.

But while Wickes is still working on its delayed DIFM backlog, it says third quarter orders are down from the same time last year as “customers are taking longer to engage in important projects.

Trade sales have been strong, with its TradePro customers growing by 10,000 a month to around 720,000, which Wickes says reflects growing awareness of the program and “its compelling value proposition.”

Wickes now expects adjusted pre-tax profits for the full year to be between £72m and £82m.

David Wood, Managing Director of Wickes, said: “It has been a time of further progress across all areas of the business, with customers and traders continuing to come to Wickes because of our value, availability and service.

“While remaining attentive to external headwinds, we continue to focus on our growth levers and maintain strict control of our costs. Our unique balanced business model positions us well to continue to outperform the market. »

These figures follow a record first half turnover of £822.3 million, 1.3% higher than the previous year.

Wickes sells online and in 230 stores that support fulfillment nationwide through digital channels, including its website, TradePro mobile app and DIY app.

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