By Chloe Rigby

Wickes [IRDX RWIC] and Toolstation [IRDX RTLS] owner Travis Perkins [IRDX RTRP] this week reported rising sales and profits in its consumer-facing division in the first half of its financial year, in contrast to a fall in profits across the business.

Across the group, revenue reached £3.2bn in the six months to June 30, 3.5% up on the same time last year, while like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, were up by 2.7%. Pre-tax profits of £168m were down by 4.5% on last time. But in its consumer-facing Wickes and Toolstation businesses sales of £822m were 7.3% up on last time, while adjusted operating profits of £45m were also up, by 2.3%.

Chief executive John Carter said: “The robust growth and outperformance in our contracts and consumer divisions build on strong customer propositions and successful investments in those businesses.

“In the first half of the year, the group made a conscious decision to recover input cost inflation selectively through disciplined pricing activity….